the fat myth

If you tend towards the chunkier end of the spectrum, if you’re a bit of a butterball, or even if you’re carrying a few extra kilos around, you’ve probably thought about what you eat, and try to eat healthily, as a way of managing that extra chub. I’ve been a chub for as long as I can remember, carrying around a varying amount of extra self (more to love, I tell my husband). But it’s always worried me, in a vague kind of way. Why, if I eat healthily, do I not maintain a healthy bodyweight? It can’t just be that I don’t like to exercise, because even when I exercise, I don’t lose weight. So I did some investigation.

I still remember the first time I realised that fat doesn’t make you fat. Sugar does. It was like the world had upended. All that wholewheat, low GI bread, the wholewheat pasta, the careful avoidance of full-fat milk, yoghurt, fat bits on steak, it wasn’t ever going to help. As a sedentary person (with a distinct love for sitting on the couch reading my book), I was never going to lose weight on a diet rich in carbohydrates. That meant out with pasta, out with sandwiches. Out with cake, out with cookies. Out with so many of my favourite things! But. I could still keep ice cream, chocolate, steak, and wine, so there was that.

It hasn’t been easy, you know. It’s not just wheat that’s the problem, it’s carbohydrates in general. So, I’ve made a deal with myself. In return for an almost-no-carb (grains, wheat, starch) diet, I get to cheat occasionally. It does my system no good, but it makes my heart happy. So I can still have risotto sometimes (which makes my week).

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