With the Holidays upon us I can’t help but write about what most
diets equate this time of year with….GAINING WEIGHT!
Do you ever find yourself having “fat days” and then feeling frustrated
for weeks on end.
Are there days you feel hopeful about the new diet you just started (again)
but secretly hope it won’t take that long to lose weight because you
can’t stand feeling so deprived.
I ask these 2 questions today because after over a decade of helping other
women get past their “fat and frustrated” days I too still have those
moments where I revert back to my old dieting mentality and think
“Jenn, I can’t believe you ate that last night! Now look at yourself”
“You’ve ruined all your hard work”.
Know what I’m talking about?
We all do it from time to time….some more often than others.
I had a coaching call recently with a client and she shared with me
that she has these beliefs around dieting that she really needed my help breaking.
Even though she knew her old habits weren’t working it was very hard to
With that said, here are 4 Powerful Dieting Myths that keep
a majority of women feeling fat and frustrated and what to do about it.
If I just deprive myself one more week I will reach my goal weight
Depriving ourselves by eating things we don’t really feel like eating creates a tug-o-war emotionally.
Think for a minute when you tell yourself (or your kids)
that they can’t have something………….you IMMEDIATELY want it don’t you?
So telling yourself you can’t have something clearly is not the answer. However
I hear over and over again from countless numbers of women that
starting Monday they are going to STOP eating those cookies or STOP drinking
the wine and then come Thursday, they are right back at it and feeling
like they have no self-control.
Not to mention when you get yourself into a place of “just one more week”
you set yourself up to feel frustrated when your body doesn’t cooperate
as quick as you’d like. Then you want to give up immediately because the unrealistic
goal was impossible and deep down you kinda know it.
If you took a time limit off the goal and actually enjoyed what you’re doing (and eating)
you would eventually lose the weight because internally your body would relax
and actually produce less cortisol.
Cortisol is the stress hormone that is produced in the body when it feels attacked….think fight or flight response and the days of the cave man. Sabor tooth tiger approaches, cortisol pumps into the bloodstream to give the cave man what is needed to run away and hide. These days the cortisol hormone is way over produced in the body from every day stress. One of the major problems with over production of cortisol is that is produces inflammation and stops the body from losing weight.
My suggestion is to keep cortisol at bay by adding more JOY to your life in the form of healthy friends, healthier food and more fun fun fun.
MYTH #2: I have to eat plain, bland, tasteless food to lose weight
You can lose weight while still eating tasty and yummy food.
It’s more about food combining and eating meals that stabilize your blood sugar levels not about the
plainness of the food.
Your goal is to get your body to use energy from fat stores instead of the energy from the
food you’re eating. It’s in your best interest to learn about the delicate balance
of insulin and glucagon. Two hormones that regulate blood sugar and can be
your best friends if you let them!
When we eat too much processed food and for sure too much sugar, your body produces a ton of insulin to get the sugar out of the bloodstream. Insulin signals the body to store the excess
sugar as fat.
Glucagon on the other hand is a hormone that the body produces to tell itself to
use the fat stores in the body as fuel. This wonderful hormone comes out to play when
you eat well balanced meals all day long and for sure when you exercise and eat properly.
Not everyone knows that there are some simple spices out there that can make food
preparation QUICK and TASTY.
For example I made a delicious baked chicken dish. I put organic free range chicken breasts or
thighs in a 8×8 glass dish after marinating them quickly in Tamari (wheat free soy sauce), first cold
pressed organic olive oil, garlic powder, sea salt, ground pepper, basil and oregano.
Bake at 400 till chicken is just slightly pink at the core….it will keep cooking once
you take it out.
I then will bake a handful of sweet potatoes for the family. Just place them on a baking sheet
at 400 for about 40 minutes…usually do this while I plan to be home playing out back and I
set a timer. Once a fork easily passes through the center they are done. Sprinkle with cinnamon and unsalted grass fed butter.
I round out the meal by sautéing some fresh broccoli in a pan with garlic, olive oil and a hint of sea salt.
MYTH #3: I will do MORE cardio to burn extra calories
Over the years I’ve seen so many women at the gym running on treadmills, taking
cardio after cardio class but still never being able to lose that belly fat, reshape
their hips or get the cellulite off their legs.
More cardio is not the answer to getting the weight off and for sure not for losing
the belly fat. If you’re doing cardio at an elevated level where you are unable to
talk to your neighbor next to you then you’re in anaerobic state of exercise where
you are no longer burning fat but are burning the calories from the food you at that morning.
In addition, until you add LEAN muscle to your body (and clean up your diet)
it is not possible to reshape your hips, flatten your belly and get the weight off long term.
It’s the lean muscle that gives you the ability to eat what you want from time to time
(I eat whatever I want at least once/week) AND not have to worry about gaining weight.
You see, lean muscle, burns more calories at rest so you are always burning calories J
This is also why heavy people tend to stay heavy and thin people with muscle tend to stay lean.
Get your body to the point where it’s got some muscle on it and now you’re leaning
in the direction of permanent weight loss.
Here’s the thing…lean muscle weighs more than fat so even if the scale is not moving you still
could be losing weight. I always tell clients to use their clothes as the true measure of their
progress. Clothes don’t lie but scales do!
MYTH #4: If I skip meals and eat more salad I will consume less calories and lose weight
I see this one all the time. If I skip lunch I can “save the calories” for the pizza and beer I want to have Friday night!
Then come Monday morning you get on the scale after a week
Of skipping meals and you are pissed the scale only moved 1lb or worse yet….it went up!
Why is that you might be thinking? Those diet programs taught me that calories in = calories out.
Truth be told not every calorie was created equal! 100 calorie snack packs loaded with chemicals and additives will process very differently in the body than a 100 calorie apple!
Not to mention the chemicals and additives in all that diet food are destroying your metabolism and storing the chemicals in your hips, butt and thighs.
If all that wasn’t bad enough, all the chemicals also cause cravings.
Yup. I can always tell if a woman is eating a lot of diet food…she usually has accentuated hips and usually feels bloated. The body needs to protect itself from all the chemicals so it adds water to the cells it stores the chemicals in so that they won’t die. Interesting huh??
And when you skip a meal or eat too few calories the body thinks it’s starving and won’t shed an ounce.
It will hold onto your fat as if it’s life or death. Seriously.
So do yourself a favor and eat those 3 balanced meals a day, have a salad if you enjoy eating them and worry less about calories and more about chemicals!
Add more joy to all areas of your life. This will take the emphasis off food for joy.
Find ways to ENJOY the process of getting in shape and shedding unwanted
weight and belly fat. Find a weight training class you enjoy.
Not into group classes? Hire a personal trainer for a few months and see
if they teach you enough that you feel motivated to work out on your own.
Never really learned how to cook quick tasty meals? Take a cooking class
that uses few ingredients and promises to teach quick cooking. Or hire a health coach
who models a way of living you’d like to see yourself live. I only cook meals that
take less than 20 minutes because I don’t like to be in the kitchen very much.
When you make a conscious decision to find ways to ENJOY your life more
the weight will come off. It just will. Promise.