The Will To Reduce
( Originally Published 1929 )
THE person who wants to reduce must throw to the winds some of the dietary traditions of the human race. For example, he must learn these two basic truths:
You cannot trust your appetite. You must not fall into eating habits.
Fat has a cunning and insidious habit of stealing upon you. The slightest excess over the cur-rent needs of your body will, in the course of a surprisingly few years, bring you to a condition of obesity.
There is much good authority for the assertion that "only a few grams surplus food each day a good helping of butter or a liberal serving of cream can in the course of a year add two or three pounds to the body weight." Dr. Graham Lusk goes so far as to declare that "if a man drinks one-third of a glass of milk above his nutritional requirements he will gain nine pounds in a year and ninety pounds in ten years" So if you are as good at mathematics as you are at mastication a lightning calculation will convince you that in so few as ten years you will be twenty or thirty pounds overweight, perhaps even ninety. Dr. E. V. McCollum says:
"Another factor in establishing chronic indigestion and malnutrition is the habit of eating at stated times irrespective of the need of food. The prevalence of double chins and triple necks at-tests the fact that many are eating far more than their natural requirements. Unfortunately, the appetite is not a safe protector, especially when tempted by attractive dishes, and many eat when the digestive tract is not prepared to handle food."
By the wise selection of food you can train your stomach to practice food temperance.
Before you can successfully avoid obesity or effectively banish it you must acquire a certain minimum amount of knowledge relating to the science and rules of nutrition. Relatively the task is a simple one. Any person of average intelligence can accomplish it. But the mastering of the facts of nutrition is not enough. They must be obeyed.
Obesity begins with indulgence. Its cure begins with obedience obedience to certain well-defined and accurately tested rules.
Remember that self-control is essential to any correction of obesity. If you would correct it never eat to satiety. Leave the table a little hungryŚwith your appetite measurably appeased but still unsatisfied. Even when the beneficent feeling of satiation is not present at the immediate end of a scanty meal it will generally come a few moments later.
Whatever character of food you eat chew it long and thoroughly. By such a practice you will arrive more quickly at a state of satisfaction.
Do not deceive yourself. Once convinced that you. are obese cease seeking excuses, explanations and defenses. Quit talking about the natural tendency of your father or mother, your grandfather or grandmother or even more remote ancestors, whom you never saw but whom you now hastily persuade yourself you have heard were disposed to be fat. When you look wistfully at a juicy bit of pork and a tempting baked potato laden with butter, don't surrender with the lame excuse that fat runs in your family and no matter what you do you cannot keep thin.
If the intimate members of your family seek to encourage you with their sympathy repel them and deny yourself their misguided help. Some few obese people deserve the sympathy of their families but most of them should arouse not the pity but the condemnation as well as the constructive criticism of their friends.
Do Not Backslide
Once launched in your campaign of weight reduction do not backslide. It is amusing at dinner parties to hear people say, "I have faithfully followed my diet for a week now and believe me I am going to enjoy this meal without restriction," or "It is foolish but I am going to have this piece of chocolate," or "I should not but I cannot resist this piece of candy." Excessive weight can often be traced to these lapses.
You cannot sit down and eat half a box of chocolate or go to a soda fountain and drink sodas. That is dietetic treason. You must be faithful in the little things as well as in the large. The secret of successful reduction is grounded in consistent and conscientious adherence to a prescribed diet.
It is no secret that the fat habit is blood brother to the drinking habit or the smoking habit. The more firmly a person swears off only to break his good resolution, the more certain he is to fail in curing himself of the fat habit. But if you try and fail, try again. Don't give up the simple rules of diet and exercise. If properly followed they will prove cheaper and more effective than some of the painful methods of reducing widely advertised to which you may be tempted to turn.