5 Lies About Losing Weight You’ve Probably Never Thought About
By Caroline Cosgrove
When it comes to losing weight, the simple truth is this: Eat less, exercise more.
Sounds easy, right?
So, why are you still struggling? Maybe because the information you have been given is incomplete, misleading or just wrong!
Here are 5 of the BIGGEST LIES when it comes to weight loss and how to not fall victim any longer!
1. A Calorie is a Calorie
A calorie is a measurement of energy. And, while it is true that weight loss is the result of a calorie deficit, the nutritional value and quality of a calorie is really what makes a difference.
For instance, a 100 calorie scoop of ice cream has a different effect on satiety, energy levels, blood sugar levels and overall health as opposed to a 100 calorie serving of spinach. Processed food-like substances loaded with sugar wreak havoc on the digestive system, cause blood sugar levels to rise and provide little to no nutritional benefit.
Instead of thinking of a calorie is a calorie, ask yourself: How will this calorie benefit me? How will this food make me feel, both physically and mentally? If it the cons outweigh the pros… pass!
2. Carbs Make You Fat
Carbohydrates are not the enemy! In fact, they are the primary source of energy for all bodily functions and muscular exertions. They are necessary for the digestion and assimilation of other foods. Carbohydrates also help regulate protein and fat metabolism. Fats require carbohydrates for their breakdown within the liver. Glucose, which is a byproduct of carbohydrates, is an important energy fuel in the muscles, nervous system, brain and many other tissues. The excess glucose, which is deposited in the muscle and liver when glucose levels are full, helps contribute to fat and weight loss. Instead of eliminating carbs, stop eating simple carbs (sugar, white breads, pastas and rice) and enjoy complex carbs – fruit, vegetables and whole grains.
3. Fat Makes You Fat
Like carbs, fats are also a required component of a healthy diet. They are the most concentrated source of energy in the human diet. Besides providing energy, they also aid in the absorption of fat soluble vitamins (A, D, K, E). Fats provide insulation, aiding in the regulation of body temperature. A layer of fat also adds protection to vital organs, such as the heart, kidneys and liver. Dietary fats aid digestion by slowing down the release of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, providing a feeling of satiety, making us feel fuller longer. Again, it is the quality and quantity of this essential nutrient that determines whether it is beneficial or harmful to the body. As a rule, limit your intake of saturated and trans fats (meats, butter, cheese) as they have been shown to increase bad cholesterol. Enjoy in moderation: monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats (nuts, seeds, corn, olive, avocado). Avoid foods that claim to be “low fat.” They are often highly processed and contain higher amounts of sugar and artificial flavors, which lead to inflammation and weight-gain.
4. Exercise 30 Minutes a Day to Lose Weight
Exercise is important. And it is worth getting in just 5 minutes a day if you can, instead of skipping it all together. But, working out is more than just showing up to the gym and looking at yourself in the mirror. Exercise should be a combination of moderate intensity (increased pulse rate but able to carry a conversation) to high intensity (increased pulse but difficult to carry a conversation). Studies show that High intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts are the most effective for not only burning more calories, but also improving your overall fitness. Long gone are the days of sitting on a stationary bike for hours on end. Quicker workouts at a higher intensity are where it’s at!
5. The “Eat What You Want” Diet
When something sounds too good to be true, it usually is, especially when it comes to weight loss. There are many fad diets out there claiming that you can eat your favorite fatty and sugary foods without gaining weight. Back when I was growing up, there was the “Cheesecake Diet” the “Twinkie Diet” and the “Nothing but Chocolate Diet.” Initially, these work because of the calorie deficit but they are not sustainable long term and you are depriving your body of vital nutrients. As a health coach, I educate my clients on the importance of eating quality foods. Americans today consume more calories, but are receiving less nutrition from the foods they eat. Yet, study after study shows that food choices weigh more heavily on weight loss success than exercise. Though both are crucial to living a healthy lifestyle, a clean diet, rich in fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains, is key to achieving your goals.
The saying, “bodies are made in the kitchen” definitely holds a lot of truth. It’s estimated that roughly 80% of your body’s composition is made up of the foods (and drinks) that you consume!
Succeeding Against the Odds
It is estimated that long term weight loss success is low. Only 2%-20% of people who have lost weight manage to keep it off for over 5 years, which is proof that diets do not work – healthy lifestyles do!
In order to succeed with long term weight loss, you need to commit to a lifestyle change and here’s how:
- Think of foods as fuel, not reward.
- Enjoy a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, with whole grains and lean proteins.
- Change your workouts by upping the intensity, making sure your form is correct to avoid injury.
- Start with where you’re at. If you don’t exercise, start walking and increase activity and time as you go.
- Surround yourself with positive people who not only support your new lifestyle, but are committed to living a healthier life for themselves.
- Be gentle and patient with yourself. The weight gain didn’t occur overnight and losing weight will not either.
- Find and enjoy activities that you love that get you moving.
- Most importantly, love yourself no matter what size you are!
Caroline Cosgrove is the founder of New Beginnings Health and Fitness Coaching, focusing on raising awareness of the health effects caused by the Standard American Diet. A Certified Holistic Health Coach and Online Fitness Coach, she educates her clients on the importance of creating a healthy, happy and balanced life, focused on exercise and nutrition. Her programs consist of both group and individual education, as well as children’s nutrition education.
Caroline is the mother of a healthy and happy 5-year-old girl, Sienna. Together, they are currently working to bring an organic vegetable garden to the school and to create a healthier school lunch program.
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