When it comes to how to lose weight, all sorts of fads and fictions exist promising the holy grail of a perfect body that everyone can achieve.
Perfect in whose eyes one could ask, but that’s another story!
If you flick through any women’s magazine, you’re guaranteed to see several advertisements promising weight loss. They might recommend you follow say a meal replacement shake, a one-food-only diet or reduce your calorie intake to “x”. Who hasn’t wanted to lose a few kilos and been tempted? Who has followed one of these diets and actually kept the weight off long-term?
There is another, easy and practical option. What if losing weight without really trying could see you eating like any other normal person? With no sacrificing, no calorie-cutting, and definitely no starving required?
What about if you could feel full after every meal, while ramping up your nutrient content? Improving your sleeping patterns and feeling in control of your cravings, while having extra energy to burn?
And what about the opportunity to feel oh so darn good in the process!!!
Let’s start off by busting some myths around losing weight, with 3 traditional ideas axed for good.
Myth Buster to Lose Weight #1 – Eat Low Fat
I am definitely guilty of this in the past, and indeed no wonder. Fat was originally given a bad rap by public health bodies in the 1970s, linking to cardiovascular disease and obesity. These negative claims not only influenced the government’s dietary guidelines and food pyramid but the ways we were marketed to. Anyone else remember as a kid seeing the food pyramid illustration on the Kellogg’s Corn Flakes packet? Only recently was it discovered that the American Sugar Research Foundation funded this research. They managed to handpick the studies to minimize the link between sugar and inflammation while instead demoting the role of saturated fat!
Let’s be clear here – Fat Does Not Make You Fat!
Of course, it needs to be the right kind of fat. These are what I call the Healthy Fats like avocado, butter, nuts, olives and yes (woo hoo!) even good chocolate.
Most importantly, not only do healthy fats not contribute to you gaining weight, they actually help you LOSE weight while keeping you feeling content, energized and satisfied.
So let’s bust this myth: include healthy fats at every meal, and watch your health and mindset improve with smart swaps away from debunked scientific data!
Myth Buster to Lose Weight # 2 – Reduce Your Calories
This has also been a standard prescription for losing weight for a significantly long time. I often find people focused on “energy in equals energy out” as their main weight loss solution.
Yet research supports the notion it’s diet quality, not diet quantity that helps people manage their weight. These results are also being achieved reasonably effortlessly and lasting long term.
As I like to say, what’s important is what the body does with the food once it is digested rather than the calorie count!
Just last week, a study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that confirmed that people who didn’t focus on calorie counting or portion sizes – instead concentrating on eating a diet rich in vegetables and whole foods – achieved excellent weight control results over a twelve-month period. The participants were encouraged throughout the study to focus on diet quality. They were instructed to swap the processed foods, refined starches and sugary snacks and drinks for real foods, while eating as much as they needed to avoid feeling hungry.
There were over 600 participants who all lost substantial amounts of weight, with other significant health markers also positively altered. These included body fat percentage, waist size, blood sugar levels and blood pressure. The study’s conclusion was that calories don’t matter, instead emphasizing the importance of quality whole foods.
What’s important to realize here is that calories are not a negative influence on our bodies. In fact they are the source of our energy and the fuel for our metabolism! The bottom line is to have your metabolism operating at optimal levels, you need to feed it well.
So there you have it, losing weight for the long term is not about restriction or deprivation!
Myth Buster to Lose Weight # 3 – Use Diet Shakes/Juices as Meal Replacements
A very popular method to lose weight is swapping out a main meal or two for a shake or juice. You can opt for these if you want to, but what about if you could have bacon and butter instead?
Let’s face it, subbing a meal with a shake or juice is most likely not going to fill you up for hours. Just like before when we talked about restricting calories, the risk is that the body will think it has hit a time of famine and drop that metabolism like a hot potato. And slowing down your metabolism actually makes it more difficult to lose weight!
Eating well with whole foods, so that your metabolism is supported, is key to weight loss. Including the right amounts of protein, fats, carbs and fibre in every meal will make you satisfied, full of energy and still reaching your goal weight. Sound too good to be true? Rest assured, this is supported by the latest scientific research and very achievable.
Now how good and soul-nourishing does that feel!!