Myths of Weight Loss
I’m willing to bet money that there are a handful of (false) beliefs that you have, that are preventing you from getting started on the weight-loss/health journey.
I’ve found that many people hold assumptions about what they are going to have to do, which is preventing them from getting started. I mean it makes sense. If someone told you that you had to eat only plants for the next year and workout 3 hours a day, would you do it? Hell no!
So my aim here is to dispel a couple of the most common myths so that you can get started, now, and feel a little bit more inspired.
#1 I’m Going to be Hungry All The Time
By far the #1 belief people have when they think about dieting or weight loss is the idea that you are going to be hungry all the time.
They envision days of eating an apple and a yogurt for each meal, and dreaming about those steaks and mashed potatoes. Not fun, right?
In reality, there is a ton of evidence showing that dramatic calorie reduced diets don’t work long term and the obvious: the more you reduce your calories, the stronger your chances of giving up.
(Big surprise, eh?).
It’s not really that surprising though, because who can sustain a diet of near-constant hunger for months or years? Not only is it unnecessary, it’s unsustainable. And I don’t care what weight loss product or diet you buy into, the most important thing is adhering to it. Otherwise you’re losing 35 pounds now just to gain back 45 later.
So what’s the secret? Eat foods that keep you full and stimulate the “I’m full” hormones like protein and fats at each meal.
Eat regularly. Eat 5 regular meals throughout the day.
And eat the right foods.
The wrong foods (like sugar, high fructose corn syrup or diets high in carbohydrates) don’t keep you quiet as full as long and kinda have that craving cycle – “I need to eat NOW!” and then 30 minutes later “I need to eat NOW!” They’re more rapidly assimilated but their “full” effects wear off more quickly.
Don’t believe me? Tomorrow morning, eat three eggs for breakfast (about 180 calories). The next day, try eating 180 calories of oatmeal for breakfast.
An hour later, tell me which one leaves you full. It’s obvious. The eggs.
Eat the right foods. Not just the right amounts. You won’t experience hunger nearly as much as you think. For many people that might involve adding a small piece of protein and fat to each meal to help stay full, as well as eating regularly (rather than just 3 square meals).
What’s interesting is that, in both of the success stories I’ve profiled (Lamine lost 66 pounds, and Lauryn who lost 100+ pounds), neither of them were hungry throughout the day, and they both ate until they were full. They just shifted to eating the right kinds of food, and the proper amounts took care of themselves.
#2 I Need to Spend Hours a Day in the Gym
Many people seem to think that the only way to consistently lose weight is to spend hours in a gym, every day.
Not only is this so out of whack with reality (and the science), it’s just a reminder to put away the People magazine and stop listening to celebrity transformation stories and looking at anorexic models pitching stupid advice.
(FYI I have three female friends that are models, and they eat Mcdonald’s regularly and don’t exercise — they have the genetics; not exactly where you want your diet advice coming from).
So how much time do you need to spend exercising?
Ready for this?
For many of you, you won’t need to exercise at the start at all.
Are you better off exercising? Yeah.
Will you lose more weight exercising in addition to eating right? Absolutely.
Doesn’t exercise have a whole host of other important benefits? Fo’ sho.
But diet is the main driver of your success or failure – and many people (depending on where you are now) will see dramatic improvements just by shifting to eating the proper foods.
Once you’ve taken the time to ingrain healthy eating habits, you can then add in exercise to take it to the next level. Many people complain about time too – another reason to focus on healthy eating first.
I met a CPR instructor last year that lost 150 pounds (in one year) just by changing his diet. No exercise. All he did was start eating “real food” like plants, meat, and healthy fats. So yes, it’s possible.
#3 It’s Going to Mean a Lot of Sacrificing What I Like
Easy question: how many people do you think stick to a “diet” 100% of the time, long-term?
Almost none. And we’ve already talked about how adherence is key to not sucking at “dieting.”
Now, I don’t know if there are any studies showing how effective cheat days are, but fortunately we don’t need science on this one.
Which kind of lifestyle interests you more? 7 days of eating only what you have to, or 5 days of eating what you have to, and 2 days of eating what you want to? That includes pizza, snickers, coke, and whatever else.
The second one, obviously!
Cheat days are really important for a couple reasons (aside from the fact that you get to beast an entire Domino’s thin crust pepperoni by yourself):
- They are structured – so they don’t happen accidentally. You control them rather than randomly cheating throughout the week
- They focus on building up a new lifestyle, gradually
Also I don’t call them “cheat days.” Calling them cheat days is total garbage if you ask me — it’s supposed to be a no-stress, no-guilt day to indulge. But cheating has an immensely negative connotation in our society. So why would you want to do a cheat day? And after you do, how do you think you are going to feel?
I just call them “no-stress” days. You just eat naturally. Relax. No guilt. All pleasure. It’s a hedonistic orgy in your mouth all day. Booya.
So, make sure to have 2 “no-stress” days a week. Just enjoy life.
#4 I’m Going to Have to Stop Eating Fatty Foods That Taste so Good!
One of the most damaging myths that has gone viral around the world is that “fat” is bad for you. It’s built on the seemingly “logical” assumption that eating fat makes you fat. Fortunately for us, it’s doesn’t. I’m not going to go into the what, why or how right now, but what I really want to talk about is this:
Fat helps keep you full! (It also helps you go to the bathroom for those of you who are corked up tighter than the gates of Troy. Actually it’s the only major stimulator of the “gastrocolic” reflex that gives you the urge. Not protein. No carbs. Not even meal size).
Protein and fat are the main stimulators of the hormones that signal that you’re full.
Many people starving throughout the day are people eating too many carbs or too few calories —so they aren’t getting the same satiating effects that proteins and fats have. They are eating salad 5x a day, or eating lots of fruits, or eating crackers and wheat. Those things are fine but they aren’t exactly the kings of keeping you full.
I’m not going to make some false promise and say you can eat three big macs a day and lose weight – but there are many healthy foods that are fatty and good for you, like those found in meats, olive oil, coconut oil, etc.
A diet low in fat is also tragically low in taste! So don’t worry, you still get to eat the good stuff. (Bacon… yeeeee buddy).
#5 I Can Just Do a Lot of Crunches and Lose My Belly Fat
Have you ever looked at the celebrity gossip magazines or the health magazines while waiting on line in the grocery store?
They always have a headline mentioning losing belly fat (for women) or how to get a six pack (for men). It’s obvious that our society is obsessed with abdominals.
Many of us accumulate body fat in certain areas of our body, which usually varies based on the individual and genetics.
However, due to the massive obsession with a flat stomach (thanks to the big gossip magazines), many women tell me that they want to try and get rid of fat in one place – their arms, their stomach, their butt.
But here’s the truth: there is no such thing as spot fat removal – you cannot lose more fat over your stomach by doing stomach exercises.
So how do you lose that stubborn fat?
You might not be happy with this answer, but there are no secrets.
When you’re eating the right foods, getting your body in motion, sleeping enough, and keeping stress levels to a minimum, your body fat will reduce overall – and also in those areas that you want like your stomach, legs, arms, etc.
What About You?
What limiting beliefs have held you back from getting started, or are otherwise halting your progress?
Just leave a comment below.
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