“Eat less. Move more.” Oh yeah? Get bent.
I’m tired of seeing this facile advice shoveled onto overweight people, as if losing weight were a simple matter. I’ve been blessed with a high metabolism, and have always been thin, but I’ve been close to people who struggle with their weight and I know that there are vast physical and psychological obstacles to following the seemingly obvious advice to “eat less and move more.”
While it may seem refreshing to cut through the hype-machine of diet and exercise products to get at “home truths” that may lie beneath, the reality is that losing weight is a difficult and, for some, impossible struggle. To reduce (no pun intended) the issue to a matter of “just eat less, and get out and get some exercise!” is nothing more than the latest, currently politically correct way to condescend to fat people. It’s rather like telling a person suffering from acute depression to “just cheer up!”
Studies have shown that exercise doesn’t necessarily produce weight loss. Meanwhile, many people use food to feed psychological needs that go well beyond their nutritional requirements, and such habits can be as hard to break as any addiction. There are all kinds of reasons for people to be overweight and a variety of difficulties they face that you may not be aware of.
So as we approach National Pig-Out Day, give your heavy friends and acquaintances a break. Chances are they’re already trying (or have tried multiple times) to lose weight—and finding it harder than you imagine.