JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

It's time to cut the crap on weight loss

Date

Zoom in on this story. Explore all there is to know.

You are what you eat.

You are what you eat.

I am so sick of diets. Diets that promise five kilo weight loss in the first week; that guarantee fat-free arms, rock-hard abs, and a tiny bum. Diets with weird fruit remedies, hailing from Africa, South America or Nepal.

The diet section at the bookstore is like a candy shop – just choose your flavour. No carbs; no sugar; no wheat; no fats. Eat paleo, or eat like the French, Mediterraneans or South Beach-ians. Go veggie, go vegan, go cleanse or go lemon detox.

Some are good and some are bad. But I am so sick of the fad diets that I decided to write a diet book this week to officially jump on the bandwagon and become a dietary hypocrite.

Why? I have a client - let's call him Rodney. Rodney is out on the town three to four nights per week. He wears a suit and a flashy watch, flashes new iGadgets each week, and drives an imported car. He chases girls. He drinks, and he eats whatever suits his tastebuds at the time. But it's beginning to catch up with him and, in his 30s, it's time for him to trim down.

Rodney trains hard (but not often enough) and has the frame and strength to lose serious weight – which won't happen until he changes his intake. Rodney's food and exercise diary? After a quick look at the Chinese food, booze, protein supplement drinks and energy drinks he consumes and the breakfast he habitually doesn't - counterbalanced by just a single weekly workout - my reply was: "Rodney, it's time to cut the crap."

Two weeks ago, he finally said: "Just tell me what to eat, and I'll follow it."

My reply: "But mate, I'm not a nutritionist … well, screw it. I'll write you a diet. Consider it done."

So here I am, writing the 'Cut the Crap' diet. It's time for Rodney - like many Australian men and women - to cut out the processed food and unhealthy takeaways, the video games, the boozey benders, the sugary drinks, and the time on the couch in front of the idiot box. It's time to cut the crap and get back to the basics of healthy food and healthy exercise. It's time for lifestyle change.

Last week in Fairfax, it was reported that in Britain, one-third of men aged 35 to 60 cannot look down and see their own genitals. That's so horrifyingly sad it's almost funny. Even sadder, the obesity rate for Australian men is nearly at a deadlock with those in England. Recent stats show British women are the fattest in Europe and according to the World Health Organisation, Australian women are even fatter.

So for the men and women who need a search-and-rescue crew just to find their own bits, for Rodney - shoot, for all of Australia - I created a diet that will work.

It has Seven Rules and includes Seven Healthy Days of Eating - a healthy eating plan approved by exercise physiologist and nutrtionist Kathleen Alleamue, author of What's Eating You?. Most importantly, it's a diet that encourages lifestyle behavioural change. It's a diet message that's anti-diet.

Ultimately, it's not a diet, for the simple reason that diets don't work. UCLA researchers believe people on diets are consistent predictors for future weight gain. Kathleen says: "Many fad diets don't work because they are not sustainable - it's a short-term visit to Dietland, and when you come back home, the weight piles on."

So what works? "There are no shortcuts – weight loss comes from a healthy diet, mixed with lifestyle change, and exercise," she says.

Ah yes. This formula worked in 1950, in 1980, in 2000 … and it still works today. And that's what the Cut the Crap diet is all about. The Seven Rules are simple, harsh, and direct. The Seven Healthy Days of Eating contain a shopping list and daily plan to follow in weeks one, two, and beyond; and this diet includes exercise. My first draft is unedited and unvarnished, and contains some motivational, even harsh language – just what Rodney and many other Australians need to hear.

Most Australians commit to their wife or husband, their children, their jobs, and to maintaining their household. Yet how many commit to their health and wellbeing? Rule No.4 of the Cut The Crap diet is "Commit to Your Body". I'm calling out every Australian to get real on a commitment to physical health and wellbeing. Without that, all other commitments can fall by the wayside when cancer, diabetes, and/or heart disease take hold.

