An Excuse For Excess

There is a certain reality that few of us want to admit, but it can be the driving force behind our approach to weight loss. Considering my own behavior over the last 30 years I will be the first to admit that I do like an approach that gives me an excuse something in excess.

My first diet was in 1984, 800 calories a day for 3 months, It worked (duh) but I would never do it again. Obviously, it was pretty extreme and not fun but I’m not opposed to doing the extreme but I do have a real problem with not having any wiggle room, not having an excuse for indulgence or excess.

Let’s go back over the decades and peel away the layers of the most popular diets to see what was really going on.

First, it was “Fat-Free” and that gave us an excuse to eat an excess of anything that contained no fat.

Then  came “Sugar Free” a great excuse to guzzle a gallon of  sugar free frozen yogurt or stock up on waffles or  puddings, or anything that had the all-important SF label on it

As a bodybuilder the goal was to build muscle and that takes a lot of protein. In my mind protein became the guilt-free food, I could consume as much as I wanted and I would kid myself that I was still nutritionally on track.  Low Carb/ No Carb took us the same route as we became meticulous with our carb grams but turned a blind eye to our overall intake.

So now we have Keto. We have known about Ketosis for over 30 years but our deep-rooted fear of fat stopped a lot of us. Once free of that concern Keto gave us the green light to gorge on fat.

Not exactly true because none of these approaches every said that excess was good, but each of these approaches gave us a mental “out”, an excuse to feel ok about our gluttony.

And now we have fasting or as the buzz would call it, IF.  People love Intermittent Fasting because it really does work but also because it plays into our greatest desire, to eat without guilt during our “feeding window”

Cheat Dasy, Refeeds,  Leptin Reset – whatever you want to call it, we love it all because they remove the shackles of restriction and yet restriction is the cornerstone of every successful weight loss diet – and it’s that uncomfortable truth we all know.

The majority of us (with the exception of some men) like to eat, we also want to be in terrific shape with low body fat and here lies a dilemma.  Diets over the years have focused on the restriction of one component. Fat, sugar, carbs, net carbs, protein but none of them ever implied that we could eat an unlimited amount of everything else. We came to that conclusion ourselves.

I eat very few carbs, logically is makes sense to me and is very easy for me to do, but does that warrant my polishing off a jar of almond butter in just two days?  I can justify it by my lack of carbohydrates no problem but the come to Jesus moment a lot of us have to face is we eat too much and definitely more than we need.



In my competitive years, I needed to grow, so I had to eat a lot – NOT

In my competitive years I trained so hard that it excused my appetite – NOT

I worked so hard, I deserved a reward (love that one) – NOT

Vegetables are free calories – really 5lb ? – NOT

Doing 10 hours of cardio allows me to eat whatever I want – this was never my shtick but its still a NO

Eating sugar-free pudding with sugar-free whipping cream was ok  circa 1992- NOT

I did a two day fast, I can drink wine for the rest of the week circa 2018 – NOT

A jar of almond butter is ok because I burn ‘fat’ for fuel – OY NOT

Successful weight loss comes with the uncomfortable reality of having to create an energy deficit.

Whether you’re doing Keto, paleo, IF or 15 spin classes a week, nothing excuses you from the personal responsibility of controlling your portions and eating less than you probably want to.




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