3 Weight Loss Misconceptions


Posted by Jill Whalen | Posted in Food, Healthy Eating, Nutrition | Posted on 05-16-2014

Weight Loss MisconceptionsThere’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!

Please feel free to comment below or contact me if you need any support on your own journey!

— Jill

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CONTACT JILL WHALEN to learn how she may help you be the best you can be.

Jill is the author of Victim of Thought: Seeing Through the Illusion of Anxiety

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For the past 20 years, Jill has consulted with companies big and small, and spoken at conferences all over the world. She is currently a transformational speaker and mentor to businesses, individuals, coaches, leaders, groups and organizations. She helps them uncover their natural well-being and happiness so that they can operate from a clearer state of mind and take their lives and businesses to a higher level.

Jill's blog, What Did You Do With Jill? is a personal account of what she's learned throughout her transformational journey. Jill has many "viral" articles on LinkedIn and is a contributing writer for P.S. I Love You.

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Hi Jill, I’ve just joined the SANE FB page and saw your page there. I lost most of my 75 lb through Atkins low carb calorie counting. I’ve got about 25 lb to go but am really tired of the restrictions. I lost the first 50 lb real quick, had a melt down of about a year of stress and thank goodness didn’t regain more than 20 lb, back on track for the last 18 months but finding weight loss annoyingly slow. If I cheat at all the weight goes up and takes about a week to 2 weeks go back down. I eat roughly the same foods each day, I prefer that, its ‘safer’ for me. Hubby does all the cooking – protein, veggies and fat. He has the odd rice or sweet potato. I avoid grains and processed sugars 90% of the time. I enjoy an alcoholic beverage now and again but not weekly. I’m 58 (soon) and 176 lb currently, 5′ 6″ tall. Currently my food intake is about 55-60% good fat, the other 40% made up of protein and carbs. I could likely increase the protein. I don’t exercise other than non strenuous physio exercises for osteoarthritis knees and about 10 mins walk to a train each day. I’d love your input as having read a few of your blog posts you seem willing and eager to give your 2 cents 🙂 Also have read the Calorie Myth and thinking about trying to up the non starchy veggies by adding green stuff to a breakfast protein shake that I have just started to have as breakfast. Thanks, sorry for the long post

Welcome to my blog, Isabel! Here’s where you can read about my 1 year body transformation journey. I’m certainly no expert, but from what you’ve written, it does sound like you probably could increase your green veggie intake by a lot. I tend to do my veggies at lunch as humongous salads with all sort of stuff in them. Or to mix it up, I’ll do something like I did today which was this delicious eggplant and chicken parm over zucchini noodles:

Eggplant and Chicken Parm over Zucchini

YUM! Or like the other day I made these awesome brussels sprouts with pecans and dried cranberries: Brussels Sprouts With Pecans and Cranberries

You can certainly do smoothies, but I prefer real food!

I have been making a half-hearted attempt to follow the Eat-for-Your-Type diet. Unfortunately, my husband and I are different blood types and our list of proteins we can eat are different. Even our vegetable choices are different. He gets to eat tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant, but I’m not supposed to. He gets to eat beef, but not me. This makes cooking for both of us difficult unless one of us cheats. So I cheat.

What seems to work best for me is grazing — eating only when I’m hungry. Even that is easier if you aren’t also providing meals for a mate who wants to eat meals together. About all I can say is that my feeble attempts have kept me from gaining any more weight. I think I would be losing a few pounds on my current diet if I could start walking again, and I will as soon as I totally recover from my recent foot surgery.

You nailed it when you said it comes down to eating foods that are healthy and avoiding those that aren’t, and eating less. I think most of us know that instinctively. The hard part is applying it.

Hi Barbara,

I’ve never heard of the eat-for-your-type diet, but eating based on blood type just doesn’t make any sense to me. And being as I’ve read a ton on the subject of healthy eating and never heard of that one, I’d chalk it up to yet another silly fad, IMO.

Hi Jill,

I just discovered your site and have recently started a similar process of change. I’ve had osteoarthritis for almost a decade, but recently began having trouble walking due to hip pain and inflammation. The prospect of disability frightened me so much that I dove into researching possible solutions.

That’s how I found out I am sensitive to nightshade foods (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, etc.) I’ve been on an elimination diet for 2 months, have no more hip pain, and have lost 14 lbs!

My diet is mostly plant based with meat/seafood a couple of times per week. I’m avoiding all grains and limiting starches, too.

I discovered that if I eat nutritious foods I’m not hungry. I truly believe that if we’re still hungry after a meal there is some nutrient we need.

Anyway, I’m off now to read more of your site.

Welcome to my blog, Cathy. It sounds like you’re on the right track, so good for you! I bet over time you’ll notice a huge difference in how you feel. It’s awesome to suddenly be able to listen to what our bodies need, right?