Five of the Worst Weight Loss Lies
Posted by : Grant Maxwell /
If you’ve been riding the diet rollercoaster for some time and can’t quite seem to reach level ground - or your ideal weight - without fancy charts, counting calories, or slurping on suspicious concoctions that taste even worse than they sound, then I’ve got some news for you.
You’ve been duped into thinking that health is not your natural state and that you have to work hard and deprive yourself to reach your ideal body size. Nothing could be further from the truth. Here are 5 of the worst weight loss lies that are stopping you from enjoying your relationship with food and your own body!
I Need to go on a “Diet”
If I had a dollar for every time someone said, “I’m on a diet,” in my life, I’d be a bazillionaire. Seriously. I want to reclaim this word here and now, back to it’s original meaning which is simply, ‘what one eats’. Your diet is what you eat. It is not, nor should it be some crazy chart following, protein shake slurping, calorie restricting, scale weighing, starved, complicated system you submit yourself to a few times a year when you want a smaller body. This is NOT the path to a healthy body - quite the opposite.
Count Those Calories!
Following a diet that allows you to eat a certain amount of calories per day is problematic for several reasons. Firstly, not all calories are created equal. If you are using up those calories with carbs and sweets, but still meeting the maximum allowance you’ve given yourself, you’ll run into other problems that are caused by a lack of nutrients in your diet. This is a kind of modern day starvation where many foods available to us are calorie rich but nutrient poor. This causes people to be overweight yet malnourished at the same time. Yes, it’s possible.
Also, restricting food intake can create all kinds of crazy on the body and the person. It leads to this mental/emotional yo-yo of deprivation which leads to excessive eating later on. You know the one - like I won’t eat chocolate all week, but when the weekend comes I’ll fall off the wagon and binge out on the Family Block. When we can create balance with our food intake, cravings diminish. Also when we severely restrict our food intake, our body’s metabolism will slow down and go into ‘famine mode.’ This is a survival instinct from way back that’s still with us. When we lived as hunter-gatherers, there were times when food was scarce, so the body protected itself by storing up calories as fat when food sources were low. Pretty cool, but not so helpful if you’re trying to lose weight.
Fat Makes You Fat!
This is the fattest lie ever told by anyone. Fat is absolutely essential to your health. It’s one of our body’s main building blocks and fuel sources. New studies are proving a high fat/ low carbohydrate diet makes us lose weight, not gain it! Our cell membranes are made from fat, it’s critical for our hormonal health, and our brain is 60% fat!
Not all fat is created equal, though. Some are good, and some are downright nasty. The best fats for your bod are avocados, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, grass-fed butter and sources of omega 3 fats like fish and flax oil. The worst include polyunsaturated fats like canola and cottonseed oil and trans fats like margarine.
If I Just Exercise I Will Stay Skinny
Although I have nothing at all against moving that beautiful bod of yours - you absolutely should as that is exactly why you have one ;-) but I want you to know you can’t exercise yourself out of a bad diet. Justifying poor food choices with long sessions at the gym or over-exercising in other ways may help you to maintain your ideal weight for a short period but will quickly lead to fatigue, burnout, and other potential health problems and compulsive behaviours. Also, when we feel burnt out we are likely to slow down on the fitness regime over time and begin to gain the weight again.
Weight Loss is All About Controlling Food Intake
Yes you absolutely have to make better food choices - that is a big piece of the puzzle, but it is only one piece. Exercise and movement, of course is another, BUT if you’ve had years struggling with your body, your food, and weight loss, then it’s highly likely you’re dealing with some destructive patterns of emotional eating, mild addictions to certain stimulants like sugar, and A LOT of attention stuck on your body and how it looks, feels, whether you like it or not, what others think of it, etc. This can be a massive loss of self-esteem, happiness and pleasure for the person involved and can even lead to disordered eating, depression and self-loathing in both mild and extreme cases. Not cool.
To reach a healthy body weight and restore our relationship to food we need to look at all the pieces of the puzzle, not just the food and fitness pieces. We need to restore self-confidence, pleasure and build a new relationship with how we relate to food and life!
Join us for a fun, informative and interactive evening this Wednesday, 9 Nov at The Nelson Library, 7pm to learn more!
Tickets are $5 and the event is being run through Nelson City Council's November Wellness Month. See our Facebook event for details.
Written by Alison Ramsay for The Kitchen - you can find her here.