Thursday, 10 September 2009

Thanks Truman Capote!

h/t to Truman Capote.

Weight loss is not the same as weight loss dieting.

No way, they're the same, aren't they?

Nope. Weight loss dieting is a form of weight loss deduced from the theory that if you reduce the amount of energy you take in-in the form of food- and or expend through physical activity. Your body will revert to your fat stores, to make good that loss of energy and you will be able to lose any amount of weight that you want.

Sounds like a reasonable theory.

It is, on paper.

So what's the problem?

When you put all this into effect your body fights it like fury.

What do you mean by it, exactly?

Everything, all of it the reduction in your calorie intake, the increase in your calorie expenditure and the conversion of fat stores into energy.

Damn, so what does this mean?

It means that your weight tends to end up returning to more or less where it started.

Wait, that separation of weight loss and dieting feels weird they are the same, right?

No, this conflation is deliberate on the part of the weight loss diet industry so we don't compare weight loss dieting, with the body's ability to lose weight without any discomfort;

Oh them again, why?

Our bodies lose weight everyday as part of converting food into energy, it causes us no pain or discomfort whatsoever, we don't even notice. The constant comparison was thought to be dispiriting enough to undermine your resolve, to diet.

It would.

Truly. Enough of us colluded in this and we all forgot it was a conceit.Our bodies can lose weight as a side effect of other behaviour, as a result of a change of circumstance.

For instance?

Moving house, jobs, leaving home, falling in/out of love, change in class/economic status, fulfillment of a long term goal etc. No particular pattern, sometimes its a traumatic event.

So we can lose weight as a consequence of something else or by dieting, sometimes, but cannot become thin or stay thin long term?

Pretty much, though we are asked to be slim not just to lose weight. There's nothing to say we can't deliberately induce weight loss, in fact I've never doubted that we can.

Whoah! How can you say that?

If you can see people in a building you know you can get there. If you choose a route and you find it doesn't go there or the way is blocked, that doesn't mean you cannot get in it means you cannot get in that way.

So you're saying, we cannot get to thinness via weight loss dieting?

On the whole, we cannot get to permanent thinness through weight loss dieting.

So, what's the difference between a weight loss diet and a diet anyway?

Your diet is what you eat. A weight loss diet is a plan to make that calorie controlled.

So why is the latter called a diet?

Because weight loss dieting has become popular, it has been shortened to diet. People speak of "being on a diet". It is also what you eat too, so it meets the original definition of a diet being what you eat.

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