The cottage cheese theory of weight loss

One of my favorite arguments against eating healthy is the, “but I don’t like the way X tastes.” I get this one frequently.

“What should I eat to make breakfast healthier?”

“Well eggs and oatmeal are a nice, balanced breakfast.”

“Oh I don’t like oatmeal. It’s yucky. How about a bagel?”

This type of conversation goes on in every weight loss forum, support group, and gym constantly. People ask what you need to eat to lose weight, you tell them, and then the answer is, “I don’t like that.” Cottage cheese is a major do not like food. For many in the fitness community it’s a staple food item. It’s affordable, and a great source of protein. It also hits a wide range of icky food buttons for folks. Be it a matter of taste or texture, cottage cheese inevitably receives an ick vote.

Here’s the thing. So what? So what if I don’t like cottage cheese? I like being fat even less. I don’t have a food allergy, I just have an aversion to that particular food. The foods I do like aren’t good for me. I mean a donut tastes tons better than cottage cheese. The donut is not going to help me hit my weight loss goal.

There are many foods I didn’t like when I started my weight loss journey. Cottage cheese was on the list. What I realized is that to get where I wanted to go, I needed to give up things that I enjoyed for a time. So the donuts went off the daily list along with a host of other foods. Cottage cheese rotated on the list. It was a struggle in the beginning. I mixed it with a low fat yogurt to mask the taste, held my nose and ate my cottage cheese. I made the decision that my personal dislike of a variety of foods needed to take a back seat while I worked to lose the weight.

This is a key point for those looking to lose weight and keep it off. You’ve got to make conscious decisions to do things which make you uncomfortable. Being fat is comfortable. It’s familiar, and it’s safe. You need to break down those old routines and habits that are keeping you locked in negative routines. Is it fun to eat food you don’t like? No way Jose. It was months before cottage cheese and I became more than antagonists.  I hit a point where I ate so much tuna I thought I was going to grow gills. I did not enjoy it.

I kept reminding myself that I enjoyed being fat far less.

Over the next several months, the weight dropped off and I formed new relationships with food. Cottage cheese turned from a disgusting food to a staple in the pantry. The Cottage Cheese Theory of Weight Loss was born. In order to get what you want, you’ve got to be willing to suffer through a little (or in my case a lot) of cottage cheese. Embrace being uncomfortable, and through that discomfort discover just how strong you can be.


10 responses to “The cottage cheese theory of weight loss

  • Nina

    I actually like cottage cheese. Maybe there’s hope for me. Love this post!

  • Sara

    I agree. People don’t realise that your tastebuds are trainable. They think they can never like something that’s healthy. During my ‘getting as lean as possible’ days, I gakked down so much bland food that I think I retrained my brain completely. I can honestly eat anything. ANYTHING. Sure, ‘like’ a chocolate croissant, but it’s not longer the only thing that makes morning a good thing and I know I dislike it if I eat so many that my pants get tight. One of the things that makes your brain ‘like’ food is linking it up to an outcome (social cognitive theory of eating behaviour). The more you believe that eating something will make you healthy/gorgeous/brilliant/popular, the more you will like it.

  • BYOOMichelleT

    You keep your cottage cheese in the pantry? :->

  • Medion

    I can’t handle lumpy cottage cheese (sets off the gag reflex) but find it delicious if I just blend it up til it’s all smooth and glossy! Mixed with strawberries…yummmmm!

    I don’t know, I happen to like lots of healthy foods so can’t really understand the perspective of someone who doesn’t – but in my case I don’t think it’s at all necessary to choke down foods I don’t like. It’s entirely possible for food to be healthy AND delicious! Enjoyment of food is a great part of life.

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