This week is Thanksgiving and maybe, like me, you are thinking of all the delectable goodies to be consumed on Thursday. I already have a visual layout of my plate, strategically plotted out to try, yes, try to do some pre-emptive damage control before the fork hits my mouth. Vegetables will take up at least a couple quadrants, and I will have less pie, mashed potato, and gravy. Good luck, right? I am not exactly anxious about it, or particularly worried, I am just a realist. I know I am going to eat more than I intended.
The diet industry in the U.S. knows that too. Come January, there will be a boom in sales because colder weather and weeks of holiday parties and dinners are going to leave many, many Americans with a dismal hangover of self-loathing for having “put on a few” as they contemplate the upcoming Spring Break beach scene. And as they hope that a new year means another chance to put it all right, once and for all, they will be looking for an easy, or at least an effective, solution. Maybe that’s why the “solutions” come in so many forms: pills, drinks, cereals, books, DVDs, and every size and shape of exercise equipment and gear and gimmick.
According to Market Data Enterprises, the American Diet Industry continues to grow and grow. Statistics measured in 2006 estimated a $55.4 billion dollar industry and by the end of this year, it is estimated that $68.7 billion dollars will have been spent. And yet, we all continue to grow and grow along with it; obesity rates just keep climbing, and the risk of death increases with higher body mass index.
Sad as it is, we are being duped into believing that the latest thing will work better than everything else that’s been tried before. But if nothing out there helps you, try the simplest, cheapest formula. Enjoy Thanksgiving, enjoy your parties and dinners without guilt. Just eat less most of the year and move more.
Losing weight and maintaining weight is a lifelong commitment involving frequent exercise. Success requires patience and determination and plenty of forgiveness—we aren’t all athletic, after all, and most of us have a weakness for certain foods. You don’t have to move fast or eat perfectly every day—you just have to stay on course. So enjoy the Thanksgiving meal with this little Viking proverb I heard somewhere that dampens my temptation to overeat:“May your belly always be full and the belly of your enemies a little fuller.” With that in mind, you should be good to go for a nice long walk after dinner. Cheers!