There are a lot of markets out there that are profiting off of your belief that to lose weight, you need to count your calories and cut out the fat. You can stop believing that now, and stop sinking your money into products that will only leave you feeling unsatisfied, bitter, and no lighter!
And aside from counting the calories and cutting out the fat, there is one additional very serious mistake you can make that will guarantee weight loss is only a fantasy. Let’s cut the fancy intro short, and just get to it…
Mistake Number 3: Counting Calories
What is a calorie anyway? Have you ever given any thought to this? What does a calorie look like?
A calorie is literally: the energy required to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water 1ᵒC. So what does that mean to you, really? It simply means it is a measurement of energy. So the concept of Calories In, Calories Out, which you may have heard many times before, sounds like it could make some sense in terms of losing weight. Hey, if you don’t consume too many calories, or none at all, the energy your body expends should simply lead to weight loss. Right!?
Your body is just not physiologically SIMPLE! It does not JUST need energy to be the best functioning body that it can be. It needs carbohydrates, protein, fat (all three of which contain calories), vitamins, minerals and water. And ideally, weight loss is about more than just looking great. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with wanting to look great. But with a healthy weight comes reduced risk for many preventable diseases that are big contributors to death. Sure, death is inevitable, and unpredictable, but encouraging it is an unnecessary, unproductive, and destructive habit.
Rather than looking at calories, you’ll want to look at quality. In addition to the calorie-providing nutrients, your body needs fiber, B-vitamins, vitamins C, D, E, and K; calcium, copper, iron, zinc, choline, magnesium, phenolic compounds, terpenoids, gluconsinolates… and more and more and more….
Some of those nutrients you may never have even heard of before. That’s okay. You don’t need to know all there is to know about them, and we’re not here to talk about those things today anyway. Your take away here is that these vital nutrients are truly what give your body the strength and life that it needs to function at its best, including settling at a healthy weight. Those nutrients exist in REAL food! When you stop following the “only X number of calories” claims, or writing down every calorie you supposedly take in and every one you supposedly expend, and instead focus only on feeding yourself with real, quality food, that’s when you give your body a fighting chance to drop the excess weight.
Mistake Number 2: Cutting out the Fat
Lite. Reduced Fat. Fat Free. Skinny. EW!
Those terms make my skin crawl. They send a message to your brain: eating lite will make YOU lite! Reducing fat will reduce YOUR fat! Fat free – you SO DESIRE to be fat free! Skinny, alone, sounds so condescending: eat or drink this and you can be skinny! Does that do any favors for your self-esteem??
I’m going to share a little secret with you about a lot of these products. First, what is true for fat is that it has flavor! So when manufacturers are removing flavor, the result is obvious: the taste sucks!!! But a manufacturer knows they aren’t going to be able to sell a product that tastes awful, especially if they are trying to sell to a specific market of folks: you, the one desperate to lose weight! So the removal of flavorful fat requires the addition of other things that are flavorful: salt, sugar, “natural flavors,” or “artificial flavors.” Not only can some of these additives contribute to preventable diseases, they contribute to the weight gain!!!
As I was writing this post, I was reviewing a few products that fit this description. I noticed: “Fat Free Italian Dressing,” and I said: “How!?!?” I am angry with manufacturers for doing this to you. It isn’t fair. Italian Dressing is – and should be – made with delicious, perfect-for-your-heart Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It is NOT fat free. And it is NOT CALORIE FREE! But it provides your body with anti-inflammatory benefits, satisfies your hunger, and can actually play a role with reducing your weight.
The Number One Serious Mistake You Can Make With Weight Loss:
NOT GETTING SUPPORT.
You SHOULD NOT be doing this on your own. Nor do you HAVE TO do this on your own. I am not saying you CAN’T do this on your own, but it will work more in your favor if you have support. The weight loss journey is a tough one to endure on your own, especially if you have a lot of weight to lose. It comes with a roller coaster of emotions, the necessity to make difficult decisions, and ultimately: living life in a way that is unfamiliar to you.
To truly take on this serious endeavor, you will want to link arms with at least one other person who recognizes you are doing this and is committed to seeing you achieve what scares you! Without help, it becomes too easy to say: “What the hell! Today was a total bust! I might as well binge on TV and ice cream!”
Those days can still happen even when you do have a support person. The difference is: you gain another perspective, other than your own, for working through those obstacles when they threaten to pop up again. You have wonderful thoughts and ideas. And so do the people in your support network!! When you share those wonderful thoughts with them, they share their wonderful thoughts with you, and together you can nurture a synergistic dynamic that allows you to grow in the ways that can surprise you. The thing is though, you must have the courage and ask for help.
Take a leap of faith and reach out to someone. To give yourself a little push, ask yourself honestly: “If I don’t seek and secure support, can I keep living like this?” The very first impulse response is your answer.
Love to you!