Yet you need only glance at the confectionery aisle for the pounds to pile on?
Confusing, isn’t it?!
Well, dear reader, that exact situation featured recently on the BBC show The Truth About Food.
It featured best friends Jo and Becky. They shared similar eating and exercise habits, and were of similar age.
However, Jo was 10kgs heavier than her happy weight, while Becky was 10kgs lighter than hers.
The friends were desperate to learn the cause of the weight disparity, since Jo, “hardly eats anything”, and Becky “eats whatever she wants – chocolate, crisps and biscuits – and, doesn’t put on an ounce.”
What does account for the weight difference?
As part of the experiment, the women drink something called doubly-labelled water.
It’s very clever stuff.
Long story short, it allows the researchers to spy on the girls and track every single calorie they eat – by testing their pee.
It meant that no matter what the women said they were eating, the clever double-labelled water revealed the truth – what was really passing their lips.
It’s in the water…
The tests revealed that Jo – remember, she’s the one who “hardly eats anything” and is 10kgs overweight – was eating 50% more per day than her slimmer friend.
Her face said it all.
You could have pushed her over with a feather, such was her conviction that she ate less than her friend.
Just so we’re clear here.
Jo wasn’t intentionally telling porkpies in her food diary.
She’d simply gotten caught in the tremendously insidious trap of D.E.N.I.A.L.
What is denial?
The dictionary defines it:
‘a defence mechanism in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence.’
We all use denial from time to time.
It can be lifesaving.
For example, if your reality is grim, and the only way to survive is by blocking it out (say, you’re a prisoner of war), then denial’s a good thing.
For weight loss though – denial’s terrible.
It’s probably the no. # 1 reason for failure of people who claim they want to lose weight, but don’t.
If you’re in denial, you’re fibbing to yourself. You’re hiding the truth.
Harsh, I know.
But I’d be doing you a disservice if I sugar-coated.
When you fib to yourself about what you eat you’re being an ostrich. You can bury your head in the sand all day long, but you cannot hide from the truth.
The liberating truth is this: if you’re overweight, then you’re eating more than your body is using.
End of story.
I’ll admit it can feel real scary to ditch the shield of denial… especially if you’ve been sheltering behind it for years.
But until you ‘fess up’ to yourself about your eating, and get real and honest, you’re not going to lose the weight.
Tips for ditching the denial so you can ditch the weight
In general I’m not a calorie counter or food logger. I’m more a listen to your tummy kinda gal.
However, it can be pretty darn illuminating to track everything you eat for a week. If you’re real serious about losing weight, go for a month.
If you’re 100% honest, you’ll see that there is a direct and clear correlation between your weight and your incoming calories.
It’s simple maths.
Clearly you’ve got to be scrupulously honest and record every bite – NOT just the “good” days.
…a glass of wine is NOT the entire bottle.
…food from your children’s plates DO contain calories.
…a biscuit is ONE biscuit, not the whole packet.
You get the idea.
I know I’m banging on about this…it’s because I personally know how cunning our minds can be in keeping stuff from ourselves!
And, it’s only through taking an honest look at what you eat that you can see what needs to change.
So dear readers, are you ready to get honest with yourself and what you eat? Or do I need to pay you a visit with my double-labelled water and pull your head out of the sand?!
Un-deniable love etc, Avril