Updated: Dec 31, 2019
It's simple, right? Calories in + Calories Out = Weight Loss/Gain.
WRONG...weight loss is about the most complex math equation you'll ever do.
About 45 million people in this country will go on a diet this year. About 2/3 of them will fail at it. We know more now than ever before about nutrition. We have all the gyms and streaming tools in the world to help us. So what's going on here?
The problem lays in people's beliefs and behaviors surrounding their food choices. Let's break down the top 3 myths about weight loss.
Myth 1: There is a start and a finish.
Reality: Nope. Nope. Nope! This is the most common mistake people make. They pick a diet. They decide a date to start. They eat like a**holes until that date. They begin. They plan to stick with it until x number on the scale or x dress/pants fit or x event.
Most of these people with this "I'll start on such and such day" and "finish on such and such day" mentality DO NOT reach their goal. Or when they do...they maintain it for two seconds and a night out, and then it's GAIN CITY!
WHY waste so much effort like that?! You're doing it all wrong!!
Healthy is not something you just turn on and off like a light switch. It's not a sprint. It is a long process of constant evolution that when broken into smaller parts and successes, build and morph over time to eventually become PART of you. It does not suddenly end.
So if you're feeling this way, if you're burning yourself out on being "perfect" for a short period or waiting for the "perfect" calendar dates to "be healthy", ask yourself what the definition of "healthy" means to you. If it's just a number on a scale, then there's a few other things I want you to consider: pride, commitment, celebration, balance, quality, vitality, evolution.
Pick small goals based on THOSE terms...what actions would make you feel proud, now? What is worthy of your celebration and energy, right now? What QUALITY are you aiming to evoke as a human on this Earth - high quality actions and foods tend to yield high quality results, high quality energy, high quality appearance.
Small steps add up to big results. The slower you build on them, the more harmonious they will feel, and the more they become you. This is what makes habits stick..becoming part of you...not having a diet forced down your throat for 4 weeks.
Your goal will come, but if those habits are truly part of you, you won't just stop there. There will be another phase. Or perhaps the goal looks different than you thought it would and has now changed entirely...that's okay. The only thing certain about the goal is that it will eventually be washed away by a new one.
All you have is now. Take smaller steps. Don't race to a sure shot to burnout. Let the process become you over time knowing there is no end date. And have comfort in knowing this first goal is just the beginning.
Myth 2: I must be under x weight to be healthy.
Reality: Just because you're skinny, doesn't mean you're healthy.
Ever been to the doctor's office and were shocked that your BMI labeled you as OBESE or OVERWEIGHT? Me, too!! Listen here: a chart, a number, a silly graph DOES NOT DEPICT how HEALTHY a person is except in extreme cases. Take all of these with a grain of salt. They do not take into account the full picture.
These figures do not consider body shape, cardio capacity, blood pressure, strength, or muscle mass.
So what is the best gauge of the state of your health? Your BODY COMPOSITION!
A healthy body fat range for men is 8-19% and a healthy body fat range for women is 21-33%. Also, WHERE you carry your weight matters, too. Abdominal fat is the dangerous fat we want to watch out for. So if your waist is in great shape and you have a fabulous JLo booty (where my Endomorphs at?!) and other lower body curves, your BMI numbers might be up, but you're likely doing just fine in the health department.
Don't let a chart or a number fool you into feeling badly or turn you into a quitter. What matters more is your actions.
So consider this: What does your body do for you on a daily basis? How do YOU like to move and are you making time to do just that? What are some things your body achieves that you're pretty proud of?
Allow your health & happiness to be determined by THESE questions instead. The more you empower yourself with quality choices, quality thoughts, quality actions, the more high quality you will feel.
If you're doing all of that... those charts and numbers don't matter.
Myth 3: I can rest when I'm dead - the harder I go, the faster I will lose.
Reality: Recovery actually works FOR better results. Lack of recovery will produce the opposite.
When we sleep, especially deep sleep, growth hormone is generated and our body is most actively in a state of repair. Muscle repair, mental repair, free-radical repair, you name it...it's our body's construction project during the night.
That mental stress from that deadline that had our brain going all day? Our body gets to repairing and restoring it. That anxiety stress in our gut from that car that cut us off on the way home? Our body is working on repair and balancing of our hormones. That workout that pushed our lungs and muscles to the limit? Our body is working on it's repair and growth.
So if you're working out hard and expecting a return from it, you better be resting!
Low sleep or too MANY workouts when your body is already tired could spell trouble in the form of weight loss plateaus and even weight gain. This could be due to hormonal imbalances that are ignited, your adrenals just not being able to keep up, or being so low energy you're not putting what you're really capable of into your workouts.
So next time you want to keep scrolling through Instagram at 10:00 pm, maybe set the phone down on the other side of the room and get that shut-eye instead. Or that week where you have a to-do list a mile long and it's either no sleep or no workout...go for no workout! Your adrenals and results will thank you!