Losing weight is never easy. And that’s especially true when you’re going about it the wrong way.
You need to overcome your biology, your environment, your emotion and your evolution. If you want to know about all the factors causing you to overeat and what to do about it, be sure to check out my free class on How to stop overeating.
3 myths about losing weight
Today I want to dispel some myths about losing weight so you can approach your weight loss journey the right way.
Myth 1: You need to eat low fat
Growing up in the 70s and 80s we were told that losing weight is all about the calories. You needed to consume less calories than your body would take for fuel. Fat is high in calories, so you needed to eat less fat. We all started eating lots of carbohydrates instead.
So many of us LOVE refined carbohydrates. I, for one, definitely have a sweet tooth and can’t get enough of ice cream and apple pie. These foods give us a dopamine hit, which makes us feel good about ourselves (even if that only lasts for a short while).
The problem with refined carbohydrates
The problem is, many carbohydrates are high in sugar. Sugar increases the amount of insulin we produce which regulates the glucose in our bodies. Every time we eat, and especially when we eat foods high in concentrated sugar, our insulin will go up.
When insulin is high, the body will not take any energy from your existing fat reserves. It will just use glucose that’s floating around.
The other risk is that you may also become insulin resistant as the body simply cannot cope with the high amount of sugar. That may lead to Type 2 diabetes.
What you need to do instead
If you want to lose weight and let your body access your existing fat reserves, you need to ensure that your insulin level decreases.
That means that you need to lower or even completely eliminate your sugar intake. Avoid all concentrated sugars in fruit juices, refined sugar, bread, pasta and white rice. Also limit your consumption of alcohol.
Instead consume lots of vegetables, proteins and healthy fats.
Another way to reduce the insulin level is to eat less frequently. You can do this through intermittent fasting.
Instead of eating many times a day, try and get all your food in a shorter time frame. For example you could skip breakfast and consume all your food between 12 and 7. That will give the body 17 hours to digest the food and allow for the insulin level to decrease.
When your body gets used to doing that, you will get fat adaptive which means that your body will consume its own fat for fuel.
Myth 2: you need a lot of will power
We are told that you need a lot of will power to lose weight. You need to stick to a strict diet and exercize multiple times a week.
But will power only lasts for so long. At some point you are going to run out. Will power alone is never going to give you lasting results.
If you keep on having a high desire for the wrong foods (and we now know what they are!), you keep on wanting them more than your will power can sustain.
What you need to do instead
You need to lower your desire for the wrong foods.
Sugary foods are very addictive. They are very good at giving you a dopamine hit. The body loves dopamine as it stimulates us and makes us feel good about ourselves.
The food industry knows this, so they create foods that are very concentrated and are excellent at giving you those dopamine hits. Once we have experienced it, we want more. One cookie is never enough, we want the whole pack.
Sugar is very addictive in that way. We remember how good it tastes. We remember the pleasure it provides. We want more of it.
That’s why we need to go cold turkey on sugar. We need to get rid of the addiction.
Your body may not like it
Of course the body will not like that. It will protest. It will trick you into thinking that you’re hungry, that you’re suffering, that you’re going to feel miserable if you don’t get your dopamine hit.
It’s similar to other drugs in that way. You’ve gotten so used to the pleasure of these foods, you go into withdrawal mode when you no longer get it.
YOU may not like it
Perhaps YOU don’t like it. Food is one of the pleasures in your life and you’e not willing to give that up.
Is the food really so pleasurable thought? Are all the negative side effects worth this temporary ‘pleasure’?
But what if you can substitute food with other pleasures? What if food was no longer necessary to give you fulfillment in life? Your life and your experiences are better than food!
Withdrawal symptoms are temporary
The beauty is that once you get through the initial withdrawal period after giving up sugar and flour, you will start losing your desire for these foods. You will no longer have cravings.
Once I became aware of how harmful sugars were to my body and how they especially increased the weight around my belly, I knew I needed to eliminate most of them from my diet. Not easy to do, since I’ve grown up with bread for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I thought I would never be able to give up eating bread.
But my health is more important and I definitely did not like that hard lump of fat around my belly, so I looked for alternatively solutions.
Now, I have almost completely eliminated bread from my diet. It’s been replaced with a delicious salad with mozzarella, greens and tomato. Some days I will add avocado and salmon as well. I like it so much better now than my old toasted sandwich.
I’ve completely eliminated my desire for bread and sweet sugary cookies. Willpower is no longer needed. Eating salads for lunch and often skipping breakfast has become part of how I live my life.
myth 3: You need to exercise
We are told that we need to exercise multiple times a week to lose weight to burn the fat.
In fact exercising often causes us to get hungrier. The amount that we burn, we often eat right back. Unless, we use a lot willpower and not eat. But we already now that this kind of willpower will not last.
I found the research in Gary Taube’s book, Why we Get Fat, very convincing where he gave multiple examples of how people that exercised a lot didn’t lose more weight than control groups who didn’t.
There is no doubt that exercise is very beneficial for us.
We need to exercise to stay fit, to remain strong and flexible, but it is NOT a great strategy for weight loss.
In fact I discourage my students to abstain from too much exercise at the start of their weight loss journey.
What you need to do instead
First you need to eliminate sugar and flour from your diet. That is the most important thing.
You’ll experience some withdrawal symptoms from that, and this will leave you feel drained or perhaps even a bit exhausted in the beginning.
The feelings that you used to camouflage or push away by eating processed foods will now all also come to the surface.
Dealing with those feelings and knowing how to manage them is now your most important work.
You need to be kind to yourself.
You need to understand why you couldn’t resist an urge on a particular day.
You need to learn how to coach yourself.
I recommend going on lots of (relaxing) walks during this stage. You’re still moving, but the exercise is not strenuous but simply pleasurable. Walking is a great way to contemplate your long-term goals or a great opportunity to listen to all my podcast episodes!
Once you get through the initial weeks of eliminating sugar and flour, then you can slowly (re)introduce more strenuous exercise into your routine.
I personally love doing yoga as it helps to strengthen my muscles and makes me more flexible. Of course I go on very frequent walks and when I want to make those more strenuous, I just walk up and down the local hill a couple of times.
Doing these 3 things:
- Eliminating sugar and flour
- Processing my emotions instead of eating them
- Planning all my meals and tasks ahead of time
has helped my get rid of the access belly fat. I fit into all my clothes again. I have became a lot more energetic and get so much more done.
I used a lot of that energy to become a certified confidence and weight loss coach, so I could better help other women with these issues too.
You can absolutely lose the weight!
I know that you too can lose the weight, get healthy and get the body you want.
In my newest program, Lose 10 pounds, I will show you how you can lose 10 pounds (or more!) in just 6 weeks.
You will learn how to create your own personal food plan.
You will start to eliminate sugar and flour.
You will learn to reduce your desire for those types of food.
You will learn how to cope with the feelings that will arise from doing that.
You will learn how to plan all your meals ahead of time so that you no longer need any will power to make the right decisions. You simply follow your calendar.
In my program you will not be alone in doing this. You will be supported every week in coaching sessions. I will keep you accountable and coach you on any emotions that may come up.
If you want to get to a healthy weight or finally get rid of that bulky tummy and want support in doing that, you definitely want to join my program.
My program is completely different from anything you’ve tried before. This is not a temporary diet or fix, this is a new way of life.
Any questions or comments, leave them in a comment below.
Skirt Zara (new)
Booties: Sacha (new)
Top: Stella Carakasi (old)
Jacket: Claudia Straiter (old)
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