Weight watching in the 2020s

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As we are weight watching in the 2020s there is a whole generation – or two – who unfortunately are victims of the misinformation on weight control given out in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s.

Those generations are now in their third age of life. And many of them, including me, are needing to concentrate hard now on how to control their weight. Although I must add that diminishing appetite is useful, even though that doesn’t happen for everyone.

If you are one of those people who say they can eat anything and/or you’ve never had a weight problem, then the observations here are not for you.

When I began to feel the need to watch the scales aged 19, the advice was to watch your bread, potatoes and sugar intake. Pasta was unknown as a main course, only rice or macaroni pudding was in vogue. My mother used to make the most delicious rice pudding in an oven dish, with milk, butter and a little sugar. Not good for the figure, but one helping on a Sunday after a roast lunch never did anyone any harm.

Changing ideal sizes

If you do a Google search on films and photos of the 1960s and 1970s you will notice how slim everyone was. Yet we still worried about being overweight. The difference was that our goal was to be a UK size 14 for women, in contrast to it being UK size 8 or 10 now. Probably for men then size 34 inches was the target.

In those days the norm was to eat three meals a day, and no snacks. Snacking only came along, coincidentally, when the advice changed to don’t eat fat, eat carbohydrates, and keep your sugar levels topped up. And don’t go any longer than four hours without eating. Always eat breakfast.

Unfortunately that advice has stuck firmly. Well cemented into people’s brains, even the medical authorities still recommend this with their ‘eat well’ plates.

And it has led us to the health mess we are now in, with high levels of obesity and type 2 diabetes, along with certain types of cancer. All because in 1977 the USA led the way to telling us all that eating fat was bad, and to load up with carbohydrates.

Consequently, because carbohydrates are a form of sugar, all carbohydrates, including whole foods, are now sold in abundance.

Convenience is king

Take a look at any takeaway meal, and what do you see? Bread products, pastry products, potato products and so forth. Sold along with sugary drinks and numerous chocolate or candy bars. Notice that these are all promoted as being quick and convenient because that’s the way society has gone. We have to do everything instantly and easily.

We don’t carry a picnic with us, we spend more money on buying it from the many stalls, bars, takeaways and huts – because it’s more convenient. And what’s more, at the time of writing this, in England we are in the first few days of freedom after 3 months of lockdown, and there are numerous reports about the amount of litter being left behind.

Is there no answer to this very modern way of ‘convenient’ living, which no amount of speeches, campaigns and education seem to influence?

Weight watching in our third age

In these early days of the 2020s life has changed for everyone, all over the planet. I don’t need to mention why, because if you don’t know, where have you been for the last twelve months?

We are being reminded of the importance of a healthy lifestyle, including a healthy diet. I would say that probably the same people who leave their rubbish lying on the ground, are the same ones who will ignore this advice.

But what is a healthy lifestyle?

Well things are changing. Over the last ten or so years, probably twenty for those who are interested and research the subject, there has been a shift in the way to eat healthily.

I know that there will be readers and some experts who will still say that whole wheat is good for you. Most probably the people who have never had a serious issue with weight or eating disorders.

The latest successful findings tell us that
1. Fat is not bad.
2. Sugar is the culprit. Remember that carbohydrates are sugar.
3. If you don’t rely on carbohydrates as an energy source, you don’t need to keep topping up your sugar levels.
4. Fasting is the way to go.

Eating what’s right for you

I was a yo-yo dieter for over forty years. I felt that my metabolism was shot. For years I called it ‘struggling’ because that was what it felt like.

But now I’ve understood that it was simply a way of learning and I don’t need to call it struggling. Now weight watching in the 2020s I have way of eating healthily for most of the time. I go off piste sometimes, when I lose sight of what I know is the way FOR ME. Meaning that I have learnt to eat what is right for me as an individual. And you too can do that.

Keto, intermittent Fasting, Low Carbohydrate diets are in.

One more important point: it’s ok to be so-called ‘overweight’ in your third age. Not obese, but overweight. Your body will have something to fall back on during times of illness. That’s what that extra fat is for, it’s a reserve.

If you would like to know more I recommend the following resources:

Watch these films on Amazon Prime (there’s a free trial)
Fat Fiction

Find out more about Intermittent Fasting by watching Jason Fung on YouTube.

And you can find more information on YouTube by Gary Taubes, Mark Hyman, Zoe Harcombe and Tim Noakes.

On my website there are many blogs and books that I have written. I particularly recommend

Sod Dieting

From Hunter Gatherer to Baby Boomer

Please share your feelings on weight watching in the 2020s in the comments below – what works for you, and what you would love to explore in more detail. We’re all in this together!

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