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Old 05-20-2010, 01:10 PM   #1  
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This is my latest pet peeve.

When people comment on how something doesn't work (aka prepackaged healthy meals) because you won't "learn how to eat healthily". I find this is a really patronizing thing to say. Like we're fat because we're too stupid to know that eating 10 hamburgers a day is bad for us. It's not an issue of "not knowing what to eat" for most of us, but rather an issue of self-control. I know that my comfort eating stems from my low self-esteem and depression, and not from my ignorance.

Sorry.

/end rant.
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Old 05-20-2010, 01:18 PM   #2  
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...having said that, and I am not disagreeing with what you said, you're generalizing the same thing that you do not like being generalized.

many people have NO clue how many calories they eat every day and on self-reporting they severely underestimate how much they eat.

so learning what to eat and how to eat it is VERY important for a big chunk of the obese population.

if it doesn't apply to you it's fair enough.
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Old 05-20-2010, 01:21 PM   #3  
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I love this! Thank you for speaking up. It's so true, I have seen that a lot in several different weight loss/fitness/ lifestyle change sites. Like somehow getting help with loss from a source other than pure diet and exercise will fail. Well, the reality is, 95% of people who lose weight will gain it back, regardless of method chosen, so "learning how to eat" isn't any more of a guarantee than shakes or meals.
We all have to figure out why we got to this point and start from there and decide to make the change in ourselves. What we do next is not up for the patronage of others. Just support that we are making the changes.
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Old 05-20-2010, 01:37 PM   #4  
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Originally Posted by PinkFlamingo View Post
It's not an issue of "not knowing what to eat" for most of us, but rather an issue of self-control. I know that my comfort eating stems from my low self-esteem and depression, and not from my ignorance.

(I'm not picking on you, it's just funny that my perspective is so different).

I get a bit peevish when people say that obesity is usually due to comfort eating stemming from low-self esteem and depression.

I spent years looking for the psychological reasons for my obesity, and learning to eat healthy.

I've studied the psychology of weight loss and weight loss nutrition. Neither ignorance, nor psychological issues explain my weight issues very well.

For me, I had to understand the physiology of insulin resistance and low-carb eating.


I think the truth is that weight issues have very complex and multiple contributing factors. It's rarely just one thing, but it can be a combination of many factors (and which are the "most" important can vary a lot from person to person).

The contributing factors are varied

ignorance of healthy eating (or healthy for the individual, eating)
financial barriers
stress
physiological disorders, such as sleep deprivation issues
social pressure and food traditions
genetic factors
previous dieting history (yoyo dieting can contribute to the physiolocican and psychological effects of dieting)
body chemistry/health issues
mental health issues (mild to severe)
environmental factors (both in terms of prior environmental and current environmental conditions).
behavioral conditioning



And probably dozens more. Every person's factors are unique (and may not even be entirely diagnoseable) It's as wrong to make a judgement about the existence and importance of self-esteem and other psychological factors as to make assumptions about the knowledge or ignorance of nutrition/healthy eating.

We all tend to judge by our own experiences, and interpretations though. People give advice based on their own experiences. If you had food ignorance issues, you'll likely assume it's a common problem. If you had emotional food issues, you'll assume the same. Is either position "right?"

Both (and other theories too) can be true. It's the assumptions though that tend to rub folks the wrong way, when it's not been their experience.

Last edited by kaplods; 05-20-2010 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 05-20-2010, 01:41 PM   #5  
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Do you think fat people really don't 'know' that eating cake is fattening? You would have to be pretty unintelligent for that.
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Old 05-20-2010, 01:42 PM   #6  
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The portion control concept goes hand in hand with "just eat less". The idea is over-simplified to the point where it is erroneous.

I agree with Lisa that it's not what your eating, it's what's eating you. I need to work on the things that trigger eating binges. For me, it's anger turned inward. My anger is directly tied to feeling out of control of a situation.

Other people eat when stressed. In this economy, finances has got many of us reaching for comfort food. Family is another stress. Some people are caring for small kids and their geriatric parents/grandparents at the same time. The lack of personal time is a big stressor, i.e. forgetting to care for yourself while you try to meet everyone else's needs.

