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If you met me now, you might not think I understand what it feels like to hate your body. To be desperate to lose weight.
But, while I’ve never been 100 pounds overweight, I HAVE been what is considered heavy for my height.
I’ve cringed at my double chin pictures, cried in the shower at the swimming pool (and also after hair cuts that didn’t REALLY make my face look thinner), and although I might be “smaller” now… I will never forget the hopelessness and disgust I felt with myself when I was heavier. Without a doubt, I know what it’s like to feel desperate to lose weight.
I’ve tried all the “easy weight loss tips” you’ll see out there – I’ve done the ten day lemon water diet (yes, really, 10 days with no food), and I’ve done calorie counting and I’ve done 2 shakes per day and a salad for supper. I’ve starved through veggie juice cleanses, I’ve sat in far-infra red saunas and popped green coffee bean extract and PGX like it was candy.
I’ll admit that once, in a particularly desperate moment, I made myself throw up an entire fast food meal I’d just eaten. (Fortunately, I only did that once… but I understand why someone would consider doing it more often.)
I have, in the past, believed that my weight was the reason the guy I loved didn’t love me back, I’ve believed I would be happy if only I could lose thirty pounds, and I’ve cut the tags that said “XL” out of clothes so I didn’t have to look at them.
It took a really long time for me to finally get my weight to where it is now, and you might be interested to know that I don’t have to work hard to maintain my weight now.
I know the secret to sustained weight loss.
A really important step in the direction of permanent weight loss is letting go of a few terrible weight loss myths and understanding what DOESN’T help you to lose weight.
Here’s 3 big weight loss myths I fell for (and now I’ll save you from the same fate).
Weight Loss Myth #1: Diet + Exercise are the secrets to sustained weight loss
Ever met a person (or been a person – hands up!) who ate salad for a month straight and spent half an hour per day on the treadmill and still didn’t lose an ounce?
Betcha have. Maybe YOU, too, have done the cabbage soup diet for a full three weeks and stared despairingly at the numbers on the scale… going UP?
Diet and exercise are massive pieces of the puzzle… but there’s another puzzle piece, one that’s widely ignored because it is freaking hard to deal with – until you learn how to deal with it. What’s this thing that you might need to consider before you can finally lose weight?
Your hormones play a crazy huge role in controlling your weight, and I believe you’re not likely to EVER achieve permanent weight loss without addressing your hormones. This was my problem. This was where I wasn’t “getting it.”
Now, you’ll meet some people who seem to have managed permanent weight loss who never mention their hormones… and that’s because, interestingly, the right combination of diet and exercise CAN really help with your hormonal imbalances. If you stumble onto the right combination of diet and exercise, your hormones could naturally regulate and you could have sustained weight loss… but it’ll be easier and you will loose weight way faster if you address hormones from the start.
I read This is Why You’re Fat by Jackie Warner, and honestly, it is fascinating. She lays out exactly what every hormone does, tells you exactly how to eat to get those hormones working right, and tells you exactly how to exercise too. I’ve kept the book and read it over and over, even though I’m not actively trying to lose weight anymore – just because it’s THAT interesting.
Weight Loss Myth #2: Calories in = Calories out.
This is the theory that all popular calorie counting diets are based off of. There are companies making MILLIONS on these diets… and they can kind of work, short term. But, they won’t generally create sustainable weight loss (and they certainly don’t contribute to good health), because all calories are not created equal.
Wait, wait… calories are not all equal?
I read this article years ago, and it changed so much about the way I think of food – for instance, he points out:
The False Premise Of CICO #Fails To Account For…
- How Calories Are Calculated
- Your Body’s Hormone Response
- The Quality of The Calories
- Your Body Fat Setpoint
- Addiction and Dependency
- The Macronutrient Breakdown
Aside from that, the math based on the calories in, calories out model is clearly out of whack.
3500 calories equals one pound of body fat. If you cut 100 calories from someone’s diet – a few bites of dinner – they’d reduce their caloric intake by 182,500 calories over a five year period.
If we put a male at 5’8″ who weighed 165 pounds on that diet, they’d lose 52 pounds over 5 years. If they overate by the same amount — a few bites of food – they’d be obese? It’s laughable. GO READ THE ARTICLE. (Don’t worry I’ll wait right here.)
Weight Loss Myth #3: low fat or sugar free options are “healthier”
And this is directly related to myths number 1 + 2.
Things that affect our hormones poorly will likely affect our weight poorly. “Low fat” is often code for “higher sugar”, and sugar is devastating to our insulin and other hormones that regulate fat.
“Sugar free” often means “contains artificial sweeteners”, which are just as bad – if not worse – than sugar:
Although sweeteners are devoid of calories, the pancreas responds to them as if they were natural sugars by producing insulin. However, in the absence of any glucose to metabolize, the insulin is retained by the body. This causes a condition known as hyperinsulinism. In its persistent state, hyperinsulinism can cause a person to lose strength and gain weight. Read more here
Not to mention, your body actually needs some fat to function (think: regulate hormones) properly, so going all fat free is a BAD idea.
Understanding these weight loss myths, and what’s actually going on in your body, and lose weight permanently
I haven’t drank a can of coke in YEARS. I almost never eat an entire mars bar in one sitting. (True story, my husband and I cut them in half and save half for the other person)
Knowing what sort of affects the food you’re eating has on your body will totally change the way you see food… and it will allow you to get on the path to real weight loss.