Nude underwear, toilet paper shopping on a Friday night, sensible shoes, moderation. Now give me $200 dollars. No? You were not whipped into an inspired frenzy of want and lust?
How about, red lipstick, mean boys, Grey Goose for breakfast, and instant results. That. Is. Sexy. Let's make it a cool $1000. You're in? OK!
The above word association game is exemplification of what is wrong with the health and fitness industry. My problem is that I'm in the business of selling moderation and long term health and what everyone seems to want to buy is sexy, instant gratification.
I can tell you that you should eat well 80% of the time and make room for a few graces along the way. But what seems to appeal is extreme, drama, restraints and blame.
Let me explain:
Extreme dieting- no carbs, juice only, super food grocery bill, kilo's lost in 2 weeks.
Drama- "Sorry I can't have that, I am on a very special diet"
Blame- My trainer said I HAVE to eat this and I CANNOT eat that (but don't ask me, or them, why)
But if you want the honest truth, if you want lean muscle, toned legs, Jennifer Anniston's arms and still have friends, then moderation is it. You can't maintain a regime because someone told you to- you have to want it. And you should also be learning about your self along the way, so you can learn to make educated best choices about what works for you.
If you are only partaking because you want to tell people about it, then as soon as the door is closed and no one is watching- out goes the will power, in goes the Ben and Jerry's. Ask any of the fittest guys and girls and you will notice that A. they are not stressed about keeping weight off, it is just what they do, and that mind set takes times, and B. they will help themselves to a pizza and a beer on occasions without guilt because they know that they have earned their right to moderation.
It takes months upon months for those fitness models to get their bodies looking like that. It's early mornings, early bed times, no Grey Goose and skipping on a few brunches with friends. There is a plan, and it's a long term one.
The diet pills and shakes may give you results initially, but they also may not. The problem with those things is that they give you a false sense of hope that all you need to do is shoot them down and next week you will be on the cover of Women's/Men's Health Mag.
If it is 3 years of weight creep you are trying to get rid of, can you really expect to lose it in 4 short weeks.
This is why time is your friend. You not only need the time to make sure the weight loss is actually fat loss, but also time to adjust your life habits to make the changes last! In a word, you need moderation. Boring, home brand, unconditionally loving and reliable.
Now excuse me, I am off to Woolworths to buy my loo roll, and yes, it's going to be a rocking Friday night.
Harriet Walker is a university qualified nutritionist and dietitian in Canberra specialising in weight loss, sports nutrition, women's health and disordered eating. For an appointment or any enquiries email email@example.com.