And what to do about them.
The top three weight loss myths are:
1. Eat Less
2. Move More
3. No Pain No Gain
These three myths have caused enormous suffering to the countless individuals who have struggled to lose weight after cheap food became abundant and skinny bodies became fashionable in many parts of the world during the last century.
The three big myths all have something in common. They violate the Einstein Rule which is:
“Solutions must always be as simple as possible, but not simpler.”
All three myths over-simplify weight loss to a devastating degree, especially for people who respond to popular diet and exercise programs by experiencing hunger, fatigue, and injury.
My experience with long term recovery from obesity, and as a personal trainer, certified nutrition specialist, and body transformation coach has taught me that people who have the physiological tendency to store fat in response to the Standard American Diet simply cannot get leaner with Standard American Weight Loss Advice.
Let’s take a closer look at myth number one.
“Eat Less.” The two biggest promoters of fat building are hunger and cravings for fast foods. Naturally slender people in a state of good physical health have very little trouble choosing nourishing foods. They eat to satiety and get on with life.
People who tend to store food as fat, whether this is a result of genetics, life events, economics, or environment increase appetite to the point of uncontrollable cravings when they try to eat less by counting calories. What gets measured gets managed, and counting calories with apps and food labels makes it easy, so it’s no surprise that people try this first.
The trouble is that the foods with fewer calories rarely deliver the amount of nourishment and satisfaction required to turn off the drive to eat. This leads to the anxiety and frustration that can only be relieved by a fast hit of hyper-palatable foods. Once you get on this hunger, craving, overeating roller coaster it takes a highly nutritious eating plan to get you back on solid ground again.
This plan is simple: adequate protein, carbohydrates, and fat for energy and satiety. (But not too much of either one.) The trouble is that these foods aren’t the ones that are advertised, marketed, and offered to you at every turn. They are the foods you find at the farmer’s market, the butcher, and in the dairy case. These are not the foods you find at work, in line at the the places you shop, or at the drive thru window.
Fat burning, weight releasing, inflammation healing foods generally require you to plan, shop, and prepare. I wrote Sugar Freedom in 2013 to demonstrate exactly how I planned meals, shopped, and prepared food in order to overcome obesity and help my clients and readers literally lose thousands of pounds and inches.
I believe that you will discover your best diet when you take the time to ask, “What foods nourish and satisfy me? What foods make me feel good, not just while I’m eating them, but after I’m done?” The antidote for mythical diet advice is to address the quality of your food and how you react to it before you try to change the quantity of what you eat.
Once your nutritional needs are met, you will have the freedom to adjust how much and how often you eat, because you have replaced the foods that were over stimulating your appetite.
The most important take away is this: trying to eat less of foods that have been specifically developed to cause cravings and drive consumption will only cause more cravings, hunger, and frustration.
The old advice of eating like your grandparents, shopping the outside aisles off the grocery store, and reserving treats for special occasions is actually a lot more helpful than, “Eat less.”
In my next blog post, I will address myth number two, and share my experience with what works better.
Then I’ll move on to myth number three. All of these myths apply to the goal of finding the individual process that leads you to good health.
Until then be well, and eat for yourself.