The weight loss myth that's making you fatter

09/14/2016 05:21 pm ET Updated Sep 14, 2016
picjumbo.com

The notion that weight loss is all about ‘calories in vs calories out’ is one of the BIGGEST weight loss myths out there. So many people think that weight loss is simply down to portion control. Yes, there is something to be said for not over eating. But I am far more interested in looking at WHAT you eat, now how much of it you are eating.

Let’s look at an example – if I consume 100 calories from broccoli and my friend consumes 100 calories from chocolate – do you think they will have exactly the same effect on our bodies? NO IT WILL NOT!

Women are meant to consume around 2000 calories a day – men should be having a few more, pregnant and nursing Mama’s should be having a few more.

There is still this incredible myth flying around that we should simply make sure we use up more calories than we consume in order to lose weight.

If weight maintenance was as simple as getting an energy balance of calories in vs calories out – we would need to get this correct to within the 20 calories per day to only put on 21lbs in 10 years. – IMPOSSIBLE!

If this is the only way to maintain weight then we would all be fat – it’s too hard.

Ok girls – let me just say that unfortunately biology isn’t that simple. And we are biological beings not mathematical equations!

Weight Loss is not as simple as ‘Calories In Vs Calories Out’

This oversimplification of the way our bodies work has got to stop!

We need calories. FULL STOP! If we want energy to get us through the day we need calories. To workout, we need calories. To grow babies and nurse our young, we need calories. We also need calories to sleep! Did you know that? Going to bed with a rumbling tummy is a sure fire way to cause insomnia. Neither calorie-restricted diets n’or low-fat diets have been shown to help people lose weight long term. In fact, there is even evidence that when we stop a calorie restrictive diet, we not only pile the weight back on, we GAIN MORE than we weighed before we even started! Seriously, read up on Adaptive Thermogenesis if you don’t believe me!

If you start every diet with the idea that you need to cut down on what you are eating, you will feel deprived, you will feel like you are missing out on something (which you are!), you will go hungry, you will get moody and ultimately – you will give in and eat a big plate of chips! Or chocolate cake.

The generic weight loss advice to “eat less junk and sugary treats and stop overeating” doesn’t really help people. Firstly, it is misleading. It implies that sugar has to go, simply because of calorie content. Let me clear this up. Sugar has very few calories. (Sugar has about 387 calories /100g and fat has about 900 calories /100g) Sugar impacts the body in lots of different ways and contributes to weight gain, but it’s nothing to do with it’s calorie content.

And it definitely doesn’t help people who already eat within the 2000 per day recommended intake of calories. Guess what, even if you eat less than 2000 calories per day you can be overweight! Trust me, I’ve seen it.

And you know what else? It focusses entirely on what we shouldn’t have and shouldn’t do. Whoever lived a life they love by following SHOULD’s?? Not me.

I’d like to introduce the idea of counting nutrients, not calories.

There are so many amazing reasons to count nutrients. It turns the focus on to nourishing, nurturing and loving your body instead of depriving and starving it. It makes you feel more energised, stronger and happier (there’s some amazing neuroscience stuff that shows veggies actually make you happier!) And when you feel great – you will be able and motivated to take more positive actions, like hitting the gym or taking the dog out for an extra walk.

When you are focusing on nourishing your body, you don’t count down the days until treat day, hating every moment of your diet. Your blood sugar levels stay stable, you don’t crash and start craving quick release sugars. The right nutrients nurture your microbiome, all the tiny good bacteria in your gut which stop you feeling bloated, boost your immune system, help you lose weight and even produce more vital nutrients for you like Vitamin B12.

When you start making your calories count instead of counting calories you will start to naturally and safely lose weight; without feeling deprived or hungry. This is exactly what I teach my Mums in The Happy Mummy Cleanse. You don’t need to starve yourself to lose weight, in fact, many of my clients lose weight while eating MORE on The Happy Mummy Cleanse. If you want to try eating foods that flood your body with nutrients, and letting go of counting calories try my yummy 3 day clean eating plan for free here.

I would love to hear how you feel when you are ‘on a diet’. Does a ‘calories in vs calories out’ balance or calorie restriction diet work for you? Really? Long term? Or do you hate it and want a better way? Comment below!

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.
CONVERSATIONS