If you are someone who believes there is one perfect way to lose weight then you might better not read this post. If you want to cast stones at other people because you don’t like the way they are losing weight, you will not like my post today.
I see a lot of backbiting on blogs and get a lot of emails from people who disagree with me and other people when they talk about the possibility of using a variety of food types to lose weight from organic foods to processed foods. I got an email yesterday from someone who was annoyed that I said that you could use processed snacks to help you lose weight. This person said that she would no longer read my blog because the snacks I talked about had as much sugar as a Snickers bar.
The truth of the matter is that study after study shows that in the long run, it is the calories that matter when you lose weight. I’ve worked with many working moms who used a lot of processed foods to lose weight. They bought Lean Cuisines for lunch, used diet bread for toast, snacked on fruit, vegetables and 100-calorie packs, and fixed dinner using processed foods. They lost weight and in some cases, have kept it off.
I’ve also worked with people who avoided processed foods and ate mainly whole, unprocessed foods. They also lost weight and in some cases, have kept it off.
The process does not have to look the same for all people. Sure it is healthier to eat a clean diet, but for some people, they either don’t want to or choose not to. That’s their choice. For any of us to say there is just one perfect way to lose weight is just plain wrong. (Now I’m not saying that we should all follow the Twinkie Diet or just eat 1,200 calories worth of Cheetos – that would be just ridiculous and obviously unhealthy.)
Would you tell me it was wrong that I drank a lot of diet soda when I lost weight? Would you tell me that drinking diet soda made my weight loss wrong? You might – but you would be mistaken because I still managed to lose 158 pounds even drinking diet soda. I also ate Snackwell cookies on occasion, bought fat-free ice cream, ate baked processed chips, and a lot of other foods that some people might say have no place in our diet.
Was it perfect? No.
Did it work? Yes.
Was it harmful to me? Probably not.
The truth is that this journey into healthier living is just that. It’s a journey and my journey and your journey and Sally’s journey and Joe’s journey are all different. One mom I helped lose weight hated to cook, had three kids between the ages of 6 and 10, and lost weight working two jobs. She didn’t have the time or money to buy all organic food, prepare all her lunches ahead of time, or spend the money on expensive organic grains. She made the best choices she could and kept her calorie level appropriate for her weight loss goals and lost weight.
During my weight loss journey I focused on portions, exercise, and fat. That worked for me. Over time, as I have learned more about nutrition, my eating has become more unprocessed. That’s been my journey and I’m proud to say that I learn something new about cooking and food almost every week. I may still not like brussel sprouts, but at least I’ve tried them. Steel cut oats may not be my favorite, but I have them more often than I do flaked oats.
To judge someone because they are not eating as “perfectly” as you think they should makes me annoyed. This weight loss journey is complicated and a learning process. I’d rather see someone making use of lower calorie products and losing weight than someone who sits around and just “talks” about their journey without taking any action and complaining that they just can’t lose weight.
In my opinion, the perfect weight loss plan is one that gives you the right amount of calories and nutrients and helps you get to a healthy weight. If someone had watched me lose weight they might have criticized me for eating processed foods, but the truth is that I ate a well-balanced diet that included a variety of foods.
What’s your thought? Does it really help us to be critical of each other for how we lose weight and is there really room for just one weight loss plan? Diane