People struggling with excess weight have never had it so tough: the triggers and temptations to eat are ceaseless and powerful. You could even say that the atmosphere we live in is toxic for someone struggling to lose weight.
Fast food is not just easily available, in many situations such as travel, it is the only available option. Multinational fast food chains make snacking as easy as a phone call. Home deliveries, drive-through restaurants, food courts, vending machines and king-sized servings have made it easier than ever before to eat more, and eat badly.
Foods are widely advertised, specially to children, and associated through subliminal messaging with celebrations. Cultural cues that are pro-unhealthy/processed foods are quickly picked up by the advertising industry and packaged in extremely appealing ways. Think of the chocolate, cola or crisp ads you see around you.
Every culture has healthy habits built in, too. But ever heard of an ad that makes eating salads compellingly appealing?
While the ill-effects of tobacco and excessive intake of alcohol are well known, similar side-effects of having a consistent diet of hidden sugars, saturated fats and highly processed foods, are hardly ever spoken about.
What all this means for you is that in order to develop resistance towards this toxic environment, you must develop an attitude of saying no.
This means changes in the habits that keep you tied to greater processed food consumptions.
- Prepare a meal plan in advance and shop for a week at a time
- Build in cooking — or supervising your cook — as part of your daily schedule. By not outsourcing what goes into your system, you are being part of the solution and taking charge of your calories
- Find better ways to celebrate — or deal with the triggers that compel you to eat over and above what your calorie limit allows
- Read food labels to avoid all those hidden calories