If you have stumbled upon this blog post and are completely pleased with how much you weigh, despite having more handles on your body than a novice rock climbing wall, you might want to Get Along Little Doggies. This post is not for you. In fact, you may well get annoyed with me.

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If you are easily offended by the term fat or are “triggered” by being told that YOU might be the cause of your fatness, your unfitness and your unhappiness, then you also might want to retreat to a safe space. I’m warning you, I will offend you and I’ll be smiling while I do it, which will likely enrage you and cause you to create a petition to ban my thoughts. If, however, you speak fluent Straighttalk and Cutthebullshit, then welcome. Take a seat and hang for a bit. I got some great stuff for you!

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Oh, geezz, put down the remote, the popcorn and pay attention!

If you could make ONE practical change to your diet, that would immediately cause you to lose weight, would you do it?

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This is NOT practical. NOT practical at all…

The more cynical among you might be asking: “What do you mean by practical change, Gail”? Alright then, fair enough. For me, a practical change would mean it would be easy to do on a consistent basis, produce weight loss, and at the same time improve your overall health and wellness. That, my little ducklings, is what I consider practical. Still on board? Follow me……

Eliminate junk food. Yep, just junk food.

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Cutting back doesn’t work….

I’m not going to make this complicated. I’m not going to even discuss portion size (though that IS super important) or counting calories (pretty important too) or protein/carb/fat ratios (yep, slightly important, so fine. I’ll mention all three very briefly at the end of this post). For now, though, let’s just forget those three things.  If you are fat, sick of feeling sick, and completely overwhelmed by all the different diets out there, then this, in my opinion, is a great way to get started. Even the average eight year old knows the difference between junk food and REAL whole foods. You can easily do this.

How many people do you know, including yourself, that have started a complicated program such as the Glycemic Index-Based Diet and miserably failed? There is a reason for that and you can read about it here.  Here’s the real deal: the more convoluted your diet is, the sooner you will reject it. You know what that means? Failure and self loathing which leads to more weight gain and, more importantly, feeling emotionally defeated. It’s a awful cycle. Don’t you want to get off that deranged carousel?

If we are all being totally honest, you’re not fat because you ate too many carrot sticks and had a heaping second helping of that kale salad. Nope. Junk food is the real reason most of us could stand to lose a few pounds.

Joe's Weight Gain: 'Sweat-pants make you fat.'

Putting an end to gobbling down junk food is the single most effective weight loss measure because it is so simple. If a person knows only one thing about nutrition, they probably know what constitutes junk food. Do I really need to point out that a Big Mac with cheese, large fries and a chocolate milkshake is junk food? Don’t we all get that?

Now I can already hear some of you shrieking at me. But, but, Gail!! Junk food is so delicious and enticing! It’s the reason we are drawn to it in the first place. Is this a practical way to lose weight? Waaaa, Waaaaa……

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Let me respond by writing that yes, it IS a practical way to lose weight. I want to be perfectly clear on this point: no diet change is easy, let alone one that has the potential to allow you to drop a significant amount of weight. Like many, many regimented diets out there, this won’t be easy to sustain, BUT excluding junk food is much less difficult because it is restricted to one change and one change only! C’mon!! There are plenty of things to eat besides junk food. There just is. Have you been to the outer rings of a grocery store lately? You might want to check out all the choices you have! Expunging all the crap leaves you with true whole foods.

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Grab the healthy food ring….

Next predictable objection? That making junk food forbidden only makes it more desirable. Hog wash. It doesn’t matter what diet you decide to go on, you have still got to be willing to say no to yourself. If you can’t, then you will always be doomed to failure. Your parents may never have said no to you, but you’ve got to figure out a way to say it to yourself! Forbidding foods is THE most straightforward and non-complex way to encourage weight loss and is head and shoulders above just eating less food.  There are diets out there that are referred to as very low calorie diets (VLCD). These diets are the ones that require an abundance of willpower. You’re always bloody hungry! All I’m suggesting is that you look at junk food as the enemy, which it really is, and real food as your friend. Eat as much of it as you want, for now. Want that second honeycrisp apple? Go ahead. Want a second serving of those plump juicy strawberries? Have at it. As I wrote before, you are only making one change…..forbidding junk food. If you’re not even willing to do that for yourself, then I’m not sure you will ever be truly happy with your weight.

If you’re reading this and your current diet is made up almost exclusively of junk food, then I’m going to be honest. You have no where to go but up in your health and wellness. In my opinion, you’re already poisoning your body on a daily basis. You are the person that is going to feel and see the immediate benefits, but not without some withdrawal.

For Jim, the first few days after he quit eating junk food were the hardest.

So while you will see the greatest gains, you will also have the biggest struggle. Turning your back on junk food is not a small change, but it has huge benefits to you.

A real eye opener is to jot down all the junk food you currently eat in a given day. Don’t even ask me what I mean by junk food. You don’t need it defined. When you have that list completed, read it. Take time to consider how often you eat it in a given week…a month, gasp….a year! Seriously evaluate how many empty calories you are eating.Wilcox-cartoon-for-junk-food-TV-advertising1 Now consider this: you don’t have to switch to a complicated, restrictive calorie, or weird fringe diet. Just stop eating junk food and watch yourself lose weight. Other side effects might include better looking skin and hair, fewer headaches, less depression, less bloating. The gospel truth is that the distinction between our actual weight and our best possible weight is explained by our decision to ingest processed food, fast food, chips, soft drinks, candy, and cheese puffs instead of food found in our produce section. And make no mistake. It IS a decision YOU make. Those Doritos did not find their way into your pantry by GPS.

So, there we have it. As far as I am concerned, if you are one of those people that have tried every diet but have failed time after time, this could very well be the solution for you. There is nothing else you could possibly do with your diet that will give you a bigger push towards that goal weight you covet.

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I cannot guarantee that this one change will take you ALL the way there, but that is when you bring in portion control, counting calories and protein/carb/fat ratios. By the time you are ready to move on to that, you will have already lost some weight and you will be finally feeling you have some control over your health. You will be in a much better position mentally and emotionally to take that next step to further your weight loss. In the meantime, this could be a great way to start.

Always remember: there is no diet on earth that will do what healthy eating does. EVER!! Now, go forth and ban the junk! You’ve got this!

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