Posted by Jill Whalen | Posted in Food, Healthy Eating, Nutrition | Posted on 05-16-2014
There’s so much information about weight loss out there that it can be really confusing to people who’ve never attempted it. Now that it’s been a year since I decided to lose weight and become healthier I have a bit of wisdom on the subject that I’d like to share.
Here are 3 misconceptions that you may have about losing weight:
Myth 1. Eating breakfast helps you lose weight.
For years I heard this, but didn’t understand the nuances involved. Instead, even though it didn’t really make sense, I was silly enough to take it literally. In other words, I kept eating my already unhealthy diet, but added breakfast to it (rather than continuing to just drink coffee with no food). Guess what? It didn’t help me lose weight, and in fact, I always gained weight when I was brazen enough to try it!
I now know that there’s a lot more to the eating breakfast thing than meets the eye. It’s got more to do with keeping your blood sugar levels even throughout the day to avoid spikes that can lead to your body creating more fat. The idea is not to add additional food and calories into your day, but to space out the (healthy) food that you are eating to specific intervals.
Myth 2. Counting Calories is a sustainable, long term solution.
While I did initially lose my excess weight via counting calories, it’s not the healthiest way to live in that it’s difficult to get all the nutrients you need with a restricted number of calories. Certainly eating tons of vegetables can be a big part of losing weight this way. However, if you’re at all hungry, it’s going to be very tempting to give in to your cravings for not so healthy foods.
For me, I had to gradually work my way into trying and liking healthy foods. I was lucky in that I had lost my sweet tooth years prior, but breads and pasta (and alcohol) were still a problem. I believe that the secret to sustainable weight loss is to not worry so much about calories, but to learn about the new facts on nutrition and always eat healthy. That means lots of non-starchy vegetables, high quality protein with every meal, and healthy saturated fats such as those found from plant sources like avocados and nuts. Limiting grains (especially wheat) seems to help a lot when it comes to shedding excess fat as well.
Myth 3. You will end up with the body of a super model.
Unless you’re still in your 20’s and weren’t super overweight, chances are you’ll never quite have a “perfect” body as depicted by the media. And if you were obese, chances are you’ll be dealing with loose skin issues that could look pretty gross (in relative terms based on societal standards of beauty/ugliness). But don’t let any of that discourage you!
Forget about what others look like (or what you think they look like) and instead compare your new self to your old. It’s really a baby step thing. Every little change in your body can eventually lead to big changes if you keep up the good work. The stronger and leaner you get, the better you’ll feel and the more you’ll be able to do to get even stronger and leaner. But it is gonna take time! The good news is that even if you’re in your 40’s, 50’s or 60’s, you can make dramatic improvements to how your body looks. But more importantly, to how you feel.
It’s All About The Journey
My best advice is to not get caught up with diets and fads and other weight loss myths. Remember that the most important thing is to create a change in lifestyle. And whether you know it or not, if you are serious and stick with it, I promise you that your mindset will most definitely start to change gradually. Try not to think about things in terms of losing weight, but rather that you’re on a journey with a quest for becoming healthy!