Don’t take this personal, you and your kids are getting fat. Don’t believe me? Here, read this New York Times Article:
Despite widespread publicity about the obesity epidemic, parents increasingly seem to be turning a blind eye as their children put on pounds. In a recent study in Childhood Obesity, more than three-quarters of parents of pre-school-age obese sons and nearly 70 percent of parents of obese daughters described their children as “about the right weight.”
I can see the actual situation in my mind’s eye, you are gaining weight, but you are getting older, you don’t exercise like you think you should, you are eating too much and you know it–so you expect it. Your kids are growing up and the older one is obviously heavy, but not really too much heavier than the other kids on the block, and your youngest is still a stick-figure, so…no need to change anything just yet.
The thing is, by eating the same foods everyone else in your neighborhood is eating, you are slowly poisoning yourself, and consigning your kids, even the little skinny one, to a life of fighting overweight and obesity. In addition, you are wrong about why you are gaining weight.
No one in your family is eating too much. Counting calories is a waste of time. You are eating too much of foods that you shouldn’t be eating at all. You shouldn’t be eating processed foods. You shouldn’t be eating cooking oils or margarine. You shouldn’t be eating ‘low-fat’ anything. You shouldn’t be drinking sweetened drinks including fruit juices and diet soft drinks. It goes without saying that your kids shouldn’t be either.
You don’t need more exercise. Exercising has nothing to do with losing weight. It’s not possible to ‘burn off’ calories, because increased activity does make your metabolism go up, but that increase calls for more fuel, which means more hunger. You are working up your appetite. Exercising will make you feel like you have earned a second piece of dessert, and you will eat it. Exercise is great for a lot of reasons, but if you are changing your diet, you shouldn’t change your workload at the same time. Don’t think that something that won’t work for you will work for your kids. They don’t need more exercise, either, they need to eat right. Stick to the foods found on the outside walls of your local grocery. Fresh vegetables (low carb ones). Stay away from potatoes and dried rice. Stay out of the inner aisles of the store. Don’t buy boxed or bagged manufactured foods, no matter what the health claim on the label says. NO breakfast cereal is ‘healthy’, including oatmeal.
Your weight gain has very little to do with your age. Older people don’t have to gain weight. It does point out a fact that I need to reemphasize though. When you tell a twenty-something that they won’t always be able to eat like they currently do without gaining weight, you are acknowledging that gaining weight has NOTHING TO DO WITH CALORIES. If you eat ‘too much’ when you are twenty and don’t get visibly fat, and eat the same thing when you are thirty and you do, it is obvious that it’s not a simple calorie eaten versus calorie burned equation. Something else is causing you to slowly put on pounds. It’s not age. It’s not activity. It’s what’s in the food, what effect it has on the germs in your guts, and it is damage that slowly accumulates–for you.
It’s different for your children. They never lived in a time when it was ‘safe’ to eat butter, so they always got margarine. They have always been fed the ‘healthy’ processed cereals for breakfast. You have always picked the ‘low-fat’ food to feed them. They never really got to live on the foods you got when you were a kid. For some reason, though, they are way heavier than you were at that age…hmmm.
The solution to your kids’ diet is the same as the solution for your own. If you would eat right, and feed them right, you would all get better at the same time. We all would. The entire society would get better if we quit eating artificial fats, artificial foods, artificially sweet drinks. Go back to eating foods your great grandma made and you will heal your family without drugs or exercise. Eat fermented foods, eat fresh foods. Eat foods that are alive and contain ‘probiotics’ in their natural form.
What if you are overweight, but you don’t think your kids are, consider this passage:
“Denial can be a coping mechanism,” said Arnaldo Perez, a doctoral candidate at the University of Alberta who researches what motivates families to seek help for their overweight children. Before judging them outright, providers should explore parents’ possible feelings of guilt and failure, he said.
If you are overweight and your kids eat with you, I am telling you, they are being harmed, too. Even if the symptoms are not yet visible. What I am saying is, its not your fault. The fault lies in what is in the boxes of food you are preparing. They are not made to be healthful, they are made to taste great, be inexpensive, and last forever on the shelf. Their purpose is to attract your dollars to the coffers of their makers. There are no foods in boxes or bags whose primary purpose is to promote your health. Heathy foods do not have ingredient labels at all. If they did they would be single words like “meat”, “eggs” or “bacon”. The true health foods don’t have labels that scream some health feature like ‘gluten free’.
Stop believing lying food labels. Don’t fall for the ‘it’s your fault, you are lazy’ line of logic for why two out of three people eating IN AMERICA is overweight…two out of three people are not irresponsible and lazy. Two out of three people in America are overweight and either on a diet or just tried one, and they are still gaining weight, because it has nothing to do with calories. It’s what you are eating that matters, not how much of it. At least save your kids.