What You Think You Know Is Probably Making You Fat

Most of us have spent so many years listening to others talk about the “best way” or the “only way” to lose weight. The problem is that what we’ve heard isn’t only wrong, it’s also unhealthy, and quite frankly, it’s making us fatter. But perhaps I should clarify. There’s a difference between “losing weight” and “losing fat.” Make no mistake, fat is the problem, not the number on your scale. Excess fat is what sets us up for high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, hormone imbalances and a whole host of other diseases and unhealthy conditions, not to mention miserable side effects like joint pain, inability to keep up with our children, and missing out on life due to just existing between doctor visits instead of being out living life.

Simple Math + Fad Diets = Mass Confusion

Sure, it’s easy to accept the idea that we just need to eat less and exercise more to lose weight. It’s simple math, right? Wrong! That equation might attempt to create skinny people, but it rarely creates healthy ones. Our body needs fuel. And, it’s designed with a self-preservation function that most of us are living in without even knowing it. Without adequate fuel, our body makes an executive decision to power itself by converting muscle to fuel. It’s gonna keep going for as long as possible…self preservation. But, it doesn’t mean we’re going to “feel good” in the process. And, let’s not forget that our heart is also a muscle. Do you wanna play Russian roulette with your heart? I sure don’t.

Along with the myth of the importance of eating next to nothing in order to lose weight, there’s the crazy idea that we can eat anything we want as long as we exercise enough to burn off the associated calories. Just ask yourself, how many people do you know who spend hours upon hours in the gym, and can run circles around you physically, yet they’re still overweight? If we could really just exercise ourselves to health, wouldn’t they be there already? Exercising too much, or consistently at a heart rate that’s too high for fat burning really just does more damage than good. Anyone who is spending an hour or more a day exercising, and still hasn’t met their weight loss goals is doing it wrong.

I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that there’s enough different fad diets out there that we could try a new one every week and still never run out. High fat, low fat, no carb, low carb, counting points, counting calories, high protein, low protein, high cardio, no exercise, magic pills, the list goes on and on. And, for each diet out there, there’s almost always also a polar opposite, so it keeps everyone guessing. Add to that the way most of these diets make us feel, and it’s no wonder that we just can’t stick with it and keep yoyo-ing back and forth, gaining more fat back with each diet (by the way, that’s DIE-t in my book).

BeforeAfterAfterAgainWhy Are We Fat?

We’ve been conditioned for so many years based on these myths and the crazy DIE-t cycle that it’s hard to believe that we really can get back to feeling the way our bodies were designed to feel. For most of us, it’s been so long since we’ve felt “great” that we don’t even remember what “great” feels like until we get there. I hear it from clients all the time: “I mean, I know I was fat, but I had no idea that I felt as miserable as I felt.” Don’t you deserve to live the rest of your life feeling great? I say, “ABSOLUTELY!”

The truth is, our body needs nutrition in the form of fuel to burn fat. It needs real food, and a fair amount of it. If we’re feeling “hungry” then we either haven’t eaten enough, or more likely, we haven’t given our body enough nutrition. Starving ourselves in an attempt to shift the scale to expend more calories than we take in just causes us to lose muscle. And, it’s that muscle that’s metabolically active, so once we finally reach our breaking point and bail on the DIE-t, we don’t even have as much muscle as we had before to even attempt to continue burning fat, so we put all the weight right back on, and usually add more than we had before. It’s a vicious cycle, and it’s time to make it stop!

There’s A Better Way

Cutting out entire food groups is also generally not the best way to go. Especially if those food groups are carbohydrates and/or fat. Removing either of these completely from our diets is a sure fire way to make us feel downright miserable, and in the end fatter than we started, even if the number on the scale is smaller.

But, before we go any further, I do think it’s important that we get a little more specific about what I mean by “carbohydrates.” For most of us, that word evokes images of breads, pastas and potato chips. But, really, carbohydrates encompasses all of those low/no nutrition options as well as every single vegetable, fruit and grain that has ever existed. And, regardless of the source, they all get converted by the body into sugar. The trick is knowing which carbohydrates to avoid, and which ones are your body’s preferred source of fuel. Yes, that’s right, carbohydrates are the body’s preferred energy source. That’s why when we cut them out, we feel sluggish and unfriendly.

Now, on to fat. Fats aren’t really the enemy. In fact, cutting them out makes life really hard for your brain, because the brain needs those fats for optimal function and cell production. But, once again, just like with carbohydrates, not all fats are created equal. Unhealthy fats will make you just that: unhealthy (and usually fat). Healthy fats, eaten in moderation along with appropriate amounts of quality carbohydrates and lean proteins create a balanced plate that really puts an end to the brain fog that’s so common among dieters. They also send us on our way to becoming fit and trim (aka healthy).

80_20Ditch The Diet

Small steps lead to big changes. Take the myths out of the picture and stop wandering mindlessly from diet to DIE-t. My clients learn what it takes to turn their bodies back into fat-burning machines. We focus on regaining balance through education, nutrition and getting back to basics. The results speak for themselves. Ditch the diet for good and embark upon a journey to better health using a proven program and daily accountability to produce a healthy lifestyle that really can help you finally feel truly “alive” again. It’s a great way to live, and I’d be honored to be your partner. Contact me to learn more.

~Coach Teresa

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Tom Gibson