Are you struggling with weight loss despite following all of the “rules” and trying every diet on the market? You’re not alone. In the United States 2 out of 3 adults and 1 out of 3 children are either overweight or obese. Tons of people fight the weight loss fight because they’ve been fed the wrong nutrition advice. The good news is that the solution may be more simple than you think. It will require you to throw away everything that you’ve been previously told about dieting and go back to the basics of whole foods.
For the last eight weeks I have taught two weight loss classes for some incredible individuals that have been fed all the wrong information about dieting. For years these individuals have struggled with weight loss despite trying countless programs from Weight Watchers, liquid diets, Atkins, juice cleanses–you name it and they’ve tried it! They’ve put time, effort and money into programs that didn’t yield results. In the last eight weeks we’ve taken a new approach to weight loss by focusing on whole foods, functional nutrition, and the connection between what you eat and how you feel. The key has been changing their perspective on food and nutrition and rewiring their brains for success. In the last eight weeks we debunked weight loss myths and set the record straight! Read below for the top five weight loss myths:
1. Get on a Scale
Weighing yourself routinely can make it seem like the number on the scale is the only measurement of success, which is far from true. Success can also be measured by decreasing inflammation, lowering blood sugar, having regular bowel movements, feeling energized, creating health and improving the quality of your life! These can be much more powerful measurements! The number on the scale is nothing short of a distraction. In football the key to winning a game is not to obsessively stare at the number on the scoreboard. Football games are won by focusing on running, catching, throwing and performing your best for every single play of the game. If you do this well, then the scoreboard takes care of itself and you win the game as a side effect of hustling and playing your best. Like football, the only thing that you can control are the choices that you make at every single meal, if you do this well then weight loss happens as a side effect.
2. Count your Calories
As you probably already know calories are not all created equal. When you associate calories with food it makes it seem like that’s the only thing that matters. But food is so much more than just calories! It feeds your body vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients and information for your cells. Nutrient-dense foods have the ability to decrease oxidative stress, turn on and off various gene mutations, enhance cognitive function, improve your gut health, and increase energy production. The nutrients that food contains can be more powerful than many pharmaceutical drugs, impacting the body in so many positive ways. Instead of counting calories, read the ingredient list of foods and focus on choosing high quality ingredients like healthy fats, lean proteins and low glycemic carbohydrates and your caloric intake will likely take care of itself. Bonus: the shorter the ingredient list, the better.
3. Have More Willpower
The food industry wants you to believe that losing weight comes down to having enough willpower. But the truth is that willpower can only take you so far when you are up against 24 hours access to extremely addictive foods that hijack your brain and leave you needing more and more. The problem is that we live in a toxic food world filled with temptations everywhere you turn. Weight loss would be really easy if you lived in a bubble and didn’t have to be social but unfortunately that isn’t realistic. The key is to cut out as many temptations as possible and to surround yourself with positive, healthy people who will support you and help you embrace your new lifestyle changes.
4. Eat Less
Calorie deprivation and eating less is an extremely ineffective approach to dropping pounds. When you skip meals and go long periods of time without eating your body thinks that you are starving and goes into survival mode. This causes the body to slow your metabolism and hold onto every calorie that you eat in order to keep you alive. This was very effective for our ancestor hunter-gatherers who would go days without food but it does not work well for our current 24-hour-food-access-society. If you want to lose weight then try eating every 3-4 hours and avoid skipping meals.
5. Choose Diet Foods and Salads
Losing weight and improving your diet does not mean eating salads all day! Eating well can actually be fun, delicious, and engaging but you have to be willing to make it fun! If you eat salad and grilled chicken every night, you will burn out fairly quickly and be back to your old ways of eating within a few weeks. Instead try exploring recipes that are whole foods based, venture out to your local farmers market, experiment with new vegetables that you’ve never tried before, and try making nutritious foods that actually taste good! Click here for recipe inspiration!
You have the opportunity to improve your diet every single day. Let go of these weight loss myths and focus on incorporating more whole foods into your diet. Remember quality over quantity is always key!