By Shane Allen
CPT, WMS, CSN
Today is October 21, 2015—that magical day we’ve all been waiting for when Christopher Lloyd takes Michael J. Fox“Back to the Future” (part 2.)
There’s just one problem. Look around. There are no flying cars, no auto-lacing sneakers and no hover boards that actually hover. It seems we’ve been slacking on the creation of cool things for our self-prophesized future. Even our high-tech I-Phones are susceptible to being rendered unusable by one fall from a multitasking hand.
Unfortunately, too, thoughts about dieting and weight loss haven’t changed much since the 1980’s.
There is slightly good news: thanks to companies like Personal Trainer Food™, folks are very slowly changing the way they think about those “low fat” foods that became popular in the 80’s after our government thought that fat was bad. Turns out, science continues to tell us that fat isn’t the heavy culprit we once thought it was.
You hear me say it all the time on TV and radio appearances: Fat doesn’t metabolize into fat on your body when you eat it. That’s simply not how our bodies work.
Let’s take a closer look at just a few ways we thought about weight loss in the 1980’s, compared with now:
I’ll state this plain and simple: “Low fat” on a label generally means high carbs and high sugar—the main culprits for weight gain.
Jane Fonda began the aerobics craze of the early 80’s. This was followed very quickly by the still active “Jazzercise” classes. Richard Simmons would join in the fray later in the 80’s as people sweated to the oldies.
While exercise is important, today we know that you cannot outrun (or out jazzercise) a bad diet. The food you eat is the most important part of your weight loss or weight management plan.
Focus on eating meats, vegetables, eggs, cheeses and nuts while reducing or avoiding starchy carbs, sugars and alcohol.
Weight Loss Centers
As a child, I remember my mother Janice driving my brother and me to a weight loss center every week. We sat bored as we watched a room full of unhappy women weigh in and discuss their progress, or (mostly) lack thereof.
My mom never met her goal weight by going to a weight loss center. Most other people don’t either.
It wasn’t until Janice realized she had an addiction to bread that she really took control of her weight.
While losing weight with a group of people can give you positive results, most weight loss centers focus on the archaic “science” of calorie counting. Calories in vs. calories out is a myth. And it’s unnecessary math during the day.
The concept hasn’t died, however. I recently got into a conversation with a newspaper journalist who berated me for even suggesting he consider my expert weight loss advice of dropping his food scale and daily calorie counting. He too was going to a weight loss center and seeing no results. Unfortunately, he didn’t take me up on my offer to help him. He still checks in every week via social media to the same, sad weight loss center. And he still looks exactly the same.
Just like I said before: focus on eating meats, vegetables, eggs, cheeses and nuts while reducing or avoiding starchy carbs, sugars and alcohol. I promise you will lose weight—we’ve seen it time, and time again. And by focusing on what you’re eating, you’re not worrying about how much you’re eating– which means no calorie counting!
Need a weight loss buddy, or have questions? Our 1-on-1 Weight Loss Coaches are here for you every week at 1-800-273-1686. They’re real, live people with their own stories of weight loss. They’ve helped thousands of Americans lose weight and keep it off.
What Did I Miss?
I know I’ve left out some crazy 80’s diet fads, like the one where Elizabeth Taylor told everyone to eat vegetables and dip at 3pm every day to lose weight. Vegetables, yes. Dip? Maybe. Eating them at 3pm for the specific goal of weight loss? Poppycock.
What ones do you remember? Post them in the comments section below and I’ll tell you how and if the science has changed.
Happy Back to the Future Day!
About the Writer
Shane Allen is a certified weight loss specialist, personal trainer and sports nutritionist. He joined Personal Trainer Food™ after 12 years in television news where he worked both on air and behind the scenes in news management. Shane is an EMMY®, Edward R. Murrow, National Society of Professional Journalists and Texas Associated Press Broadcasters award-winner.