Let’s start right now and bust common weight loss myth(s). Weight loss advice is so common (and contentious) now, and it seems that Everyone Everywhere has a (competing) opinion on it.
I say, forget about “who’s right” and let’s focus on “what’s right.” That’s why in this post, I’m going to focus on what will get you results.
I respect you too much to make empty promises and try to sell you on something that doesn’t work.
There are too many weight loss myths out there, and I’m going to tackle the top ones I come across in my practice.
Myth: 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 ton more than you use, then your body will store some for later. Yes, calories matter.
But..they are not the “end-all, be-all” of weight loss. It’s good to pay attention to calories, but I think they’re a symptom, not the cause of weight gain.
I want you to think about the reasons you eat more calories. In other words, I want you to think/focus on the cause(s).
You and others eat too many calories, not because you’re hungry, but because of some emotions that you may experience. You may feel sad, lonely, anxious or even just flat out bored. Or maybe you’re feeling tired or stressed. Hello, we did just come out of one of the most stressful times of the year! You may even be consuming too many because you’re happy and celebrating. All.The.Feelings interact with your gastrointestinal, nervous and hormonal systems; all of which influence our calorie intake. Were you aware of that?!
Myth: A calorie is a calorie
Let’s bust this common weight loss myth and put it to bed already!
Science has confirmed there are several caloric components of food that differ from others. For example, the “thermic effect of food” (TEF) means some nutrients require calories to be metabolized. They can slightly increase your metabolism…just by eating them.
For instance, when you metabolize protein you burn more calories than when you metabolize 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. Not all fats are metabolized the same way. There’s a fat called Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) that has the same 9 calories/gram that other fats do, but they’re metabolized by the liver before they reach the bloodstream. This means they aren’t utilized or stored the same way as other fats.
While I’m talking about calorie equality…Remember, the calories in broccoli and a twinkie are different. When your body digests broccoli, your receiving water, fiber, and nutrients along with the food, but when you digest something like a twinkie, you’re getting fats, sugars and a lot of chemicals. So, no, these calories are not equal. 😉
Myth: “Eat less move more” is good advice
Oh, how I love to bust this common weight loss myth.
If this were sound advice, everyone should be able to lose weight with the snap of a finger. This is advice that’s been doled out for YEARS. To my surprise, doctors are Still giving this advice out on a regular basis.
The premise of this is advice is based on the myth that calories in minus calories out equal your weight. So, eat fewer calories, and burn off more calories (because human physiology is a simple math equation, right?). Wrong.
Even if you can happily and sustainably follow this advice (which most people I work with can’t!); it completely negates other factors that contribute to weight problems. I’m talking about things like the causes of overeating I mentioned above. Also, things like your genetics, health conditions you may be dealing with or your exposure to compounds that are “obesogenic.”
SIDE NOTE: When you exercise more (especially just cardio) you only burn calories in the moment, but this can also leave you ravenous!
Myth: Buy this supplement/tea/food/magic potion to lose weight
As much as you may want this to be true, I’m sorry but I have to bust this common weight loss myth. You should know by now there is no magic pill for weight loss. No supplement, tea, food, or other potion will do the trick.
This time of year you’ll see so many products claiming to be just what you need to lose the weight you’ve struggled with for years. I’m here to tell you they’re full of garbage (or should I say they’re someone’s “marketing gold?”). If you purchase these products, the only thing you will lose is your money (and possibly your hope). 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.
I’m not here to destroy your hopes, but weight loss is hard! If it were easy, no one would be overweight (or they’d keep off the weight they’ve lost…forever.) There are too many people out there trying to make it sound like they have the simple solution (or the latest and greatest!). Don’t be a victim of someone’s marketing genius. Take that money and invest in your health!
Don’t fall for these common weight loss myths (lies):
- Calories cause weight gain, and fewer calories are the path to weight loss.
- A calorie is a calorie.
- “Eat less move more”.
- This supplement/tea/food/magic potion to lose weight.
Now check out my magical “weight loss salad” recipe below (just kidding!). It is full of nutrition and ingredients that will keep you full & your blood sugar stable.
Kale Cucumber Salad
Filling & Nutritious Salad
- 4 C Kale, Washed & Dried Divided
- 1 C Cooked Beans of your choice (white beans, chickpeas, etc.)
- 1 C Cooked Quinoa Divided
- 1 Cucumber Sliced & Divided
Cucumber Dill Dressing
- ½ C Tahini
- ½ Lemon Juiced
- 2 Tbs Fresh Dill or 1 tsp Dried
- ½ C Cucumber Chopped
- 1 Green Onion Chopped
- Pinch of Salt
- Pinch of Black Pepper
- ¼ tsp Garlic Minced
Divide salad ingredients into two bowls.
Add all dressing ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until creamy. You may need to add water to thin.
If you need to thin, add the water 1 tbsp at a time (blending after each addition ), until desired thickness is reached.
Add 2 Tbs dressing to each salad and gently toss.
Serve & enjoy!
- To soften the kale, massage before placing in the bowls.
- Extra dressing can be stored in the fridge for a few days.
- Use the dressing on other salads or as a veggie dip.