The Primal Emotion You Must Overcome to Lose Weight Quickly

Filed in Diet & Exercise by on January 5, 2017 0 Comments


People think they can’t lose weight because they eat when they are bored, depressed, lonely, anxious, or any other slew of emotions. But an even more fundamental reason they can’t lose weight is due to the primal instinct of fear.

Think about prehistoric man/woman and their constant struggle for food to sustain life. Things were a little tougher back then—large animals desiring to eat you, a lack of permanent shelter, few tools or weapons, and no methods of preserving food (such as salt and refrigeration). When you had an opportunity to eat, you had to really go for it—sort of the modern equivalent of you going to an all-you-can-eat buffet after not having eaten for a few days! You get the idea.

So we have this incredibly strong instinct to eat to sustain life. The only problem is that modern man has been conditioned to believe that he must eat large amounts of food every day, rather than the real truth, which is that he absolutely needs to eat only every couple of weeks.

As a quick aside, I have heard people say that it is nature’s cruel irony that ice cream tastes so good, while broccoli tastes lousy. Well, it’s more likely the case that foods that store a lot of calories and energy, by having fat and sugar, taste so good to us because it was important that primitive man had a desire to locate and eat them so he would survive.

It dawned on me when I was reading a book about an Antarctic exploration in the early 1900’s how modern people have illogically become so obsessed with eating so much food so often. These explorers survived on only once per day rations of pemmican (dried beef and beef fat), a “sledging biscuit” (whatever the hell that is), and water, often for as long as several months. Their goal was to carry with them just enough food and water to barely sustain life, so they could travel light. They would lose as much as 80 lbs. during their journey, and then come back home, gain the weight back, and be just fine. So I realized then that our preoccupation with eating a large meal every 4 hours is just a misinterpretation of instinct, and based on a fear that is unjustified. So I have since developed and employ for myself an aggressive method of dieting when I want to shed several pounds.

When I want to lose 5 – 15 lbs. I basically just “shut it down,” as I refer to it, for 1 – 3 weeks (I can usually lose about 5 lbs. per week). I’ll eat some protein and a small amount of carbs first thing in the morning, and then just a small portion of protein 2 – 3 times later in the day. I’ll often even skip one of these small meals if I want to. I take a multivitamin daily and drink a lot of water. Sometimes I get a little lightheaded during the day due to a lack of carbs, in which case I’ll either just ignore it and push through it, or have a small serving of carbs.

An alternative way to lose weight quickly would be to fast, as primitive people were forced to do, and as many others do even today. I prefer my method, since I want to have enough energy to complete my usual daily exercise while I am shedding weight.

As I said, I can lose about 5 lbs. a week on this routine, which is a quick way to lose unwanted weight. I don’t want to have to spend months in a diet mode, so I much prefer my method. Also, since I am a fairly healthy person, I think it poses little to no risk. If you are not very healthy, or are on certain types of meds, you might not want to restrict your calories and nutrition as severely as I do.

Naturally, once you have lost the weight you wanted to shed, you cannot revert back to your old eating methods, or you will simply gain all the weight back. When you are now in “maintenance mode” you can eat more than when you were dieting severely, but less than you did when you were heavier. The often-used argument against severe calorie reduction is that it does not prepare you for the rest of your life after the diet, in terms of normal, healthy eating. You certainly don’t want your weight to wildly cycle up and down.

Are you unable to lose weight due to your instinctual fears and misconception that you need to eat thousands of calories every day just to survive? You are likely sabotaging your goals needlessly, and might consider more aggressively limiting your calorie intake over a short period of time to achieve your goal.

About the Author ()

TIM MCINTYRE retired in 2004 from his position as president of Applied Systems after facilitating a successful sale of the company. At only forty-six years old, he made the unusual decision to fully retire to pursue other interests and simply enjoy free time. As a hard-driving Type A personality, this turned out to be a significant challenge for the Notre Dame and University of Chicago-educated MBA, CPA, and Certified Cash Manager.

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