The Lies You've Believed About Dieting
So we all realize that in some way or another that there is no perfect, one size fits all diet. There will always be the next best thing, things that work for certain bodies but not others, things with hidden catches that make it feel impossible to stick with...and yet we always go back to the fact that our diet can fix everything. We've spent collectively over $59 billion dollars per year on weight-loss programs and products but we are still gaining weight! Shouldn't we question our methods then?
Now I do absolutely believe in eating in a way that makes you feel your best. However, sometimes (and a lot more than it used to) that means for me, eating foods that most dieters would consider "bad". But I actually feel so much better adding these foods into my lifestyle because it satisfies me emotionally and physically. When you live with a fear or shame of certain foods you are no longer looking at food the way it was meant to be seen. When you remove fear and shame, food no longer has the control it used to.
The reality is that we all know that diets haven't really worked for us or our friend's long-term...but do we know why? Here are a few lies about dieting that we are quick to believe and slow to question.
- LIE: Calories in vs calories is the answer! This seems to be the simple answer to everything..and in theory, it makes sense. But if it were that simple, wouldn't most people have lost the weight and stuck with it? The reason calories in vs calories out isn't the only answer is because there are MANY other factors at play that affect how we gain and lose weight.
- Other factors: genetics, sleep, stress, environment, bodies natural set point weight, food sensitivities and more!
- LIE: You can lose all the weight you want AND maintain it in a healthy way. The reality is that sure, it migghttt be possible to lose all the weight that you think you need to lose. However, more than likely you will be going to moderately if not very extreme measures to get there and then have to keep those habits up to maintain it. Most of the time when we've lost the desired weight, we go back to our old habits and the weight comes back on...ergo the yo yo diet. Most people do not want to have to sacrifice their social life, pleasures and favorite foods long term but don't know how to lose weight otherwise. The reality is that less than 5% of people who go on diets lose the weight and maintain it longer than 3 years.
- LIE: Clean Eating is the answer. So, of course, it's good to eat whole, delicious foods but did you know you can actually take it too far? Are you constantly concerned with ingredients, focused on what your friends around you are eating, constantly focused on only eating foods you would consider "healthy" or "pure", cut out multiple food groups like dairy, sugar, meat, carbs and so on? This is something called Orthorexia and it is the obsession with proper and healthful eating. You see even when you are trying to be good, there is a mental part that we must consider. WHY are you only eating clean foods? Fear, worry, obsession? Eating whole foods is great for your mind and body, but not if the root issue is toxic.
- LIE: Just eat these low-calorie, low-fat foods instead! Our bodies are so much smarter than we tend to give them credit for. You see, our body wants to regulate our weight, let us know when we are hungry and tell us when we are full. The problem is that so much of what we consume on a daily basis does not register with our body as real food!! As we are snacking on things that might be more chemical than natural our bodies natural full and satiety signals are not able to fully register. Therefore, we tend to eat more than we need without even realizing it until it is too late. By trying to focus on the calorie or fat content we strip the foods of the natural triggers needed to satisfy our bodies. If we focus on eating more foods that can easily signal to our body, we would be able to better realize when we are actually hungry or full.
- LIE: Losing weight will make you a happier person. I think this is the biggest lie of all that we have to let go of. You see, when you stop focusing on weight loss, it isn't that you are giving up, it's that you are moving on! So often it is the dream of weight loss that doesn't allow you to be happy with who you are, NOT the weight its self. We all want to feel better, love and accept ourselves and live life to the fullest. But why do we attach our weight to that? This is the messaging we have been told since we were young and one that won't be going away any time soon. But I challenge you to question this idea. Because I know a lot of #bodygoal girls who are unhappy and a lot of larger-bodied women who are only as happy as I dream to be someday. Our weight and our bodies only have the power we give them. Choose to be a happier person today!
At first, it was hard for me to realize and accept some of these lies. I mean if they weren't true then what was? What was I supposed to do to look and feel my best? I had to start just living my life again! Enjoying food I missed, moving in a way that did more than burn calories and ask myself what else I could focus on besides weight loss.
Our bodies want us to be healthy and happy. We just have to trust them more. Sometimes that means gaining weight and sometimes that means losing weight. But whatever that looks like, when you no longer worry or focus on food and weight loss...that is where you and your body will be its happiest. Stop playing in the world that wants women to focus more on their bodies then changing the world. Start questioning and start living life free from the social ideas placed upon you.
So which lie suprised you the most? Is there one you want me to expand even further on?! Let me know!
Happy living babes!