A recent survey of 1,000 random people between the age of 80 found that more than half of Americans would rather lose $1,000 than gaining 20 pounds.
Interestingly enough though, the same study found that people made their food choices based on these criterion in order of importance:
Moreover, they found that more than half wanted to lose weight and when they asked what stood in the way, the number one reason was lack of willpower. 38% report thinking frequently about calorie consumption and 31% report thinking about it sometimes.
What do I think about all this?
I'm glad you clicked.
First of all, I am with the people placing their health over their money. The reasoning is obvious on several levels. First of all, $1,000 doesn't go far in the hospital where you could end up with extra pounds. Plus, I think most people are terrified at the thought of weight gain. Most people think of themselves at the absolute peak of what they will ever weight. We are all about to drop a few pounds, just like every smoker is trying to quit.
But the irony of it all? Despite people valuing 20 pounds above their hard earned money, they will choose tastiness AND price over healthfulness. That is the real choice here and I wish they would have asked the question like this:
Would you rather gain 20 pounds or have to stop eating crappy foods?
Although I'm sure more than half again would have said stop eating crappy foods, turn in the survey, pick up their bag of processed garbage and walked away.
How much does it cost to eat healthy? Not nearly as much as you'd think. When I'm approached by someone just starting off with weight loss, I will never recommend going crazy grass fed organic. Ultimately, I'd rather you eat chickens from a dirty coop than Cheetoes. Granted, if you can afford it and it doesn't overwhelm you, go for the Turkey hand fed by the Dalai Lama in the fields of Shangri-La where it was serenaded by angelic choirs, massaged by Swedish Blondes and breathed air collected from the clouds above the Swiss Alps.
But seriously, one thing at a time. Eat chicken for a few months and then start worrying about which Farm Fosters grabbed your bird from once you get that pattern down.
What about organic? If you really want to go organic, here are 9 foods to start from according to Primal Genius Mark Sisson.
Just buy meat and vegetables. Buy whatever is on sale every week. Turkey, Chicken, Beef, Fish, whatever. Cut it up to portions based on your goals and current weight. Buy fresh seasonal vegetables from reputable places (serious plug for Sprouts here, they've been killing it on prices lately for produce).
It's not rocket science. You don't have to choose between $1,000 and 20 pounds. Here's three things you can do right now:
- If it's in a package, don't eat it.
- If it requires a biology degree to understand the ingredients, don't eat it.
- If it is the ingredient list (i.e. Salmon, Spinach, Avocado), put it in your mouth, chew and swallow it.
- Stop when you're full.
- When you're hungry, rinse and repeat.
So out of curiousity, how much would you rather lose than gain 20 pounds?