1) You’re looking for a quick fix and want to “trick” your body into losing weight
99% of diets are set up to play a little trick on your body and manipulate it into losing weight.
This is usually done by cutting out a macronutrient group (think protein, carbs, fat) or limiting calories. Dieting always sets you up for failure because you can only trick your body in the short-term, and the weight almost always comes back, but often with a few extra pounds. Stop thinking anything good ever happens overnight, because this is a weight loss killer and it sets the stage for tricking your body into achieving counterproductive short-term results.
And a little newsflash: You need to be HEALTHY to lose weight (NOT the other way around).
That’s RIGHT! Weight loss the CORRECT way is achieved by working towards health as a first priority. If you focus on a multifaceted approach to GET healthy, weight loss can be achieved naturally. Weight loss that is sustainable. Long lasting. Healthy. Sanity saving. Successful.
2) Over-exercising while cutting calories
Too much exercise, especially when your diet is poor or your calories are too low, is a sure way to send your body running for safety by slowing your metabolism.
When you have a chronic energy deficit (fewer calories coming in than going out), over time your body starts thinking that food is scarce. This results in your body holding on to fat as a way to protect itself. To make an analogy, think of your body like a house. If you’re not making enough money to pay your house bills, what do you do? Well, you may turn down the heat in your house, turn off lights when you are not in the room, and perhaps even fire your cleaning lady to compensate. Your body operates in a similar way. When you do not have enough calories coming in, your body saves energy by reducing your body temperature (slowing your metabolism), turning down your digestive juices (making your digestion weaker), reducing your pulse, and slowing your thyroid function (resulting in less energy). These are all built-in survival responses by your body, to help you go longer on less food.
This is the EXACT opposite of what you want to do when you are trying to get healthy to lose weight! If you need to hear more about this, don’t miss this interview on Why Your Metabolism Was Fast, But Now It’s Slow.
3) A low protein diet
A diet low in protein will s-l-o-w weight loss. WHY? The liver and detoxification processes are PROTEIN DEPENDENT. Not to mention, a healthy liver is a prerequisite to proper blood sugar management and conversion of thyroid hormones.
Reconsider a low protein or vegan diet if you’re looking for long-term health and weight loss.
4) You cut out all things categorized as “sugar”
While cutting sugars like high fructose corn syrup, fake sweeteners, and agave is great, some people take this way too far and cut out truly nourishing sugar too—fruits, fresh fruit juices, maple syrup, molasses, and even honey (!). Cutting out sugar completely can send your metabolism into a tailspin, hindering your body’s natural ability to store glycogen, which is necessary to convert inactive thyroid hormone (t4) to the active form (t3), that keeps your metabolism’s motor running.
Cutting out too many potassium-rich fruits and starchy vegetables can also tank your potassium levels, which really screws with your thyroid function even more. This is not exactly a good thing for weight loss! This reason alone is why you should always question a “health guru” who’s instructing you not to eat fruit…
5) Depriving your body
In my nutrition practice, excessive weight signifies a severe nutritional deficit. How do you resolve a deficit? Hint: it’s not by limiting or depriving your body of nutrients (limiting calories= restricting nutrients). If you think of your body like a bank account deep in debt, doesn’t it make sense to make as many nutritional deposits in to your bank account every day instead? Now we’re on to something!
Besides, if you are trying to eat a diet that is generally dissatisfying; you do not feel satiated or nourished, and you’re not working toward healthy weight loss. A good diet should reduce cravings over time, NOT deepen them. You can lose weight while listening and responding to your body’s needs!
6) Fat-Free Diets
There is a lot of misinformation out there about fat. “Fat makes you fat” is the most accepted notion, but where did this actually come from? Natural fats (butter, coconut oil, cream, egg yolks, lard, etc.) have been used for thousands of years with no “fattening” effect. The low-fat craze of the early 90′s had a huge brainwashing effect on the perception of healthy foods. When you choose fat-free, you naturally choose higher sugar/higher carb and low protein foods, because protein in its natural state comes with a healthy dose of fat! You also eat more of these foods because low-fat= low satiety, meaning you must eat MORE to get full than those who eat fat liberally.
Cutting out fat from your diet also robs you of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, because these nutrients are found only in fat. Therefore, fat-free diets deplete you of more nutrients, and that is weight loss’s worst enemy.
7) Drinking too much water
Obey your thirst, not some blanket requirement! According to Matt Stone in Eat For Heat, “No other creature is so removed from its own instinctual programming to the point of accidentally overdrinking. The mechanisms of the body generally prevent such a thing. Intellectual interference between our bodies’ needs and what we think are our bodies’ needs forms a barrier that can be quite problematic, especially when it comes to flooding out the electrical supply of our entire inner metropolis.” That’s all I’m going to say about that one—you can read more from Matt about the harmfulness of over drinking here.
Be patient with your body
Weight gain doesn’t happen overnight, and getting healthy to lose weight takes time. Respect your body by listening to your cravings and fueling it right.
The best way to get results is to play on the same team as your body, not work against it! My eBook Creating Wealth: The cure to nutritional debt is designed to get your body and metabolism back on track so you can conquer your weight loss goals while avoiding restrictive dieting. Read more about it here so you can get healthy to lose weight naturally!
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So remember– don’t diet for weight loss, get nutritionally wealthy!
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