Updated: Mar 8
There's a lot of misinformation out there around weight loss and these are some of the common ones
The average woman spends 17 years trying to lose the same 20 to 40 pounds over and over again—leaving you to wonder: do diets even work and why is weight loss so complicated? To answer these questions, let’s start by busting the weight loss myths that are preventing you from finding a weight loss plan that really works!
You need to burn fat to lose weight
This major myth is the root cause of weight gain after weight loss. The body is meant to store a certain amount of fat for emergency purposes. And, although burning fat can be an effective way to lose weight, the simple act of burning it, is what causes your body to want to store it all back—plus more—every single time.
Figure out why your body is feeling a need to store fat in the first place and address that.
Very rarely do I have a client who is overweight simply because they are eating all the wrong things. Usually there is some other underlying issue that has caused their body to feel a need to store fat in the first place. This can come down to what you eat or don’t eat, eating too infrequently or not eating enough, high stress, lack of sleep and even digestive or hormonal issues. When you figure out why your body is holding onto fat, it’s much easier to do something about it.
Carbs make you fat
Forty per cent of your nutrition should come from carbohydrates—foods that your body converts to energy. The problem with “carbs” is when they come from white breads, pastas, rice and potatoes that break down into too much sugar and end up creating a lot of inflammation and stress in the body.
Choose veggies, fruits and naturally occurring sugars as your main source of carbohydrates/energy foods when trying to lose weight.
Vegetables are a perfect choice, and they often take more energy to digest and metabolize than they have calories in them. They are nutrient-rich and important for building digestive enzymes that aid in digestion. Fruits are also nutrient-rich and high in fiber—exactly the kind of carbs your body needs for quick energy. Naturally occurring sugars are usually paired with proteins like in oatmeal, quinoa, rice and grains. These kinds of carbs take longer to break down in the body and help to give more sustaining energy.
Fat makes you fat!
This is a huge myth. In fact, without enough good fat coming in, the body can be reluctant to let go of stored fat and can even create a need to store more of it!
Thirty per cent of your diet should come from fat. The issue is really in the kind of fat you eat.
High blood cholesterol is caused from too much, or an imbalance of, saturated fat, the kind of fat that comes from meat and dairy. Saturated fat is an important part of the diet but should only make up 10 per cent. The other 20 per cent should come from an equal mix of
Omega 3 from foods like fish, chia and flax seeds and Omega 6 from nuts, avocados and seeds. As long as you avoid trans fat and the “bad fats” found in hydrogenated oils and deep fried foods, adding in the right kind of fat can actually speed up the fat loss process.
You need more protein!
The body only needs a certain about of protein, but people seem to think eating more makes you burn more fat or build more muscle. In fact, excess protein just gets converted to energy or stored as fat if you consume too much. The main issue with high protein dieting is that people also tend to go lower carb, removing not just white carbs, but also the nutrient-rich veggies and higher fibre fruit leaving the body no choice but to burn fat for energy. Remember, if you burn fat for energy, your body will just turn around and store more fat the first chance it gets.
Balance out your diet with lean protein, good fats and healthy carbs.
You need to exercise to lose weight
Although there are all sorts of benefits to exercise, it is not a good weight loss tool. Here is why: exercise is essentially taxing the body, ripping and tearing muscles so the body works hard to repair and rebuild those muscles. The good news is, this boosts your metabolism and builds muscle. The problem is, it also tends to keep the body in a constant state of making change rather than dropping fat. So you will tone your muscles and drop dress sizes, but the scale won’t move.
If you are already exercising, you might want to reconsider your approach and choose exercises that get the body more focused on fat loss.
Invoking the fight or flight response in the body can send a message that it needs to be faster and more efficient, signaling the need to drop fat. Here’s how:
One way to trigger the flight response is by getting your heart rate up as high you can with cardio exercise, which instantly makes the heart stronger, leading to a higher metabolism.
Invoke the fight response with boxing, martial arts and even dance classes, which can create a need for the body to become stronger and more efficient.
If you are not already exercising, incorporating fun activities that move your body without stress can be a more effective way to go.