You don’t know that potatoes and bread, in moderation—the right moderation—are not especially fattening and that the nibbles you have with cocktails and between meals give you a lot more fat-forming calories than bread or potatoes could ever do.
Or you shrug your shoulders and say, “How on earth can I reduce my weight!” and give one of these four reasons.
1. You live alone, and it’s mighty hard to reduce when you’re alone.
2. You live with a big family—or with one other person—and it’s mighty hard to reduce when other people are around.
3. You live at home, and it’s mighty hard to reduce when you eat every meal at home.
4. You eat in restaurants, and isn’t it practically impossible to reduce when you eat out?
You know as well as I do that these excuses are just that—excuses. Alibis and not very good ones. If you make up your mind to reduce, these difficulties will just add fun to the reduction. Extra hazards. Things you can overcome.
You can’t reduce permanently by following blindly a bit of printed paper, whether it’s a vague or definite menu, scattered or concise directions. You can reduce only if you understand what reduction is all about, and, understanding it, follow the knowledge you have gained.
First, you should have found out what you weigh. You should have found out what you should weigh. Which gives you, simple as anything, the amount you should lose. Your rate of loss had best be determined by your own physician—and your own health.
Second, you should have your doctor’s advice on your own reduction problem. He’ll probably suggest a special diet.
He’ll undoubtedly tell you how many calories a day you ought to eat. It will probably be around 1,000 calories, while you’re losing weight, and a far more liberal allowance, once you’ve reached the weight that is perfect for you. The amount you’ll eat, even then, will undoubtedly be less than you eat now. You’ll learn to compare this with your present diet.
Third, you must learn about foods and their values. Not only their calories, but their carbohydrate, their protein and their fat content. And you must learn how much of these foods are right for you, and in what proportion.
Fourth, you must learn about the vitamin and mineral contents of food. You’ll find out, likely as not, in these days of buying foods that have been picked a long time before they reach you, or which have been canned or frozen, that they have lost part of their vitamin value and must be supplemented by vitamins. Your own doctor will suggest a vitamin supplement, something to take the place of the lost vitamins, cue to our present mode of living when this is necessary.