Guy: After working in the health and fitness industry for ten years I can safely say there are a lot of skewed ideas when it comes to what it takes for long-lasting weight loss. Sadly there’s a lot of hype and slick marketing at play that relies on glossy magazine style imagery and quick fixes.
It’s not exactly headline catching titles when the real message is to simply ‘eat real food’ for long lasting health, and then the weight loss will follow. Sadly it’s usually a celebrity endorsed product that promotes a quick sale with cheap products followed by the bog-standard count your calories lark.
So after observing this time and time again I thought I’d write my top 3 worst weight loss strategies that really don’t factor in the most important part; our long term health! So even if this seems common knowledge to you, maybe it’s worth sharing with a friend, as it really could help them if they are doing any of the following…
1. Follow a Low Fat Diet
This theory sits quite comfortably within the weight loss world. Fats are packed with energy and too much of it will make you fat. You’ll also be in danger of high cholesterol and heart disease… Really? This is so simplistic and quite outdated. We’ve interviewed numerous health leaders around the world and they all say the same thing; Inflammation causes high cholesterol, along with weight gain issues stemming from dysregulated hormonal and digestive systems. I seriously avoid low fat foods as they are usually high in sugar/carbs and will be doing us no favours. Our body truly needs fats. Even our brain is made up of 70% saturated fat, so yes, it needs saturated fat!
I include good quality fats with each meal and have done for years. The last thing I’m worried about these days is weight gain or heart disease. I avoid the man-made fats like vegetable oils and margarines… yes the ones that claim to be ‘healthy’. My suggestion is to do your homework on this topic as it’s super important. Remember, no one is going to look after your health more than yourself. You can start your homework here with these videos. So if you are following a low fat diet to lose weight, maybe it’s time to think again.
2. Eat a Low Calorie Diet
If you see low calorie claims on a label, beware! Just like the low fat myth, low calorie fits well within the ‘diet’ industry. The amount of people I hear wanting to go on a diet to lose weight is astounding. What they should be saying is ‘I really need to change the food that goes in my mouth’ because restricting the amount of food you eat isn’t the answer. Eating quality healthy whole foods is (including LOTS of good fats with every meal).
Many so called ‘diet’ foods and low calorie claims come packed with crazy ingredients and e-numbers galore. From weight loss shakes to low calorie breakfast bars, it’s a minefield! Do you think this will actually benefit your long-term health? Personally I don’t. From what I’ve witnessed over the years, most people who restrict calories and diet, generally pile the weight back on when they stop. This isn’t sustainable and is also seriously disheartening. Also, many people that use weighing scales don’t factor in muscle mass/loss and also fluid loss/retention. Generally, fad diets work in the short term because the body is measured inaccurately and only tells part of the story. This does not in anyway help with long-term health. If you want to learn why counting calories doesn’t work, click here.
3. Follow a Punishing Exercise Regime
Thanks to TV shows like the Biggest Loser, there is a common belief that you have to follow punishing exercise regimes to lose weight. Whilst I’m a big advocate of daily exercise, the last thing I would do with my clients who wanted to lose weight was push them to the point of breaking. Here’s a few things to consider if you think it’s necessary to be punishing yourself at the bootcamp or in the gym to lose weight.
The more you exercise, the more your appetite increases and the more you eat. So people generally eat more of the bad foods that hinder their weight loss. Increased appetite does not mean a license to eat more bad foods. In fact it’s the opposite. The harder you train, the more you have to look after your body and eat healthy nutritious foods. Exercise is a form of stress and the body must be fed accordingly to enjoy full recovery. Also, over-exercising can cause a stress hormone response including hormones cortisol and epinephrine. This can effect the metabolic system which means yes, weight retention. Also, if your daily diet is wrong, you could be unnecessarily elevating your blood sugar levels after every meal. If your blood sugar levels are too high, guess what, you can’t burn body fat, so all those punishing workouts are actually counter productive.
Like I said, I’m all for exercise… and if you want to go hard in your workout… great! But as a standalone weight loss strategy? I’d be looking at the bigger picture.
So the moral of the story? If you truly want great health for life, and lose weight in the process, clean up your diet first. If you are not sure where you should start first, start here and download our free info packed eBook.
Can you think of any others I’ve missed? Do you agree with this? Do you know anyone who is always on a ‘diet’ but struggles with their weight? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below… Guy