Resolutions, intentions, goals…it’s that time of year! What are you focusing on committing to in 2019?
With another year almost upon us it isn’t uncommon to hear about weight loss. There’s certainly no shortage of weight loss advice to the point where it can be quite a loaded topic…There are competing opinions everywhere!
But I say forget about “who’s right” and let’s focus on “what’s right.” Because what gets results is what I’m focusing on in this post.
I respect you too much to make empty promises and try to sell you on something that doesn’t work.
When it comes to losing those extra kilos, there are just too many myths!
So as we look ahead to a fresh new year, I thought it would be timely to tackle the top four weight loss myths I come across the most as a health coach.
Myth 1: Calories cause weight gain, and fewer calories are the path to weight loss
Calories are important for weight loss. If you eat and absorb a tonne more than you use, then your body’s wisdom will store some for later. Calories matter.
BUT, they aren’t the “be-all end-all” of weight loss; they’re important, but they’re the symptom, not the cause. Let’s think about the reasons people eat more calories. Let’s focus on the causes.
People eat too many calories, not because they’re hungry, but because they feel sad, lonely, or bored. Or sometimes because they’re tired or stressed.
Or maybe even because they’re happy and celebrating. Which is why it’s not surprising that losing weight becomes one of the most common new years resolutions, right after all that over indulging during the festive season! And all these feelings interact with our gastrointestinal, nervous and hormonal systems; which then influence our calorie intake.
Myth 2: “Eat less move more” is good advice
Well, then we’re all in tip-top shape, right?? Because this advice (myth) has been going for decades now and is pretty much engrained in our culture…yet we’re getting fatter and fatter as a nation.
The premise of this is based on the above myth that calories in minus calories out equals your weight. So, eat fewer calories, and burn off more calories (because human physiology is a simple math equation, right?). Hmmm.
Even if we happily and sustainably follow this advice (which we can’t!), it completely negates other factors that contribute to weight problems. Things like the causes of overeating we mentioned above. Not to mention our genetics, health conditions we’re dealing with or our exposure to compounds that are “obesogenic.”
Myth 3: A calorie is a calorie
Can we please put this one to bed already?!
Science has confirmed several caloric components of food differ from others. For example, the “thermic effect of food” (TEF) is that some nutrients require calories to be metabolised. They can slightly increase your metabolism, just by eating them.
For example, when you metabolise protein you burn more calories than when you metabolise carbohydrates. Proteins and carbohydrates both have 4 calories/gram; but, the TEF of protein = 15–30%; and the TEF for carbohydrates = 5–10%.
Here’s another example of a calorie not being a calorie. Different fats are metabolised differently. Medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) have the same 9 calories/gram that other fats do; but, they’re metabolised by the liver before getting into the bloodstream and therefore aren’t utilised or stored the same way as other fats.
Myth 4: Buy this supplement/tea/food/magic potion to lose weight
There is no magic pill for weight loss. No supplement, meal replacement shake, tea, food, or other potion will do the trick.
There are products that make these claims, and they’re full of garbage (or shall I say “marketing gold?”). The only thing you will lose is your money (and possibly your hope). They are not a long term solution. So, please don’t believe this myth.
There is a reason most people who lose weight can’t keep it off. The real magic is in adopting a sustainable holistic and healthy approach to living your life. What you need is a long-term lifestyle makeover, not a product. This is why I work with my clients closely to discover their unique needs and see what strategies we can implement that will work for them over the long term. Not a quick fix diet or supplement regime!
Weight loss is complex. And there are too many people out there trying to make it sound like they have the simple solution (or the latest and greatest product!) to help you. So be mindful of this.
Don’t fall for the myths that say:
- Calories cause weight gain, and fewer calories are the path to weight loss
- “Eat less move more”
- A calorie is a calorie
- Buy this supplement/tea/food/magic potion to lose weight
Instead, focus on eating more real foods – food from nature, as nature intended it. Minimise the consumption of packaged, processed foods and meals containing too many food-like substances.
Try not to use weight as a benchmark for good health as well, as this can only land you in a vicious cycle of weight loss and weight gain. Try to work on creating healthy habits that get you back in the kitchen, exploring real foods and cooking from scratch.
If you feel like you need help in this area, I am offering complimentary 30min consultations to new clients. Let’s get you focusing on real goals for a better you! Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Now check out my magical “weight loss salad” recipe below (kidding!)
Recipe (Myth-free salad, filling and nutritious):
Kale & Cucumber Salad
- 4 cups kale, finely chopped
- 1 cup cooked beans of your choice (white beans, chickpeas, etc.)
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 cucumber, sliced
- 1 grated carrot
Cucumber Dill Dressing
- ¼ cup tahini
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 2 Tbs dill, finely chopped
- ½ cup cucumber, chopped
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- ¼ tsp garlic, minced
- Himalayan salt, and pepper to taste
Toss salad ingredients into a large salad bowl.
Add all dressing ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until creamy. You may need to add some warm water to thin. (Cold water will make it seize up). Add it slowly, a Tbs at a time until desired consistency is reached.
Add dressing to salad and gently toss.
Serve & enjoy!
Tip: Extra dressing can be stored in jar, in the fridge for a few days