I’m not sure about absolute truths, but there are three things I know for sure. First, it’s January (because we made it so) and second, obesity is spreading, because, well, we made it so. And three, there’s a connection between them. I know it’s January not only because of the emerging snowdrops, but also because of the gym ads on billboards and papers everywhere, and because of the special offers on fat free bars, protein shakes, belly fat blasters and detox drinks. The connection between the reduced prices and the sudden emerge of stuff you eat to get slim (is it just me who thinks that’s weird?) is that just this time of year, our wallets are supposed to be as empty as our bellies and butts are well-filled. We all know it, we all care, and still, we all get fatter. It’s a growth that’s killing us.

Here’s another weird thing. We pay to get fat but we don’t want to be fat. People pay up to 400 euros for a bottle of 1976 Mouton Rothschild wine. Vintage design is hugely popular. Slow cooking is hipster hot. Wine, design, food: the older, the slower the better. Time and money are luxury goods we spend on other luxury goods like design and food. And fat is the ultimate luxury item, albeit one we don’t proudly show our friends. (‘Look! My new kilo! Fancy eh?’)

What, what? Fat, a luxury? Yes. Because it takes time and money to gain weight. The food industry gladly encourages this, putting on a sincere face while cashing in. Then we pay lots of money to get RID of our fat, which the diet industry gladly encourages, putting on a sincere face while cashing in, counting on you to fail your diet plan so they can sell you a new one. In the mean time, this fatburning desire does weird things to people. Your best friend, always the epitome of rational thinking, now only eats eggs, because ‘really, eggs contain everything you need. Chicks flourish on it, don’t they?’ Your once so cheerful colleague changed into a sour faced zombie, hopefully digging into their bag for that one leftover acai berry/locust/sunflower seed, and your mother has tried everything from the grapefruit diet to the baby food diet to the cookie diet to the shangri-la diet to the hallelujah diet (I’m not even making this up!) and she still weighs 85 kilos.

To lose fat, I think the solution for most people[1] is not to embrace the latest diet fad – although, of course, it might work for you. Use your brain. Use your body. Don’t eat what you don’t need. And get a dog, a skipping rope or a pogo stick instead.[2] Walkies, skipping and jumping (in that order) would be the correct use for maximum result.[3] This plan doesn’t have a fancy name, a book or a website, and it’s free. Smaller butt, happy wallet. Hurrah!

 


[1] Yes, I am aware of the fact that some people have medical condition such as metabolic disorders which may influence their weight. I am one of those people.

[2] Or a dance mat, a bike, inlines, stilts, whatever takes your fancy. Also, bigger dogs = longer walks = lose more fat. Plus, you get fantastically toned arm muscles. This also works with cats.  Want an intense workout? Try going walkies with a cat.

[3] It may take some time though. But slow is the new black.