Sunday, October 4, 2015

Is it harder to stay thin now than it was 50 years ago?

Recently I noticed a post on Facebook with a picture of Jane Fonda doing her exercise video. I believe her video was the one that many of us first exercised too...well hers and Richard Simmons! Now I love the Leslie Sansone Walking Videos!

The post asked if it was harder for Millennials to stay thin than it is was for Baby Boomers? Just for the record I think it is.

If you have been following my blog then you know that I have been following a Low Carb/High Fat diet and have been having great success with it. I keep my carb intake between 20 and 24 carbs per day. To put that into perspective let me list a few of my favorite "regular" foods that I would eat before:

1. Venti Breve Latte with One Splenda at Starbucks = 25 net carbs
2. Coco's Restaurant Asian Chicken Salad = 70 net carbs
3. Subway Black Forest Ham Sandwich with Jalapeno Bread = 40 net carbs
4. Chips and Salsa = 35 net carbs
5. Cheetos (my poison of choice) = 14 net carbs per every 21 Cheetos (I would eat a whole bag in one weekend!)

As you can see if you are trying to stick to low carb, just one serving of any of the above and you have blown the carbs for the day!

Whenever I would sit down to watch TV in the evening or on the weekends I would have a snack. Popcorn, Cheetos, Chips and Salsa, cookies or some type of candy, Licorice being one of my favorites. Every single time!! So I've been having a hard time controlling cravings when I sit down and watch TV.

I started thinking back to when aimlessly snacking on junk became the norm for me and I realized that when I was a teenager we would have three meals a day, breakfast, lunch and dinner...and that was it! We didn't have snack time and we didn't even know what that was.

Oh sure, every once in a while my mom would give us some cookies or my dad would bring us home a small bag of sunflower seeds each or a piece of beef jerky, but that was few and far between and those were treats, not snacks or something that we had on a regular basis. We didn't crave them, we just enjoyed them when we got them.

At night when we would all gather around the TV to watch Chico and the Man or Sanford and Son, we would just watch TV, no snacks. Wow, I can't even imagine just sitting there and watching TV! 

When us Baby Boomers were younger, we just didn't aimlessly snack, at least I didn't. But Millennials now are bombarded with what I consider junk food. Chips, cookies, pastries, dollar menu hamburgers, hot dogs, tacos, pizza by the slice! Even in the schools they have the school cafeteria and then they have the option of going to the snack bar and getting many of the foods I have just listed.

I remember my mom telling us to go outside after breakfast and not to come back in until we saw our dad's truck come home for lunch. Then we would come in and mom would have a lunch prepared and then back outside with instructions to not come in until Dad's truck was home for the evening.

So we rode our bikes, played with the neighbor kids outside, invented games, built forts, played school, threw rocks into the canals and just generally exercised the whole day away. On days we were at school, we had P.E. on a daily basis and then we also joined extracurricular activities like softball, volleyball, basketball, swimming and tennis. 

We ate well. We ate healthy. We didn't snack and we exercised regularly. I don't see that lifestyle with Millennials at all. Which is why we have an epidemic of obesity!

Many of the people that commented on the post mentioned the fact that it is cheaper to eat foods that are bad for you. You can go to almost any fast food restaurant and get 6 burgers and fries and drink combo meal cheaper than you can go to a store and purchase the ingredients. That may or may not be true, but it definitely is not better for your health. 

Many also mentioned the fact that it is hard to cook a meal everyday. It's so much easier to drive through a fast food place or place an order for pizza. Sure, cooking is hard, it's time consuming. But having high blood pressure, diabetes and/or heart disease is also hard. It's hard on the person that is ill and it's hard on the person that has to care for them. Pick your hard. Which would you pick on a daily basis?

It reminds me of a cartoon that my doctor has in her office...

I'm choosing to be healthier. I should have started sooner, but better late than never. I'm still on my low carb/high fat WOE and guess what? 17 pounds lighter today! I am so thrilled about that and it gives me all the incentive to continue. It hasn't been easy. I've had cravings and temptations, but I've managed to overcome them by taking it one day at a time!



  1. I don't know if it is harder now or then. Back then there were few healthy options. Salads were iceberg lettuce with crappy tomatoes. And no organic options and so much processed food! But the big headline of your piece is your line: I choose to be healthy!

    1. Heidi I know that because we lived on the ranches and farms my dad worked for we always had lots of fresh produce and my mom made meals from scratch. Up until I was 15 or 16 I had never had a pizza! Well I had Pizza, but it was my mom's homemade pizza and nothing like the type served in pizza parlors. When we went into town once or twice a week we would eat at a McDonalds or Taco Bell or Del Taco and it was Heaven to us kids. Why is that? What made the junk food taste so much better than mom's food?

      It's interesting to ponder that and I'm sure there are many different reasons, but it was the beginning of the end when I started high school and had access to the snack bar. I had a burger and soda every lunch break. Sometimes we would walk downtown and I would get a Dr. Pepper and a bag of Doritos Taco flavor (they had not invented all the other flavors yet) and that would be all that I had for lunch.

      Happy to say that since July 14, 2015 I have not had one potato or tortilla chip! I feel better, look better, have more energy and I realize that it is a choice. I choose to be healthy! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. 50 years ago there were fewer culinary temptations, and there was less money to buy goodies. Nowadays we are invaded by food varieties ,and money is cheap (especially in America where the Fed is printing it non stop).
    Excercise is good for health but does very little for slimming; it is mainly nutrition that does the work, and people have difficulty with that.

    Kudos to you for having the courage to embark on a high fat diet (yes, courage, as we know what fat does to our arteries), and still achieving your goals!

    1. That is true DUTA, we have so many more options and we can drive thru and pick up almost any kind of food, from pizza to tacos to Chinese food!

      And diet and exercise definitely go hand in hand. I've done LC/HF before without exercise and I've lost weight, but I haven't felt as healthy and whole as I do when now that I've combined it with exercise as well. Thank you for your encouragement!

  3. Congratulations Alicia!!! That is great and so very happy for you (and jealous too...LOL!!!) !!!

    1. Thanks Oliva! Just gotta keep going. I'm just taking it slow and steady. I figure if I lose only 1 pound a week I will lose 52 pounds in a year! It's a marathon, not a sprint :)


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