3 Biggest Diet Myths That Might Be Keeping You Stuck
One of my biggest pet peeves in amount of bad weight loss advice on the internet. Most of it is either unproven, or literally proven not to work. It seems like every few weeks there’s a new “magic” solution to lose weight. Most of which are unhealthy or unsustainable. Weight loss is far more complicated and individual for each person.
The dieting culture is working overtime to continue to build their multi-billion dollar industry. If dieting worked, we wouldn’t see the hundred of new “diets” every single year. Each of those “diets” usually have these 3 things in common.
Here are the top 3 biggest lies, myths and misconceptions about dieting and weight loss.
1. All Calories Are Equal
The calorie is a measure of energy. All “calories” have the same energy content.
However, this does NOT mean that all calorie sources have the same effects on your weight.
Different foods go through different metabolic pathways and can have vastly different effects on hunger and the hormones that regulate body weight.
For example, a protein calorie is not the same as a fat calorie or a carb calorie.
Replacing carbs and fat with protein can boost metabolism, reduce appetite and cravings, while optimizing the function of some weight-regulating hormones.
Also, calories from whole foods (like fruit) tend to be much more filling than calories from refined foods (like candy).
BOTTOM LINE:Not all calorie sources have the same effects on health and weight. For example, protein can increase metabolism, reduce appetite and improve the function of weight-regulating hormones.
2. Losing Weight Is a Linear Process
Losing weight is usually not a linear process, like some people think.
Some days and weeks you may lose, while during others you may gain a little bit.
This is not a cause for concern. It is normal for body weight to fluctuate up and down by a few pounds.
For example, you may be carrying more food in your digestive system or your body may be holding on to more water than usual.
This is even more pronounced in women, as water weight can fluctuate quite a bit during the menstrual cycle.
As long as the general trend is going downwards, no matter how much it fluctuates, you will still succeed over the long term.
BOTTOM LINE:Losing weight can take a long time. The process is generally not completely linear, as weight tends to fluctuate up and down by a few pounds.
3. Our Success is Based on Willpower, Not Biology
It is completely false that weight gain/loss is all about willpower, or making a “choice” to do this or that.
Obesity is a very complex disorder with dozens, if not hundreds of contributing factors.
There are numerous genetic variables that have been shown to associate with obesity, and various medical conditions (hypothyroidism, PCOS, depression) that can increase the risk of weight gain.
The body also has numerous hormones and biological pathways that are supposed to regulate body weight. These tend to be dysfunctional in people with obesity, making it much harder to lose weight and keep it off.
For example, being resistant to the hormone leptin is a major cause of obesity.
The leptin signal is supposed to tell your brain that it has enough fat stored. When the leptin isn’t managing to deliver its signal, the brain thinks that you are starving.
Trying to exert “willpower” and consciously eating less in the face of the leptin-driven starvation signal is extremely difficult, if not impossible for many people.
There are even infants that are becoming obese these days. How can anyone blame that on personal responsibility or a lack of willpower? It is very clear that there are biological factors at play.
Eating is driven by behavior, and behavior is driven by physiology and biochemistry. That is an undeniable fact.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that people should just give up and accept their genetic fate. Losing weight is still possible, it is just much, much harder for some people.
BOTTOM LINE:Obesity is a very complex disorder. There are many genetic, biological and environmental factors that can have a major effect on body weight. It is not just about willpower.
Maybe you have a goal to lose weight, but emotional eating or self sabotage gets in your way. I’ve just told you to ditch the dieting and that stresses you out.
I’m here to tell you that knowing what to eat is not magic, rocket-science, or something that’s worked out by ‘experts’. You can do it, achieve your goals, and live a happy, tasty, life.
Join me for a 30-minute live coaching workshop where I’ll walk you through how to create a plan for success.