In a fad diet crazed world with all sorts of misinformation out there, figuring out the best way to lose weight becomes challenging. Shedding those excess pounds is challenging enough without all the confusion. So let’s clear a few things up for you and dispel some myths.
Weight Loss Lie #1: Counting Calories
Many believe that all you need to do is lower your calorie intake to lose weight. Unfortunately, this is not entirely true. The quality of the calories you put in your body matter as much if not more.
Yes, if you are overweight and want to lose weight, you do need to reduce your calorie intake. That part is true. Filling your body with lower calorie junk food is not the answer. You are still feeding yourself empty calories that spike your blood sugar, increases cravings, and will turn quickly to fat. That “100 Calorie Pack” craze, for example, is a crock of you-know-what that keeps you addicted to unhealthy food and fools people into believing that they are being healthier. Junk food is junk food, whether its 100 or 700 calories. It is not going to help you lose weight.
Feed your body with nutrient rich foods. Plant based whole foods should be the bulk of your diet, with small portions of lean proteins.
Avoid processed foods or eliminate them altogether. They are nutrient poor, which causes you to feel hungrier because your body is not getting the vitamins and minerals it needs. Yes, this may feel like a big change, but as you eliminate these foods from your diet, you will notice a big difference in your energy levels and how you feel. You don’t have to go “cold turkey”. Make changes gradually.
One of the simplest ways to add more plant based foods into your diet is with green smoothies. Replacing one meal a day with a properly made green smoothie can help you lose excess weight, get more nutrient dense foods into your body and help you feel great.
Weight Loss Lie #2: No Carbohydrates
The no-carb fad is not doing you any favors. Carbohydrates do not make you fat. Carbohydrates are your body’s main source of energy, necessary for proper organ and system function. They help fuel your body and regulate blood sugar.
There are, however, healthy carbohydrates and unhealthy carbohydrates. Eating cake and French fries is not doing your body any favors and will plummet your energy levels and throw your blood sugar out of balance. Good carbohydrates come from fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Eating carrots and apples is not going to cause you to gain weight. That plate of cookies is another story.
Vegetables, fruits and whole grains are essential for weight loss.
Another quick note: don’t be fooled by the phrase ‘made with whole grains’ on packaged foods. These foods are generally highly processed and no longer ‘whole’. It’s the food industries way of confusing you into thinking that their products are healthy.
Weight Loss Lie #3: Fat Free
There is a common misconception that all fats are bad for you, cause weight gain, and it is better to eliminate them. This is not true.
Some fats are bad for you. Others are good for you. Your body needs some fats for proper organ and brain function. It is the quality and the quantity of the fat that matters.
Large amounts of saturated fats are not healthy. These fats are found in dairy products, fatty meats, poultry skins, baked goods, shortening, and most processed foods. Saturated fats raise LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease. There is growing evidence though, that small amounts of saturated fats may be beneficial.
Monounsaturated fats found in foods like seeds, nuts, avocados and olive oil are highly beneficial for your health. They help lower your cholesterol levels and protect against heart disease. These foods should be incorporated into your diet in moderation.
Although healthy fats are an important part of your diet, all fats are high in calories. Too much fat, healthy or not, can impede your weight loss goals.
Weight Loss Lie #4: Skip Meals
Your body is very smart. It needs food to function and if it senses a threat to survival, it takes action. When you skip meals, your body takes steps to protect you from starvation by storing up excess calories as fat rather than burning them as energy.
One of the reasons that breakfast is the most important meal of the day is because it follows the longest duration between meals. Eating in the morning jump starts your metabolism. It is best to eat within an hour or so of waking.
To lose weight, plan your meals and snacks to suit your lifestyle. Keep healthy snacks around, make meals ahead of time and plan for days when you need to “eat on the run”.
Green smoothies provide a healthy option when your time is limited. You can have a nutritious meal ready in less than 5 minutes.
Weight Loss Lie #5: No Snacks
Eating snacks between meals is not necessarily a bad idea. In fact, it can help you lose weight if done right.
The problem with snacking lies in the quality of the snack. Mindlessly snacking away on a bag of chips or bowls of ice cream is obviously going to impede your weight loss goals. Healthy snacks actually help you lose weight.
Snacking on healthy foods between meals keeps you feeling satisfied between meals. You are less likely to overeat during meals or binge eat because you are hungry. Plan healthy snacks into your day and keep them nearby. Nuts, seeds, fruits and veggies are all great snack choices. If you have a little sweet tooth, fruits are great options. If salt is your preference, keep lightly salted nuts nearby.
Sustainable Weight Loss
In order to successfully lose weight and keep it off, a lifestyle change is necessary. Eating highly processed, nutrient poor foods is what got you here. Weight gain is only one of the many effects of poor diet, and long term impacts are even more devastating – heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and more. The sooner you take charge and make changes, the easier it will be and the better chance you have of preventing more problems down the road.
Increasing fruits, vegetables and whole grains in your diet and adding or maintaining an active exercise routine is essential to overall health.
Whether you are just trying to lose the last 5-10 lbs or you want to lose 30 lbs or more, I encourage you to watch this FREE video presentation and try my Smoothie Diet Program to see how effective smoothies for weight loss can be.