According to a recent survey conducted by the Journal of Health and Sciences, losing weight is a goal of 90% of women over 40 years of age. Many of them have stated that they’ve been trying to lose weight for over a year but have been unsuccessful. They would lose a few pounds here and there but the weight would come back sooner or later, and some times with a vengeance. Based on their responses in the survey, it was gathered that the main reason these women failed was “quick fixes”.
The women surveyed tried weight loss solutions they’d see as most “popular” or touted as the quickest way or whatever was buzzing or trending with their friends. Basically, if the weight loss solution was endorsed by a celebrity, they’d try it.
We live in a society where we are desperate for quick fixes, in all aspects of our lives. We want the fastest, easiest route to the results we desire, and if who we look up to suggest (or endorse really) something would work, we would try it. And that’s why so many of us have ended up on the yo-yo diet mill.
At the end of the day, weight loss, although can be a long process is actually an easy task and can be achievable by any women of any age and of any size. We just have to cut through the confusion and keep things simple. Here are 6 biggest misconceptions about weight loss that show you why if you have not lost any weight, it is likely NOT your fault.
Misconception #1: To lose weight, you need to only eat less and exercise more
While studies have shown that women who lose weight successfully tend to change their eating habits and increase their exercise, that’s not the whole story. Other factors, like environment, emotional state and what types of food a person eats can also contribute to weight loss success. Some researchers argue that the common advice to just “count calories” isn’t helpful, because it ignores the many issues, including biology, that contribute to a person’s weight. In fact, researchers argued that rather than focusing on a calories-in versus calories-burned equation, more attention should be paid to the overall composition of a person’s diet.
If you just try to eat less and exercise more, most people will lose that battle. Simply looking at calories is misguided at best and potentially harmful because it disregards how those calories are affecting our hormones and metabolism—and ultimately our ability to lose weight.
Misconception #2: You have the fat gene, so you have no chance of losing weight
Our genetics do not determine us – we all stand a chance to lose weight, some having to work through different issues than others. While it is true that the genetic make up of a naturally obese woman is different from a naturally thin woman, we have witnessed dramatic transformation of some larger women (see Kayla Itsines’ Instagram account, lately?).
Research has shown that it is in the satiation levels of woman that determines how difficult or eas(ier) a naturally obese woman can lose weight. In short, if we can learn to manage our hunger in a healthy way, there is no reason why we all can’t lose weight.
Misconception #3: To lose weight you should eat diet food and avoid all carbohydrates, sugars and fat
Our body isn’t naturally built to break down the artificial flavourings and sweeteners in so-called diet foods, so it’s actually much better for us to eat and drink the real full-fat versions when it comes to real butter, milk and cheese. We are completely duped by food companies (that have deep pockets to pay for celebrity endorsements) and their labelling requirements that make us think a food is healthy.
If the label says, ‘healthy choice’, ‘low in fat’ or ‘low in sugar’, it must be good for you, right? What you should ask yourself is: what are they replacing the fat or the sugar with? The answer is artificial chemical products and flavourings that our body doesn’t know how to metabolise and which ultimately make us sick and overweight.
Misconception #4: Counting calories is the only way to lose weight
Yes, counting calories and limiting your daily calorie intake will lead to weight loss. But let me ask you this: are you prepared to count calories forever and control what you eat forever? Honestly, how long can you stick to a strict regime, weighing out your food, avoiding eating out or at your friends’ house because you’re trying to maintain that strict regime? As soon as you stop counting calories, the weight will pile back on. Also, not all calories are created equal. You can drink diet fizzy drinks all day long because they contain hardly any calories, but they wreak havoc on your body, your metabolism and your gut microbes. Eating artificially developed low-calorie foods actually leads to weight gain, because they interfere with our body’s natural way of breaking down and storing food. So, stop counting calories and start eating healthy, whole foods.
Misconception #5: You have to give up the foods you love
This is one of the main reasons diets don’t work: they are unsustainable because we have to eliminate so many foods we enjoy eating. It makes it so difficult for us to eat out, go to a party, drink alcohol and just enjoy a healthy balanced lifestyle. But the reverse is true! When we eat foods filled with flavour that we enjoy, we absorb more nutrients from them. Our body responds by speeding up our metabolism and letting us know when we feel full, and this is all triggered by the pleasure we experience eating something we enjoy. So, we eat less as we savour and enjoy more.
Misconception #6: Losing weight is difficult
Given the health and fitness landscape in today’s world, it has never been easier to lose weight, look good and feel better. Never. True weight loss doesn’t require you to starve, give up your favorite foods or exercise till you drop. And it certainly doesn’t require you to have the skinny gene or fancy Lululemon tights.
It is a simple matter when one cuts through all the smoke. Cutting through the smoke is the hard part. In fact, if you have not achieved weight loss success, it likely has nothing to do with you. Given endless diet strategies, diet supplements and misinformation available, it is a wonder we’re still healthy and alive, much less lose weight.
If the search for the ‘right’ diet system has left you more confused than empowered, take a deep breath and relax. My friend Brian Flatt, author of the 4 Week Diet program, will take aim at this confusion, blow away the smoke and make things as simple as possible. In fact, he’ll nail it down to a single “trick”. Just four hormones. And with these four hormones, we can all work miracles. Click here to see Brian’s presentation on the 4 Week Diet now.