What Sherlock Holmes Can Teach Us About Dieting

“Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” – Sherlock Holmes (by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1859-1930)

If Sherlock Holmes was engaged to investigate the irregularities of weight loss/gain without the conditioning of 20th Century nutrition theory he might have come up with a different idea of truth.

I offer an alternative reality based on the premise that weight loss is based on the law of attraction and how we think and feel determines our reality.

The Honeymoon Period

When you first start a diet you are filled with excitement and enthusiasm. Finally you have found a plan that you know will work. The diet takes into account your food and exercise preferences and you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this time you have found the holy grail.

You eat exactly what you are told and feel happy that you are eating good food, and proud that you are on track. In the first few weeks the weight just drops off.

Good Feelings = High | Weight Loss = High

The Novelty Wears Off

After a while you don’t feel so great because you are getting tired and cranky, and you are missing your favourite food and drink. You aren’t having as much fun as you did at the start. Occasionally you have the smallest slip up and eat food that is bad (while you are eating it you are thinking “I shouldn’t be eating this, it will make me fat”).

You are a little disappointed that you aren’t as motivated or disciplined as you were at the beginning. Weight loss starts to slow down.

Good Feelings = Medium | Weight Loss = Medium

The Plateau

As the weeks roll on, you become more and more miserable. You battle cravings and struggle to keep up your exercise routine. Although you know you are eating good food and are sticking to the plan, you don’t really like the taste of your food or feel satisfied after a meal. You may slip up and feel bad about it, but it is no more than you did in the previous weeks when you continued to lose weight.

You feel frustrated when you can’t go out to eat with your friends or refuse your son’s birthday cake. The scale stops moving and you’ve hit a plateau

Good feelings = Low-None | Weight Loss = Low-None

The Re-Feed/Cheat Day

Although this is a part of your plan, you spend the whole day worried about eating bad food. How can all these carbs and calories not show up on the scale? You eat beyond fullness and feel stuffed and disgusting. Your re-feed/cheat sometimes turns into a thinly disguised binge. You fully expect to gain weight and you do.

Good feelings = None | Weight Loss = Gain

The Unexplainable

→You go on holidays and eat more than you ever have before without worrying about it and you lose weight. ~ Good feelings = High | Weight Loss = High

→You have a free day where you eat to your hunger levels and are only a little concerned about the few bad things you ate. You still continue to lose weight. ~ Good feelings = Medium | Weight Loss = Medium

→You are instructed to take a week off exercise and you spend the week relaxing and enjoying the rest. You lose some weight. ~ Good feelings = Medium | Weight Loss = Medium

→You are miserable from dieting, but you are getting leaner and the finish line is in sight ~ in a short while you will be standing on stage, you will feel fantastic and your post competition meal is designed and scheduled. You still lose weight but not at the rate you expect considering the low calories and amount of training hours you put in. ~ Good feelings = Low | Weight Loss = Low

It is Not What You Eat But How You Feel About Eating

The truth may be that it is one of those things where cause and effect have been mixed up. It is not about the food we eat (otherwise one diet would work for everyone, in every situation) but it about our thoughts and emotional investment in what we are doing.

When I think about when I was a kid and I was lean, fit and healthy without even thinking about it, I realise it was when I had no concept of good or bad food. I ate without judgement or expectations of how it would affect my body.

My naturally slender friends eat without a second thought because they believe that it won’t affect how they look. One of my friends said “I eat like a 12 year old boy but it doesn’t matter because I don’t put on weight”. It is interesting to note that she has a twin sister who has weight issues so the genetics theory is also disproved in this instance.

A New Reality

How crazy would it be if the truth was that the food, the calories, the fat and the carbs had nothing to do with it? I want to live in that reality. The only thing I have to do is believe and not feel bad (which is sadly the hard part).

Did You Know

  • Correlation does not imply causation” is a phrase used in science and statistics to emphasize that correlation between two variables does not automatically imply that one causes the other (though it does not remove the fact that correlation can still be a hint, whether powerful or otherwise). The opposite phrase, correlation proves causation, is a logical fallacy by which two events that occur together are claimed to have a cause-and-effect relationship. The fallacy is also known as cum hoc ergo propter hoc (Latin for “with this, therefore because of this”) and false cause.
    Example : Sleeping with one’s shoes on is strongly correlated with waking up with a headache. Therefore, sleeping with one’s shoes on causes headache. The example commits the correlation-implies-causation fallacy, as it prematurely concludes that sleeping with one’s shoes on causes headache. A more plausible explanation is that both are caused by a third factor, in this case alcohol intoxication, which thereby gives rise to a correlation. ~ Wikipedia

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About KatieP

Embracing my midlife sexy while exploring modern love & relationships • Devoted to all things beautiful • Master of Arts in creative writing & non-fiction writing