Eat less. Move more.

20 Mar

Despite the amount of money, media coverage and celebrity campaigns being chucked at the problem, we are still on an inescapable decline into becoming a nation of fatsos.  Over 60 percent of UK adults and over 30 percent of our kids are overweight and it is costing the NHS 4 billion pounds a year, set to rise to 6.3 billion by 2015 – according to our current government.  Fat is a growing problem. Fact.  The most obvious solution to tackle obesity is a combination of eating less and moving more but this ever so simple and blindingly obvious common sense FACT has been completely obfuscated (The Grit Doctor says: Yes, occasionally I am fond of a big word) by the minefield that now characterises our diet and exercise industries.  We have ‘over-scienced’ ourselves into helping perpetuate the very problem we are trying to solve – so confused and overwhelmed have we become by the latest dieting fad or fancy new exercise class which promises to be the holy grail.  Only the solution we are being sold involves buying all sorts of new foods and eating them in strange combinations or paying money to join a class, having to get somewhere else and learn the moves…and the sad truth is, faced with such hurdles and complications and commitments, our only reasonable response is to curl up on the sofa, open up a large packet of crisps and switch on the ‘Biggest Loser’, taking comfort in the knowledge that we aren’t that fat. Yet.

What we put into our mouths must be burnt off by our body’s daily activities or weight gain will result.  All we really need to do then is get up and start moving,  ditch the fizzy drinks and the takeaways, take a brisk walk for 30 minutes every day and once this becomes a habit, we will be half way there.  It really is that simple.  We owe it to our children because the only way we really influence others, especially our children – who see through our bullshit better than anyone – is through the example we set in eating well and exercising regularly ourselves.

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10 Responses to “Eat less. Move more.”

  1. Shonagh Woods (@shonaghwoods) March 20, 2012 at 10:07 pm #

    As always, brilliantly insightful and straight to the point! Love it. You are so right – it really doesn’t have to be that complicated. And especially the bit about setting a good example to our kids – it’s not rocket science, and it’s up to us to stop the rot setting in.

  2. TheUrbanMum March 21, 2012 at 4:06 am #

    Oh I do love that word – obfuscated – I confess I had to look it up – but then did a few star jumps for joy at all the places in my writing I might insert it.

    Great post – such a simple equation – what gets shovelled in has to go somewhere. Food is fuel. It needs to be burnt up. No amount of analysis or special potions change that.

    Yet we all look for the Holy Grail of health, slenderness, youth. As if somehow the answer lies anywhere except within ourselves…x

  3. KateT March 21, 2012 at 8:09 am #

    Well said!!
    I am having a bad running week- seem to have a virus and no energy. Looking forward to feeling better and getting back to the running, having lost 8lbs in a month by running 3x per week, drinking more water and eating less crap. It works!!!!

  4. Kat Dawes (@surfergrl) March 21, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

    Did you see Horizon prog about fat and obesity? Be interested in your response to that! I do hope people won’t take that kind of prog as an excuse to slob out…but there are those who will I’m sure. ‘It’s in my genes!’

    Well done KateT…lucky you it’s taken me three flippin months to lose that but at least it has gone!!

  5. Karen A March 21, 2012 at 4:43 pm #

    I totally agree that it is apparently simple but there is still the appeal of the quick fix and while the diet industry keeps pushing the “next big thing” people will always fall for it. Incidentally, part of my motivation for starting running was watching programmes such as The Biggest Loser because one of the first things they always get them doing is running!! I had to admit that if a 20+ stone person can start running then I’m sure I can do it!! Am 3 months in now and ran 7.5 miles in just over an hour last week. No major weight loss but I’m not actually overweight (although a few pounds less would be nice) and, while I’ve embraced the “drink more water” bit, I’m still working on the “eat less crap” bit – running makes me so hungry!!!

  6. San Smith May 25, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

    “What we put into our mouths must be burnt off by our body’s daily activities or weight gain will result. All we really need to do then is get up and start moving, ditch the fizzy drinks and the takeaways, take a brisk walk for 30 minutes every day and once this becomes a habit, we will be half way there”.

    THIS IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE!
    This assumes that all overweight people are eating takeaways and drinking fizzy drinks and not walking for at tleast 30 minutes a day

    it is also NOT A FACT that what goes into your mouth must be burnt or turned to fat – it may also end up down the loo, how much may depend on your body’s chemistry

    It is also ridiculous to say we are ‘over scienced’ – are you asking us not to consider objective scientific findings? The research evidence for the calories in/calories out argument is pretty megre and what exists does not stand up to much scrutiny either

    This smug argument simply supports the view that overweight people are weak and even morally reprehensible and does nothing to help those who need it most

    • gritdoctor May 25, 2012 at 6:13 pm #

      Thanks for this, I am going to think about what you have said and post both your comment and a response as a blog.

  7. Robyn January 5, 2015 at 1:12 pm #

    I love your book and I love your blog and I love the idea of ‘just doing it’ that you push, but on this one I’d say you aren’t right – for me, anyway. The ‘calorie in calorie out’ idea is on the way out. This is what’s happened to me over the last few months. Just as a background: I’ve spent many years trying to ‘eat healthy’ by eating low fat, exercising heaps and doing all the ‘right things’. It would work great for a while (losing 15, 20kg) but then something would happen and I would go back to all the crappy foods. I just couldn’t stop it. I would see myself getting fatter and fatter and there was nothing I could do to halt the progress. So 7 years after I was 60kg I ended up at 109kg on the 20th of September 2014. (40kg from my ‘normal weight’ on the bmi). I read a book called “Keto Clarity” by Jimmy Moore and watched a million videos from Professor Tim Noakes in South Africa. I found out that my body is sensitive to carbs and that fat won’t make me fat. I now eat low carb, high healthy fat. In the last 3 and a bit months I have lost 19.2kg and now weigh 89.8kg. I eat eggs, bacon, fresh delicious vegges etc.. beautiful roasts. Most importantly, I eat more fat. Fat fills me up and stops me from wanting to overeat (when I was skinny wearing size 10-12 jeans I loved it but I was STARVING all the time!). I get to eat the best of the best – and I’ve been eating cherries by the ton during cherry season (okay, too many aren’t strictly on plan but I figure they’re better than chocolate!). “The big fat surprise” by Nina Teicholz is a great book to read. She shows how saturated fat is not the enemy in heart disease and how the ‘science’ of nutrition has been atrociously handled for the last 30 years. Amazing book! Please consider reading (or listening to while you run!), I’d love to know what you think! Professor Tim Noakes has some great you tube videos. I’m mostly sharing this with you to show to the people that have trouble with weight that there is a different way. Funnily enough, low fat diets work best for people who don’t need them! People that are sensitive to carbs find it a lot harder to lose weight on them. Anyway.. just as an aside.. losing (almost) 20kg has made me feel so much better and I started running again just 14 days ago and am already running for 30 min at one time. Just amazing for me.. losing weight easily (and not being hungry all the time) rocks! Robyn xx

  8. Robyn January 5, 2015 at 1:14 pm #

    PS: Gary Taubes in “Why we get fat and what we can do about it” refutes the idea of Calories in Calories out.. it’s just not that simple.. think about it.. what biological system ever works that simply? Everything that’s studied in the body is complicated and the way the body deals with carbs, fats and proteins are no exception 🙂 Just a thought 🙂

    • gritdoctor January 5, 2015 at 1:26 pm #

      Appreciate your comments and so glad you found a way to sort out your bad eating habits that works for you. Best, Ruth

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