After I shared the first few editions of my free book Anyone Can Lose Weight with friends, I received many questions that made me realize how difficult it is to change mindsets and habits about food. I also realized that the same blinders prevent people from even starting to diet. Here are some of their questions and my responses.
Are you saying we should stop eating tasty food and just consume bland, healthy food in order to manage our weight?
No, that’s what I find difficult to explain to people actually – that I’m not depriving myself of good food, and neither should you.
In Singapore, we’re surrounded by great hawker stalls and restaurants. You will go crazy over time if you refuse to have any tasty local fare, and your friends will undoubtedly mock you for being such a “food prude”.
People look at my current body shape and assume I eat like a monk – then I show them that I’m actually eating conventional and tasty Chinese meals. They then claim that I’m exercising all the time to burn it off, but I usually only go for a casual jog two or three times a week.
Other people boast to me that they’re eating Western salads for lunch, but then they have problems keeping their weight down because they guzzle a high-calorie milk coffee right after the greens.
The trick is really to know the caloric value of every dish you eat. It doesn’t have to be very accurate, but it’s always good to know that a bowl of white rice is 200kcal and a similarly-sized bowl of fat-infused rice from the chicken rice stall is 400kcal. That’s when you will make the informed choice.
Another trick is to share the good food with family or friends. If our family wants to have a classic Coke instead of drinking plain water, we buy just one can and pass it around. A few sips of Coke brings you the same taste satisfaction as an entire can.