Call it a book, call it an ePaper, call it whatever … I doubt this will fly off the shelves like 50 Shades, because losing weight isn't as easy as three payments of $49.95 and sitting in a swivel chair toning your abs as you watch TV. Losing weight and keeping it off long-term is challenging, but the rewards are a new, happier, and healthier life.

I've written cards and cheesy poetry to girlfriends. I've written the embarrassing love letter and occasional sweet words with notes attached to flowers to get me out of the doghouse. But I've never written a book for any one woman - let alone a man.

So Rodney, this book is for you. I hope you read it, cut out the crap, and change to a healthier lifestyle. With the overweight/obesity rate growing by the day, I hope other Australian men and women will also read and respond.

Have you dieted? What works, and what doesn't?

Follow @michaeljarosky

224 comments so far

  • yes ive dieted ONCE! that was the CSIRO`s well being diet when it first came out where i lost 18 kilos and only put 3 kgs back on,however i do exercise regularly,i cycle 3 days a week a total of 200kms so it keeps me fit and helps maintain my weight

    Commenter
    Screamer
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    February 27, 2013, 9:03AM
    • I've had phases in my life where I've eaten healthly and exercised and seen the results only to fall of the rails and end up worse off than when I started, basically because I've failed to treat myself and having been too strict on myself.

      I'm 42, travel 3 hours a day, work in an office, am 174cm tall, have a history of high blood pressure, and until recently was 102kgs (a heart attack waiting to happen). Three weeks ago I started on Lite-n-easy pre-prepared meals and have gone from 100.0kgs to 94.8kgs. My body fat has dropped from 35 to 32% and I've lost two inches off the waist. I go on walks for about 30-40 minutes a few times a week and feel great.

      I basically have cut down on the grog to only 2-3 drinks a week (from 1-2 every day), cut my bread intake to 2 slices a day, drink 1.5 - 2 litres of water every day, have healthy snacks of fruit and nuts, reduced the portion sizes of my meals and started eating more veges. I also let myself go and eat and drink what I want from Sat midday to midnight in order to maintain my sanity. The funny thing is that I don't eat too much crap anyway as I've lost the taste/desire for KFC, Maaca's, etc.

      As it stands now I've learned a great deal about portion size, drinking water and green tea to reduce appetite and the value of being organised. Next step is for me to start pre-preparing healthy meals myself and up the ante of my exercise. I still want to lose about another 10-12kgs and get down to the low 80's and then maintaining it.

      Commenter
      Mickle
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      February 27, 2013, 9:56AM
    • I've read some incredible stories about people that have lots unbelievable amounts of weight taking up cycling. Actually my problem is that I'm so addicted to it that I'm now worried about getting seriously underweight (but admittedly I was never overweight in the first place).
      Honestly the most important thing is to find an activity you think you're going to enjoy doing and stick to - if you can keep it going for a 3 or 4 weeks, there's a good chance you'll keep doing it the rest of your life. Cycling's definitely my #1 recommendation basically because a) it rarely causes any muscle strain or impact injury and b) you can very smoothly and gradually build up your work-out level, from "less effort than walking" up to "more effort than running a marathon". And of course it's utilitarian - once you're a fit confident cyclist you don't need a car for most trips.

      Commenter
      wizofaus
      Date and time
      February 27, 2013, 11:01AM
    • Good food/bad food is over rated. As long as you are hitting your macro and micro nutrients and staying within your calorie limits you will be fine. You can eat ice cream every day if you wanted to.

      Commenter
      bw
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      February 27, 2013, 11:12AM
    • Ice Cream every day bw??? Sounds like you're aching to write your own "Diet" book - maybe the "Ice-Cream Diet" - or "How To Eat like its Summer and Gain Weight"

      The only thing you need to follow is 3 rules:

      1. Eat LESS energy than you expend (everyone knows we all 'miss' that odd choc biscuit or snack in a day...)
      and
      2. Eat a variety of healthy, unprocessed foods, to get your required vitamin/mineral intake.
      and
      3. Exercise to keep your heart healthy!

      Go Bootcamp!

      Commenter
      AliG
      Date and time
      February 27, 2013, 11:41AM
    • @AliG

      It's not nearly as fantastical as you make out. It's pure mathematics.

      I agree with two of your three points.

      Eating a variety of unprocessed food will neither guarantee you hit all of your macros let alone your micro nutrient needs.

      There is nothing wrong with including processed food in your diet as long as you do hit your dietary requirements and are at your target calorie consumption.

      eg if your maintenance calories are 3000, you eat 2000 calories to purely hit your requirements. The other 1000 calories can be for eating an ice cream, a couple of doughnuts, a milkshake or whatever to get you to your target. Don't bother trying to find fault by looking for an extreme exception, you know what I am talking about.

      Masochistic devotion to so called "healthy food" is just pointless and simply not a fun way to live life.

      Commenter
      bw
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      February 27, 2013, 12:42PM
    • The fact that we need a word like "diet" to describe the act of cutting down on fast food, processed food, food with added sugar and things that have no nutritional value but high calorific energy should be a dead give away at where we're going wrong. Instead of "dieting", people need more common sense.

      Commenter
      Mick
      Location
      Melb
      Date and time
      February 27, 2013, 12:45PM
    • I agree with AliG's 3 point plan; it certainly works for me.
      And to manage the calories that I eat, Like Mickle, I am with Lite N Easy and it certainly teaches you about portion sizes.
      I know exactly how many calories I consume each day (1800) and roughly how many I burn (basal metabolic rate + exercise) and I track it in a spreadsheet.
      When I consume a lot less calories that I burn, weight drops off.
      When I consume a lot more calories than I burn, weight goes back on.
      People eat crap because they like it, not because they dont realise that chocolate, burgers etc are fattening.
      And a lot of people are generally lazy and would rather sit in front of the idiot box stuffing their faces with junk than eat less and better and do more exercise.

      For those that want to get slimmer and healthier its a no-brainer;

      Eat less (and nutritionally balanced) and move more.

      Commenter
      Big Noddy
      Location
      Glebe
      Date and time
      February 27, 2013, 1:11PM
    • To lose weight the body needs periods of no calorie intake in order to actually burn the fat..... I know several people that have incorporated a once a week 24hr fast into their lifestyle (a la, eat-stop-eat) with excellent results. While this is not psychologically easy it guarantees that you will be burning fat and it reduces calorie intake by 1/7th over the week.

      Commenter
      m a r c
      Date and time
      February 27, 2013, 1:17PM
    • Diets work for me. I don't gain it back again, either unless I binge, at Christmas or such eating events. But then, I've never been over 62k, so maybe that's why diets work for me. Ijust move between 55 and 59k, usually. If I find my jeans getting a bit tight, I just cut down on amounts of food, not types of food, just amounts. I found the Livestrong calorie counter really useful for checking calories, despite what experts recently said about counting calories not working. I don't do massive cuts, either, just be more moderate. And I don't do "exercise", like it's something outside of my everyday routine. I don't have a car, so I walk a lot, not because experts have said I should, but ... to get somewhere. I don't "do" gym, because I already do similar things round the house. It's called housework without loads of technology, Like sweeping, lifting the garbage and carrying it 500 m to the garbage bins. But id on't find extra exercise helps me much because it makes me hungrier! In the end, I think it's about moderation in what you eat. No, I don't have a fast metabolism.

      Commenter
      artistinanattic
      Date and time
      February 27, 2013, 1:31PM

More comments

Make a comment

You are logged in as [Logout]

All information entered below may be published.

Error: Please enter your screen name.

Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

Error: Please enter your comment.

Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

Post to

You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

Thank you

Your comment has been submitted for approval.

Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.

Advertisement
Featured advertisers
Executive Style newsletter signup

Executive Style newsletter signup The latest news delivered to your inbox twice-weekly.

Sign up now

Advertisement