The one secret no one wants to tell you about fat loss

It sucks.

Don’t get me wrong, being less fat is awesome. People treat you different. They respect your opinions more. They listen closer when you speak. They act like you’re smarter and higher status than you were before.

Also, not being out of breath when doing minor things like walking or breathing? That’s pretty awesome too. Not being as worried about dropping dead from a heart attack while in your 20’s? Also awesome.

So, being less fat is all around pretty awesome, and I can’t think of any serious negatives about it, unless perhaps your significant other is specifically attracted to hefty people. Though that could just be a self esteem issue and they think they can’t do any better. They will probably love the less fat you just as much or more than they love the fat you.

But. Getting less fat is uncomfortable at best, and downright hellish at worst. No matter how you do it, you have to change habits you have had for probably your whole life. And that’s not the easiest thing in the world, no matter what anyone tells you.

Eating less calories than you used to, and less than you burn on a day to day basis is mandatory to lose fat. That’s just the way the whole process works, no matter what any random guru online tells you. Calories matter. And you know what has lots of calories? Pretty much anything delicious that those of us with extra weight are used to eating ALL of. ALL the cake? Calories, lots of them. ALL the cookies? Ditto. And don’t even get me started on chocolate, heavy cream sauces, pasta, and burger combos with french fries and milkshakes.

Those things are all delicious, and if you do it right, you can fit them into a reasonably designed and flexible meal plan. But you can’t have them ALL the time. And you can’t gorge like you may have been used to doing.

I’d like to note here that I’m not judging you for this. (Just this once.) I’ve been known to put away a whole reeses’s peanut butter cup cheesecake on occasion. Not recently, but it definitely happened in the past more than once. Now I try to keep to one slice at most. If I can.

Depriving yourself of things that you want, and changing habits, and not allowing yourself to eat delicious things as a way of dealing with stress1? That sucks.

But it’s worth it. Being healthier, getting treated with more respect, not having people judge you for being the fat person in the room? It is worth it.

And if you do it right, it isn’t really as hard as you’d think. Get it mostly right most of the time, allow yourself to make mistakes without feeling like a failure, plan occasional times when you can just say fuck it and eat what you feel like, and the whole thing gets a lot easier.

But it’s still not going to be the easiest thing you’ve ever done. If anyone tells you differently, they are lying to you.

If you’re smart about it, it will suck a lot less than it otherwise could.

And it is absolutely worth it. The short term discomfort is worth the long term awesome. Go be awesome.

  1. Oliver, Georgina, Jane Wardle, and E. Leigh Gibson. “Stress and food choice: a laboratory study.” Psychosomatic medicine 62.6 (2000): 853-865.

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