There is a fascinating post on Reddit here:
I cannot balance losing weight and having fun
His opening paragraph reads like this:
Every f***ing time I’ve tried to lose weight I feel like it eventually all gets ruined because I reach this point where I’m like, f*** it I just want to have fun and be able to do things that all the other people my age are doing. Boozy brunch on the weekends, going out to dinner, pub trivia, going to the pizza barcade, getting drunk at home playing board games with friends, watching movies or the game, going to music festivals, going to breweries/wineries. Things that most mid twenties people like to do. Unfortunately all these things involve FOOD and ALCOHOL. I just don’t have the self control to be able to go to these types of places and not partake. I recognize that I don’t have that level of self control yet
His last sentence is important, and shows a level of self-awareness that is powerful. It also points the way toward the future. Eventually, OP should/will develop that level of self control.
One of the responses is also incredibly interesting:
I’m overweight as well. When I was a lot heavier, I saw everyone eating crisps, and nuts, etc, so it was like an ok for me to eat the same things.
But, now that I’m counting my calories, I spoke to some of my friends. And I found the following:
- they are male and a lot taller, and they may eat more
- they are female like me, but actually don’t eat as much as I do, and if they do eat as much on social gatherings, they are on a strict diet on the days between.
- they have more body movement, they go swimming, or do zumba. – they ride their bikes to work, sometimes even up to 1hour of cycling (which is a lot in Belgium), so even at their desk job, they still have excercise each day.
- one of my friends, probably just has very good genes, she’s lean, she doesn’t excercise, doesn’t ride bike to work, has desk job, is a tiny woman, eats the most unhealthy food all the time and is still skinny. She just appologized to me when my jaw dropped as she told me this 😀
So basically, your friends are on a pattern that makes them eat less calories compared to what they burn. May be related to gender, body length, general activity, inbetween dieting…
I’m finding it hard as well to not touch crisps etc on social gatherings. So what I’ll do when I know on saturday and sunday I have a gathering: I’ll eat less during the week.
One important point here is that OP is guilty of a sampling error. He is only observing his friends sporadically, when they are out having fun, and ignoring their day-to-day habits. Rather than observing what his friends do every day of the week, and understanding the overall pattern of their habits, he is only observing their tendencies on Saturday night. For example, if someone eats at a calorie deficit all week so he can “go wild” and binge-eat all weekend, then that can work. Or if someone is jogging 4 miles every day while eating what appears to be “a lot”, the exercise is offsetting the calories. And some (small number) of people really do have “good genes” that give them a higher metabolism – well, they lucked out. It is also age related. My teenagers eat constantly, and with abandon, and are absurdly lean. That has to do with the fact that they are: a) active and b) growing.
Also note my situation. The situation I find myself in is: I started my weight loss adventure 100 pounds overweight. This is absurd, ridiculous. And yet, over time, there is no denying that I ate so much that I gained an excess of 100 pounds. If I am now going to lose 100 pounds, I am starting at a gigantic disadvantage compared to someone who has not “let himself go”, or however you want to express my situation. I am going to have to do some extra work, over and above the norm, to get back down to a healthy weight. This is just how life works, on many fronts. [For example, if I get deeply in debt, the only way to get out of debt is to spend less money for a period of time and use the money to repay the debts. During this time of repayment, relative to my peers, I am going to look “poor” and “insanely frugal” compared to my friends, because I am applying the money I have to the debt. This is just life – it is the only way to get out of debt.]
What I have found, personally, is that my weight situation eventually became so absurd, and so uncomfortable, and so unhealthy, and so ugly, that my mindset shifted. It is no longer “a burden” or “un-fun” to lose weight. It now feels fantastic to be losing weight! Every day, with every incremental loss of weight, my life is getting better. The reward for losing weight far outweighs any benefit gained from eating like a pig on Saturday night. When I get back down to a healthy weight – which will happen in a finite amount of time – then I can find ways to remain at the healthy weight while still having fun on Saturday. Which is basically what every other thin person is already doing! Every thin person (ignoring the genetically gifted and the young) has some kind of conscious (e.g. a food diary) or unconscious (e.g. jogging every day) bag of techniques they are using to maintain their calorie intake at a healthy level. They are just doing this calorie juggling invisibly. If you ask, you can learn the techniques they use to maintain their thinness.