When Their Dogma Runs Over Their Karma

While I’m not writing as much here as I did in the past, it’s because I’ve been busy with other kinds of writing. For example, I finished a fantasy novel just before New Years that include a lot of the principles you’ve seen here. I’ve also been busy with the day job, which is writing.

But writing doesn’t take all day. I just can’t do it all day, even.

That means I spend far too much time on social media, and there I often see the dogmatic nature of so many who are trying to lose weight.

What I often see is an almost dogmatic approach to weight loss where what they do is easily the bestest option possible.

And it’s dumb.

When I started on this journey, I took on the idea of “flexible dieting” because of a couple of key factors. One was that I could eat whatever I wanted, so long as I wasn’t stupid. I had to plan accordingly.

Well, I haven’t done a great job of that, but I have done a good job of keeping below my calories, and as a result I’ve lost over 46 lbs since April 18, 2018. Within that framework of flexible dieting, though, I’ve found some interesting truths.

Keto Actually Works

Due to some quirks over what I’ve eaten, most of my eating since Christmas has been pretty compatible with the ketogenic diet. During that time, I’ve experienced some fairly significant weight loss. I’ve been pretty impressed, to be honest.

While keto is kind of a buzz diet, I do think minimal carbohydrates is a good path for many people to consider, especially if they’re not training particularly hard.

Keto Isn’t The Only Way To Lose Weight

While I’ve seen some promise out of ketogenic eating in my own life, it’s important to remember that I’ve lost more than 40 lbs without eating a truly ketogenic diet. In fact, some of the weeks I’ve recorded my biggest weight losses, my carb intake was fairly high.

One thing that matters more than anything else is a caloric deficit. It doesn’t matter if you only take in 5 grams of net carbohydrates if you’re getting 5,000 calories of protein and fat. Your body can’t do anything with that much protein, even if those calories are coming mostly from fat.

Maintaining a caloric deficit is the primary key to losing weight, and anyone who tries to argue otherwise is either ignorant or lying. This isn’t dogma, either. It’s simple biology. Your body is going to store excess calories, and the body’s storage system is fat.

The Rest Are ‘Fiddly Bits’ Not Worth Arguing Over

You know what I’ve eaten during this weight loss period? Ice cream, cookies, brownies, pumpkin pie, and just about anything else I want.

Now, I’ll concede that the cookies are usually Quest’s protein chocolate chip cookies (they’re actually fairly good), but the ice cream was Blue Bell, the brownies were home-baked by my wife who does not to healthy cooking. She made the pumpkin pie too.

Yet I’ve lost weight.

Meanwhile, there are people telling me on social media that you can’t lose weight if you consume these foods. It’s like the body has an instant reaction to ice cream where it shuts down any and all fat-burning processes and glomps onto this new food.

Look, if you eat it like the average American does, you’re going to have a bad time. I don’t do that. I eat a couple of those little, pre-measured cups at the most. They’re 170 calories per and I don’t eat them all the time, only when I need to take in some more calories for whatever reason.

Then you have the people who swear to you that any kind of soda will slow down fat loss.

I look over at the mountain of Coke Zero I’ve consumed and try to figure out what the hell they’re talking about.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to say this is good for me. I’m not enough of a nutritional expert to say one way or another.

What I am going to say, though, is that I’ve had weeks where I consumed a lot of Coke Zero and my weight loss has bordered on going too far. If sodas are retarding my weight loss, then that’s probably a good thing much of the time.

Now, if you’re drinking your calories, that is a problem. You can do it. You can do it and account for it easily enough if you have to. The problem is, you’re taking in calories that aren’t satiating for you.

This can be handy at times. For example, taking in a protein shake when you’re just not hungry but need to consume something in order to get needed calories.

But for most of us, if we’re eating like humans tend to eat, we probably don’t need the excess calories. Especially if we’re trying to lose weight. Sugary sodas are a problem for that.

Yet their dogma doesn’t allow the possibility that some sodas aren’t nearly as problematic for weight loss as they think.

There are tons of examples like this, too. They’ll tell you that you can’t do it, but then you can see they’re wrong.

‘My Way Is The Only Way’

This is the big one, for me. I freaking hate people like this, especially when they’re not really big on studies themselves, but simply regurgitate what some guru told them.

And yet, in a way, it could be argued that I do this all the time.

The difference is, my way is just a basic framework that you can plug pretty much any diet into and lose weight. I don’t get into whether keto or paleo is better and I won’t tell vegetarians they need to eat half a pound of chicken at each meal or they’re going to die.

What I advise folks to do isn’t the only way, either. I tell people to measure and record what they consume so they can track calories. Other people have lost weight doing other things.

If it works, so be it.

But some people can’t accept that reality. It’s not even a case of them being disagreeing about which is most effective, either. It’s that they’re so convinced they’re right that they have a hard time even acknowledging different approaches even work. It’s pathetic.

It’s not a universal thing, but a lot of people who spend a lot of time discussing health and fitness tend to buy into these ideas and I don’t really know why. Especially those who have never really had to lose weight for anything.

Instead, they see what other people are writing and internalizing that, then one day they don’t realize they think they’re experts despite not really understanding anything about the subject. This is them:

As a result, though, they get loud and dogmatic. Since some of these guys are looking pretty jacked, people buy into and then start repeating it. It’s like a virus of unsubstantiated bovine excrement.

So how do you deal with people like that?

Easy. Just pull and Elsa and let it go.

Your results will do all the talking in the world for you. I’m where I am now because I could easily enjoy the things I wanted to enjoy and not feel like I was wrecking what I’d done before then. I know I can eat what I want, when I want, and not have to worry.

When everything is said and done, where I was and where I am will be all the evidence I need to support that what I’m saying can work. Yes, it’s anecdotal data, of course, but I can back it up with some people who know a whole lot more hard science than I do.

In the end, though, that’s where you should focus your attention, not on what some moron says who has never had to lose more than a few pounds for the beach.

Author: Tom

Tom is a husband, father, novelist, opinion writer, and former Navy Corpsman currently living in Georgia. He's also someone who has lost almost 60 pounds in a safe, sustainable way, so he knows what he's talking about.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *