How advertising works.
Dr. Laurie recited a commercial she remembered when she was young. The commercial was about special K cereal and showed a woman on a beautiful day, smiling happily as the wind blew through her hair. She biked to the corner store and then the camera followed her back home as she was eating an ice-cream cone as a reward for exercising.
The old special K commercials were about weight loss and being slim and attractive. What is interesting about this commercial is that it alludes to living well and appeals to our emotion. It is a feel good commercial and we identify with the feelings expressed in the commercial, smiling, looking good, feeling good, being rewarded for good behaviour. The trouble with this is that it doesn't make any cognitive sense at all.
So if you walk a mile you will burn 100 calories and if you eat a 300 calorie ice cream then the only thing that happens is that you are fooling yourself into a way of being that only ends up with weight-gain. Emotion in advertising is extremely powerful, this is how people easily out eat their exercise and the truth is taking a leisurely walk or a leisurely bike ride is actually not exercise. Exercise is to increase muscle such as lifting weights to maintain lean mass and increasing heart rate such as an aerobic exercise to burn calories so leisurely walking activities or biking activities don't actually do either and fall under the category of non exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT).
The new special K commercials that I have seen are now all about fitness, women who box, or run, or dance, or do really demanding athletics. Special K and other commercials have changed their tune from 'you can't take a pinch off me' to 'I am strong, and I eat special K.'
So now the difficulty is that the advertising is gearing to the confusion of the difference between being unbelievably active and being relatively sedentary. People who are unbelievably active and have lean mass can double their calorie intake easily.
It takes 3500 calories to lose 1 pound of body fat.
So the difficulty I have found is that I don't fall into either category of ' you can't take a pinch off me' or 'I am strong'. Especially now that I can see the way in which commercials gear to emotional confusion. What these commercials are really saying is how it is we 'should' be able to eat and live life. 'Should' is a societal standard. Bottom lining it what they are advertising is actually the consumption of sugar. That is the societal standard that the commercials are actually promoting. They are promoting that everyone should eat sugar and be able to be thin and happy. So with increasing portion sizes and decreasing physical activity if you consume an extra 100 calories a day you will gain 10 pounds every year.
So in that original example that Dr. Laurie provided that feel good commercial actually promoted a lifestyle for women to gain 10 pounds every year.
On the quest to lose 50 pounds in a year. Can she do it? Only time will tell....with the help of this blog.