Fat acceptance and how we got here.

Plus: Recipes to help with sustainable weight loss.

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"Nutrition isn't about how much you eat, but what you eat. Feed the soul as much as you feed the body."

Wednesday. Adding to the list of things ruined by millennials, we now have the midlife crisis. Back in the day, the classic midlife crisis stereotype included some guy irresponsibly buying a red sports car. As elder millennials start reaching their midlife years, the median cash saved by U.S. consumers aged 35-44 stands at a dismal $4,710, with another $60,000 in their retirement account. Even if millennials were to empty their 401(k), that wouldn’t cover a base model Corvette (starts at $64,500). I guess the new midlife crisis has to be starting a podcast and buying a second-hand electric scooter.

Speaking of things that have drastically changed over the last few decades, the fat acceptance movement is now a growing trend. So how did we get here, and is “fat acceptance” what we really need?

Misinformation, Empathy, and Fat Acceptance

So what exactly are we talking about when we refer to the fat acceptance movement (sometimes called body positivity)? Rooted in empathy, the fat acceptance movement is a social movement that seeks to eliminate the social stigma of obesity by pointing out the obstacles faced by overweight people. That said, critics have been vocal in pointing out that “accepting” something as unhealthy as obesity is unproductive and excuses bad habits that need to change for us to get healthier as a society.

I know this can be a polarizing subject, but it is important to note that empathy and personal responsibility aren’t mutually exclusive.

Before we dismiss the fat acceptance movement as an excuse for laziness or lack of discipline, we must realize that this movement stems from genuine pain and frustration caused by years of misleading dietary advice. Can you imagine how heart-wrenching it is to try diet after diet, only to see no results or even regress? For many, losing weight feels like an impossible uphill battle.

Just think about the countless times you've tried to follow the latest fad diet or advice from a well-intentioned doctor. We’ve all been there — facing the discouragement of not shedding those extra pounds. That's when thoughts like "Maybe it's just my genetics" start to creep in. And it's this exact feeling of defeat that fuels the fat acceptance or body positivity movement. If you’ve tried all the things that seemingly work for everyone else and they aren’t working for you, then isn’t this just the way things are?

This is where the blame falls on useless misinformation that has become so prevalent in the mainstream dieting world.

Most mainstream diets advocate for low-fat and high-carbohydrate regimens. We've been told to shy away from red meats and fats, focusing more on plant-based foods. But here's the thing: this advice isn’t helping anyone. Low-fat diets often result in meals filled with empty calories, leaving us constantly hungry and malnourished in the long run.

Contrary to popular belief, red meat and other animal-derived fats can be a treasure trove of nutrient-dense calories. They offer a plethora of essential nutrients and have a unique capability to keep us satiated, which prevents overeating. Remember that feeling of being full after a hearty steak? That's precisely how these nutrient-rich, satiating foods work.

The fat acceptance movement isn't baseless. Its core message — promoting self-worth and self-love — is something we should all stand by. But, while we should always celebrate body positivity, we can't ignore the scientific evidence linking excess weight to numerous health complications. It's essential to strike a balance between empathy and personal responsibility, or else we will keep digging ourselves into an even bigger hole.

The key to this balance lies in dietary re-education. Instead of counting calories or cutting out fat altogether, we should focus on the quality of the calories we consume. Red meats, eggs, seafood, and dairy products, often demonized by mainstream diets, should be celebrated for their nutrient density. On the other hand, we should reduce our intake of processed foods and refined fats — the so-called "empty calories" that do more harm than good.

And vegetables aren’t the enemy either, as some carnivore advocates will have you believe. Vegetables are high in fiber, which is crucial to helping you feel fuller and avoid overeating in the long run.

The key takeaway? Listen, I get it. The diet industry has done us more harm than good, and with more weight loss drugs on the market, I don’t see that changing any time soon. It is entirely understandable why fat acceptance and body positivity has become a growing trend. It is the natural reaction after all the frustrating lies the mainstream dieting space has told us.

As we grow to understand the vital relationship between nutrition, body composition, and health, we'll pave the way for a society that both acknowledges the struggles of the overweight while also guiding them towards a healthier life. The journey might be long and hard, but with the proper knowledge and perspective, we can foster both physical well-being and much-needed self-love.

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Tonic Shots

1. Snacks Can Be Tough When Trying To Lose Weight

This high-protein snack can be your secret weapon for sustainable weight loss! Enjoy!

2. Eating Healthy For Weight Loss Doesn’t Have To Be Boring

These honey garlic shrimp are a great way to spice things up and get some quality protein into your diet. Enjoy!

3. An Option If You Don’t Eat Meat

Even though it is packed with nutrients, some people decide not to eat meat. I get it — here is a lunch option packed with veggies and fiber to make sure you don’t over indulge on snacks later on in the day.

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