There’s a commercial on TV that I hate for a weight-loss drug.
Click on this quick :06 clip to see why....
Not much offends me and I don’t usually get on any kind of feminist soap box, but this one just puts me over the edge. It’s a bunch of women sadly huddled together, each bent over like meek, spineless followers. I don’t have an issue with the drug per se, nor weight loss drugs in general (they’ve actually helped some people I know) and I honestly don’t know anything about this particular one. What I do know is I hate their ad. I think it is demeaning to women and people in general. I think it shows women in particular as feeble and meek, prisoners of their cravings as they each one-by-one pop up to announce their weakness for “pizza” and “french fries” with a look of longing only a famine victim should know.
Here’s the deal: people like pizza and french fries because they taste good. If you agree, you should own it. Stop feeling bad for thinking they are good. Nor do ice cream or french fries inherently cause weight problems (if you've read any of my other blogs, you'll know it's the excessive consumption of ANY food that causes weight issues, not one food alone).
I’ll tell you what - I think ice cream is freaking delicious. I have zero qualms about telling that to myself and even my clients. Why? It’s the truth. I don’t walk around and act like I have superior will power or more advanced tastebuds because I dine on chicken and broccoli all the time. I have, at best, average will power, pretty regular tastebuds (in fact, excessively fancy food does nothing for me), and I definitely don’t live off a diet of chicken and broccoli (nor do I have some super charged metabolism if that is your next question). I do, however, acknowledge and own that I think food tastes good, including the stuff I’m not “supposed” to think tastes good and I regularly include those foods in my diet.
I truly believe one of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to manage their weight is to pretend like they are only supposed to like eating bland “healthy” stuff like boiled chicken, plain broccoli, and no more than 22 almonds per day (or insert whatever else you have been told or consider to be “healthy”). This is nonsense. When you tell yourself these lies, you are not being true to yourself. And when you stop being true to yourself, you cannot possibly commit yourself to long-term, sustainable change.
If you like something, just be real. Be loud, be proud. Say, I like ice cream! Nothing bad will happen. In fact, you might realize that when you incorporate stuff you like in mindful portions as part of a reduced-calorie diet, you actually get better results. Why? It’s super simple. You’re not depriving yourself. And it’s something you can stick with for the long-haul. (Interestingly, published studies have actually found this to be true .) Check out this recent blog I wrote for more on this subject.
So I’ll keep this one short and sweet, stop denying to yourself what it is you really like. Be honest and learn how to create sustainable long-term changes by learning how to sensibly incorporate foods you like. I guarantee you will experience better results, and you’ll be a heck of a lot happier in the process.
In good health (with a scoop of ice cream on top!),
1. Piehowski, K. E., Preston, A. G., Miller, D. L., & Nickols-Richardson, S. M. (2011). A reduced-calorie dietary pattern including a daily sweet snack promotes body weight reduction and body composition improvements in premenopausal women who are overweight and obese: A pilot study. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 111, 1198-1203.