If you want to know what it truly takes to lose some weight, drop those extra toxins that are being carried around with that extra fat you are holding onto, and feel more energetic and happy, it helps to unravel some of the lies that are often perpetuated in the weight-loss industry.
The weight loss industry makes over $80 billion annually on more than 100 million “dieters” who want to lose weight with drugs, surgery, and other hokey tools, but much of that money is spent on fruitless programs and horrible “low calorie” food that won’t help us change for good. Until we learn that food is medicine, and movement is magic, all the diet and low-calorie food in the world won’t save us. Here are a few more myths that need busting:
- A calorie is a calorie. MYTH!The kind of food we put into our bodies is almost more important than the number of calories we eat. I’m not saying that if you are a woman of average build and you consistently consume 5,000 calories a day you are going to lose weight, but guess what – if you are eating the right calories, you won’twant to eat 5,000 calories a day. Some calories that we eat are metabolized far differently than others, having an effect on our future hunger, energy levels, and metabolism, as well as our hormonal balance. For example, if you sat down and ate 500-calories of vegetables and fruit they would metabolize very differently than a 500-calorie sugary snack like cake or cookies. One will cause your metabolism to speed up, and the other will clog your digestive system, create future cravings for sugar, deplete your adrenal glands, and urge your brain to seek more sugary snacks when it is feeling depressed.
- Losing weight is a linear thing. MYTH! Even if you are exercising, and eating the right foods, sometimes you will lose weight and sometimes you will gain weight. This is because you are changing your body fat to muscle ratio. You will also hold onto water sometimes, and others you will feel heavier because you are digesting a lot of toxins, and they need to work their way through the digestive tract. There are so many things happening with our physiological processes. This makes it imperative to understand that losing weight is a long-term goal, and that you should look at it as a lifestyle change, not a one-week or one-month crash course in “getting rid of fat.”
- If you ate better, you wouldn’t be obese. MYTH!There are many factors contributing to obesity in our world today. These range from the endocrine disrupting pesticides and herbicides that are used in our food, and leak into our water and soil, to the estrogen-mimicking hormones that cause us to put on weight in genetically modified soy, and gluten. There are also genetic factors, as well as diseases like thyroiditis and diabetes that contribute to obesity. It is true that changing your diet and exercising more will help the situation greatly, but it is much more complex than just putting that donut down.
- Supplements can help you lose weight. MYTH! Supplements can only increase your nutrition which thereby makes your own natural, healthy metabolism more likely to function. For instance, if you eat foods that are high in antioxidants and fiber, you will be less likely to want to eat high-calorie, or food without nutrition. However, most of us could use a little help. Supplements like St. John’s Wort might help your brain process serotonin better so that you don’t self-medicate with food when you are depressed. Moringa might provide your body with such a high level of free-radical scavenging antioxidants that your body craves unhealthy foods less often because it is feeling full and satisfied with good nutrition. Ashwagandha can help your blood sugar levels stay more constant so that you aren’t as likely to binge eat when your glucose crashes. Holy Basil, or Tulsi won’t magically melt any calories off of you, but it can reduce feelings of depression and anxiety so that you feel more like taking a walk outside, and facing the world. Turmeric won’t burn an extra 1,000 calories if you take it, but it can reduce inflammation in your joints so that you don’t avoid exercise because of pain. Supplements are meant to do exactly what they say –supplement good eating and lifestyle choices. They will never help you lose weight if those things are ignored.
- Carbs Make You Fat. MYTH! There are many kinds of carbs. Refined carbs are what make people fat. Real food that contains carbs like potatoes, quinoa, barley, whole grain rice, or even fruits and vegetables (which all contain carbohydrates) are all really important to stay slim and fit! Carbohydrates are a macronutrient our bodies need just like good fats and healthy proteins. Whole food carbs are a great energy source. They are broken down into glucose which our bodies can use to help us chase after a toddler or wash our cars. They also fuel the brain. If you want to ditch carbs, ditch the ones that are highly processed. This includes anything that doesn’t exist in its current form in nature: cookies, cakes, sugar-sweetened orange juice, table sugar, pasta made with refined wheat, etc.
There are many more weight loss myths that sneak into our heads due to diet-industry programming. We could all stand to change the mythology about losing weight. Can you spot lies we’ve been told?
Do you know any more weight loss myths you can share?