(versión en español: pinchar aquí)
Some people say that diets like mine are boring and that that makes people lose adherence in the long run. Perhaps are they insinuating that drinking sodas and eating pizza, ice cream, processed food and snacks is more enjoyable than drinking water and eating eggs, meat, nuts and vegetables?
Of course it is. No doubt it is more pleasant (in the mouth at least).
But, what do YOU ask from food, to be healthy or to provide you maximum pleasure here and now, even at the expense of your health? Many experts believe that people choose the latter. What I believe is that we have never been given the chance to choose. I think that if people were the truth about how to eat to be healthy and thin, there would be lots of us who would choose that option, regardless of boredness considerations.
If someone says that people lack willpower and that that is demonstrated by the high dropout rates of weight loss diets, what we need to ask ourselves is what kind of person follows a diet on long-term diet when it starves them and results never come? Those high dropout rates reflect what they reflect: that people are not crazy and that hypocaloric diets based on carbs are completely ineffective for weight loss. Those are the reasons why weight loss diets are abandoned, not because people do not have willpower. Or at least not in all cases.
Back to the matter, what I mean is 1) talking about boring diets is deceiving people, because broccoli is obviously never going to provide the same satisfaction in our mouths as eating pizza or a bag odf chips. In the “fun” playing field, healthy food can’t compete against junk food. And 2) that the “experts” say that people have the same capacity for responsible behavior as a whimsical and spoiled child, choosing short-term pleasure rather than long-term health. May be those experts are like that. What is priority number one is that those “experts” stop lying and start telling people what really a healthy diet is so they can choose.
Processed food is not only intrinsically unhealthy, but it is designed to cause maximum pleasure and maximum addiction. Some doctors from the low-carb/paleo sphere, as Dr. Briffa, believe it is positive “that we should enjoy food, but not too much” (see), because precisely the artificial appeal of processed foods is a major cause of obesity.
The paradox here is that those who accuse us obese (or former obese in my case) of not having self-control when eating, attack low carb diets saying we’re going to get bored of the food … and I would say that, according to their own positions, shouldn’t that be Goal #1 of a diet for losing weight? I don’t agree that Calories In Calories Out causes obesity, nor that obese people lack self-control: what I mean is that those who say so (and is not my case) contradict themselves when they criticize my diet for being repetitive, because repetitive diets lead to eating less food (see), so supposedly they should see that as a positive quality.
What about variety? Is it not desirable to eat varied?
No. It is desirable to get from food all the nutrients we need to be healthy. If variety helps in that regard, it is positive. If variety means eating worse, then it is negative. If such variety means eating consuming processed foods or grains instead of eggs and meat, variety is negative. If you want variety, choose different types of fish, different types of fresh vegetables, different kinds of meats, use spices or play with combinations of the mentioned foods, but always eating real food. And if that is boring, I’ll be bored.
Do not make the mistake I committed a few months ago, when I was only watching the carb content of foods. Processed foods are bad for your health, independently of having many or few carbs. Forget about low-carb cookies or biscuits. If man has invented that food, if it only exists when the “machines” create it, leave it in the supermarket shelf.
So, can I make no exceptions? You can do whatever you want, by all means. But in my opinion “you must eat a varied diet” or “you should enjoy the food” are fallacies that can not be used as an excuse to make those exceptions. But making those exceptions is up to you. To make that decision it is important to know what is healthy and what is an exception. Maybe someday the “experts” will stop lying and they will tell us the truth about what their grain-based diet has done to our health.
In short, I agree, without hindering, that my current diet is more boring than the diet that made me obese. That’s a problem!