Earlier this year after skiing all day I went to the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar in Jackson, Wyoming. Despite a substantial cover charge the bar was packed. Let’s face it: paying for entry means you’re serious about meeting someone. And the goal of almost everybody trying to “lose weight” or “get in shape” is to be that attractive someone.
As we watched only 65-year-olds dance and the young people mess with their phones, it dawned on me that phones are the new cigarettes. Human nature hasn’t changed. It’s uncomfortable entering a bar, especially alone. In the past, the first thing you did was light up. Smoking gave you something to do, made you look cool, alleviated stress. While smoking you slowly sipped a strong drink and perused the clientele. Now nobody smokes, so we occupy our hands and look cool by fiddling with phones. Not that I like smoking, but outside in the snow, I found smokers relaxed, chatting, and laughing.
Inside at the perimeter tables, the fattest people were furiously texting, surrounded by French fries and Bud Light. It was obvious: the bar environment caused them intense stress.
In previous posts I’ve discussed many diet tips. Adding to those, effective weight management begins with stress reduction. Before heading down the diet supplement aisle, consumers should visit the brain nutrition aisle. (Start with a neuroptimizer blend, DHA, acetyl-L-carnitine, and possibly a specific stress reducer.) If it’s recommended to help memory, focus, and concentration, it’s a first step in weight reduction, too.
What makes weight management so tricky is so many interlocking factors are involved. The fattest folks probably didn’t spend their day skiing or riding. That’s unfortunate because exercise is the most effective stress reliever known. For those hopelessly out of shape, get some binoculars and start birding. No electronics allowed. Learn to stalk, observe, and listen. Or get two dogs. (Why two? Just try it.)
Why didn’t these people ski? Maybe faint headaches, insomnia, exercise/altitude intolerance, difficulty concentrating, cold hands and feet? They keep sipping sweet coffee to make the headaches go away but wake up at night with a vengeance. Iron supplements fell out of fashion, but females who don’t eat red meat are probably anemic. Vegetarian men are also at risk. Since wheat flour is supplemented with iron, gluten-free diets can push low dietary iron levels to insufficiency. Every day they’re stressed because they don’t have enough red blood cells, and their metabolism drags. Six weeks of supplementation may find them down 15 pounds with no diet changes.
Sugar was purposefully designed to be addictive. Sweets, sodas, baked goods change your personality. Your reaction to sugar on an empty stomach is nearly identical to alcohol on an empty stomach. Rapid stress relief for the first shot, yes. But try it again and again and the effect is the opposite. The chronic stress is relieved by eating plain protein and lemon/lime water only on an empty stomach. After two weeks it becomes second nature, and you can now think clearly enough to start an effective diet—if you can stay away from the texting.