Thursday, February 13, 2014

Why it's Hard to Lose Weight

I just watched this TED talk, and was interested in your response to it.

I really like what she says about "mindful eating," but do you think she's right about our bodies having a set weight we're inclined to remain at?

What does it mean for you?

Has this been your experience?


  1. Ariel, this was very interesting. I think I both agreed with her, but also felt like her message was a tad simplistic. Weight lose is something I've thought about a lot in my life, I had an eating disorder before my mission. I can attest to the idea that in the end I did weigh quite a bit more than I did before I started worrying about it. I also identify with the idea that family members teasing each other influences a persons self image. I was a very healthy eater throughout my childhood and teen years, and I was always quite thin. I had some siblings who would tease me about how much I could eat, and that always floated around in my mind.

    Where I find her message a bit simplistic is that she neglects to address the idea that certain food additives are very addicting -- and they are often added to foods that are touted as healthy. I don't believe that many people can resist these addictive agents, because their chemistry makes them sensitive to them. I suppose it is perhaps for the same reason some people are automatically addicted to heroine, and others are not.

    Also, many people in our day are afraid of eating fat, when we register satiation based on fat. We will register full on less if we are taking in adequate amounts of fat. Our bodies also need fat for critical processes, and if we are not taking in enough fat, we often will crave carbs as our body can convert carbohydrates into the saturated fats necessary for those processes. I am by no means saying we should avoid carbs, but we need mindful eating to find the balance that works best for our bodies. I need grains to feel healthy. But I also have to prepare them mindfully for my body to be able to utilize them well.

    Another factor that plays a big role in this is the medicalization of our society. All medications have side effects, and weight gain is one of them. There was a time I was on a medication to help with some blood sugar issues. This medication changed my body chemistry so drastically I gained 30 lbs in three months, and felt like, well literally was addicted to sugar. I couldn't do my homework in the library because I would end up spending embarrassingly large amounts of money on food at the vending machine. And sometimes it wasn't even that I enjoyed the taste of the food, it was this compulsion to eat something that was in the food. Once I was off the medication the compulsion vanished, and I lost the weight. It was an enlightening experience.

    So I love the ideas she is spreading about mindful eating, and the dramatic affect it can have on the up coming generation. I also think that that includes looking at all factors, though. Because without looking at all of these things, mindfulness still won't work for many people.

    1. I didn't mean that weight gain is a side effect of all medications, but that it is a side effect to some. I need an editor.

    2. Thanks for your response. I, too, agreed with a lot of it, but found it too simplistic. Lifestyle changes certainly can have a big effect on our weight, and for the long-term, if the new lifestyle is maintained. In high school, I weighed on average ten pounds more than I do now. I did more exercising then, but ate worse. I haven't had any problem keeping the weight off (and haven't for 10 yrs plus), simply because I don't eat the same way.

  2. Same here, Ariel. I probably weighed ten pounds more than I have since becoming a mindful eater. I think the "set weight" theory is probably true for me (I am quite sure I could never weigh as little as 120).

    I just crafted a rather lengthy response to this talk, but I think I will post it as a new post instead of as a comment. Thanks for getting the wheels turning!