Here's to battling whatever eating us from the inside!
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Old 05-20-2010, 01:52 PM   #7  
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Do you think fat people really don't 'know' that eating cake is fattening? You would have to be pretty unintelligent for that.
first of all. it's not fair for you to judge anyone's intelligence.

second. they might know that they have been told that cake is fattening. but they might not know to what extent. they might not know how sugar spikes will make them eat more later. they might not know that a "small" piece that is made mostly with butter and cream and and and... can really pack a huge amount of calories.

i saw a packet of "healthy eating" yoghurt covered banana chips the other day. first ingredient? sugar.

people get really mixed messages these days.
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Old 05-20-2010, 02:10 PM   #8  
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Do you think fat people really don't 'know' that eating cake is fattening? You would have to be pretty unintelligent for that.
Do you really think all fat people eat cake?

I didn't gain the majority of my weight from a preferance for fast food, junk food, cake and other sweets. I avoided all of that most of my life. I've had "reagular" full calorie soda only a dozen times or so in my entire lifetime (all 44 years), and even then it was usually sips or two from someone else's soda, or as a result of a waitress bringing me the wrong soda, and my deciding to drink it anyway.

Even as a child, I didn't get very excited about fast food (although I've always been a foodie, interested in food and cooking).

I don't even like chocolate (most of the month).

I hit puberty at 9 or 10, and have had hormonal monthly cravings for high fat/carb/protein foods such as chocolate and beef one week every month ever since, both otherwise neither hamburgers or chocolate appeal to me.

Even in high school, when I could buy whatever lunch I wanted (since I worked and had my own money), "splurging" meant having a bowl of chicken noodle soup (eating around most of the noodles). When I had a boyfriend (most of high school), I learned to eat essentially only on Friday and/or Saturday nights. My calorie limit during the week was 400 calories or less a day Monday through Thursday, so that I could eat on date nights.

Even then I knew it wasn't the healthiest strategy, but it was how "everyone" around me behaved. I certainly didn't know how unhealthy (and how the habits contributed to weight GAIN) the habits were - how bad could they be, if everyone even the skinny girls did it all the time?

I spent years losing no weight on "health food," proving that you can be fat on any kind of diet, if you're eating more than you need. Or eating foods that trigger overeating.

I can overeat brown rice and quinoa, just as easily as french fries (easier, because I don't eat many french fries and never have).

I've been asked over and over again by people "how can you not lose weight eating so healthy," and I answered "because eating too much, is eating too much, no matter what you're eating."

Last edited by kaplods; 05-20-2010 at 06:13 PM.
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Old 05-20-2010, 02:11 PM   #9  
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I totally understand where the OP is coming from. Anyone who tells someone what will work and what won't work is treading on dangerous ground when it comes to personal decision making.

That being said, this journey for me has honestly been about "learning how to eat." My parents actually forced me (yes forced) one summer me to go on an all liquid diet that they paid for. They were at my wits end and flabberghasted at how big I got (no one in my extended or immediate family is obese). It was a very expensive program filled with disgusting liquids all day.

Losing weight for me growing up meant depriving myself. It meant starvation. It meant banning all foods I like. It was such a negative connotation. Only super skinny people exercised (at least thats who I saw at the gym and I was intimidated to go).

So I also understand where grrrkgrrrl is coming from when saying it's important to learn how to eat. I had no clue how much I was eating before. I blamed it on slow metabolism, genes, stress, being a woman, time, money, other priorities... every extraneous excuse in the book. I had to be honest with myself and realize I was binging, I was overeating, I was in denial.

Since then because of this forum and reading so much on the subject, I've needed to learn what's right for me, what works and what doesn't. I'm still learning and I love reading about the subject.

Great topic
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Old 05-20-2010, 07:55 PM   #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PinkFlamingo View Post
This is my latest pet peeve.

When people comment on how something doesn't work (aka prepackaged healthy meals) because you won't "learn how to eat healthily". I find this is a really patronizing thing to say. Like we're fat because we're too stupid to know that eating 10 hamburgers a day is bad for us. It's not an issue of "not knowing what to eat" for most of us, but rather an issue of self-control. I know that my comfort eating stems from my low self-esteem and depression, and not from my ignorance.

Sorry.

/end rant.
LOL! I totally hear ya! There may be a small % of the overweight population that truly don't know much about basic nutrition... but I'd be willing to wager that the majority of the obese pop got fat for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with ignorance.

Maybe it's semantics, but "establishing new habits" is a better way to phrase it than "learning how to eat".

Great rant!
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Old 05-21-2010, 09:50 AM   #11  
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It comes down to not WHAT but WHY.

And, actually, I would think the prepackaged meals would be a huge help because you know the nutritional info up front and it is portion controlled.

And, knowing and doing are two totally different things!!!
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Old 05-21-2010, 07:54 PM   #12  
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I've come to the point of considering the "healthy prepackaged meals" something that can be useful in moderation...

That said I seriously want to point out that using them as a means of portion control is not always accurate even if they are healthier choices for some. Some of the portions they serve are way beyond what an actual serving is...

It is just like the whole debate on what size is a portion when referring to muffins... (Going to use muffins on this example but can be applied to anything) I can go to a store and see 5 sizes... I know that one of the ones that looks like a grapefruit is not a serving or portion size. I know that the one with the over flowing muffin top is probably not a serving size... what is hard to wrap my head around is that the ones i might consider a proper size of muffin are probably still 1 1/2 servings or portion sizes. Just because it is a fat-free, whole grain, healthy muffin would that be appropriate for me to eat? Probably not. Only a personal perspective here but my better choice would be to eat a mid-sized apple and a 1 oz piece of cheese only because in that case I am eating the same amount of food, and hitting two types of food instead of one.

As for actual pre-packaged meals I'll use Lean Cuisine... Last time I looked at one (please note I haven't opened one in 4+ years) would have been 2 servings of grain, and one serving of veggies. Again... Not a way I have made the choice to eat. Fine for those who do but to do so 3 times a day means 6 servings of grain and 3 servings of veggies and for me I would rather have it in reverse.

My other large concern is at what point could one consider eating something else... Really the weight gain many experience after stopping a pre-packaged meal plan is when they go back to eating standard food and eat the same way that got them where they were in the first place. I think from a personal perspective that would be setting someone up to fail, or be forced to always eat that way and only that way.

It is all very personal... And I know some people do better on those pre-packaged meals (including the ones with complete meal & snack plans) but from my own perspective most do not have enough fresh or even frozen veggies for me, and far too high in the amount of grains they use. I'll take 6-8 cups of veggies over 3-4 cups of rice/pasta, etc. both equate to 6-8 servings of a food type. Just like some days I will choose a cup of milk over a half a cup of yogurt - both a serving of dairy. Everything should be in moderation... Too much of anything can cause issues. Healthy or not.

And since cake was mentioned earlier:

Yep... I know that eating it will be off plan. I know it is fattening and normally I would not even look at it twice but that said I'm going to eat some and enjoy it this weekend. Why? 1. Because I can. 2. Because sometimes you just need to have cake darn it.

Do I mean I am going to have a 1 foot by 2-3 inch by 7 inch slice of chocolate sky scraper cake? No. But Ia m not going to thumb my nose at a rationally cut slice of black forest cake and heck I might even have 2 slices; However, I sure as heck won't have it again the following day. Any left overs will be devoured by my friends and family as it should be.
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Old 05-21-2010, 08:11 PM   #13  
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The bottom line is that no one (wherever he/she is on the thinness/fatness continuuum) should presume to know what is "wrong" with any one else. I've been getting educated on how to eat (most of it pretty good info) since I was 7. For me, that's not the problem. But I recognize that for others, it might be.

My response to anyone who tells me I need to learn how to eat is that, actually, I have a pretty good idea of how to eat and would be happy to outline what I know if they like. For me, I need to learn how NOT to eat. That's my project. If they want to know more, fine, but otherwise, at that point, they'd better stop telling me what's wrong with me.
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