Weight Loss Myths That Are Getting In Your Way
Beliefs you need to lose in order to find food freedom.
With each diet we make, we collect a series of rules and beliefs about food and ourselves. In the vast majority of cases, the rules are poorly grounded, sometimes even conflicting, and keep us in a food prison. Beliefs, in general, become self-fulfilling prophecies about who we are as eaters.
We embrace these statements as truths after repeating them many times. So much so that after a while, we condition our behaviors to fulfill them — which feeds the cycle.
I come across these beliefs with my clients every day — and personally carried many of them in those times I fought food. I know how much they weigh you down in your life, although you hardly question them. In fact, you may not even notice them in your speech.
So today I bring two beliefs that you may carry, which are complete myths — at least that’s what I hope to convince you!
Myth #1 — I like fattening foods
Or something like, “I’m crazy about everything that makes me gain weight and that’s why I can’t lose weight.”
This is the famous “children’s taste buds” that affect people of all ages who think they are “addicted” to high-calorie, high-fat, high-sugar foods like sweets and fast-food.
We have already talked about how guilt and self-imposed dietary restrictions make us want everything that is restricted, as it keeps these forbidden foods on a pedestal. That alone would be enough for you to be “obsessed” with them.
When we eliminate the magnetic power of restriction, the food choices tend to normalize. But if you still feel addicted to “everything that makes you fat”, I have good news for you.
Getting to the point:
No food alone has the power to make you gain weight.
(nor lose weight, ok!?)
Some foods are more calorically dense than others (read more calories per gram). That is, a birthday cake has more calories than cooked broccoli if we take the same amount.
However, if you are really listening to your body, eating when hungry and stopping when sated, opting for a more caloric food only means that you can stop eating early because you will feel sated with less food.
That is, if you do not go into automatic inertia mode and don’t join the clean plate club, you will feel great satisfaction and satiety with your food and if you are aware of your body signals you will be able to eat an adequate amount.
The only way to get fat by eating more caloric stuff is if you eat beyond what you need (in calories) to maintain your metabolism — and that’s what usually happens. The problem is not the food itself, but the quantity.
Notice how the guilt for eating indicates that the amount was excessive. It is not a general rule, but people usually do not blame themselves for eating a cookie, but when they eat ten the guilt appears.
So start looking at food beyond numbers. _Choosing your food for carbohydrates, calories or fat grams is like choosing your friends by income. You choose your friends for the effect they bring to your life, not how much they earn.
_I invite you to ask yourself, genuinely, what kind of foods do you enjoy. For example, if you are not a big fan of vegetables, do you have any form of preparation that can improve this? For example, unseasoned kale is hardly as interesting as a cheeseburger, but a well-made salad can make you salivate, just find out how you like it best.
Myth #2 — I have a slow metabolism
Or something like, “Just thinking about food makes me gain weight and everything I eat goes straight to my thighs.”
I understand that it may seem unfair that some people will eat pounds of food more than you and have difficulty gaining weight, while you feel you gain weight just by passing in front of a muffin shop.
And while this thing of faster or slower metabolism thing really exists, I want to assure you that having a slower metabolism can be a good thing.
See, if you’re really eating when hungry and stopping when satiated, a slow metabolism will never make you gain weight. This only means that you will be hungry less often and your body will need less food.
And that brings me to the only cause of weight gain, which is:
Eating more than your body needs to function well.
If you are eating more than your body needs to function well, the excess calories will be stored.
It’s still math — although the equation is more complex than that, otherwise, no one would be overweight. Emotional factors and a dysfunctional relationship with food weigh heavily on this equation and lead us to eat without hunger — that is, starting to eat without physiological hunger and/or not stopping our eating when we’re comfortably satiated.
This kind of beliefs about your own body and appetite is often what reinforces the disconnection with your body and prevents you from creating a relationship with food that supports your health and aesthetic goals.
What belief are you willing to give up to find food freedom?
I am a Brazilian girl (living in Sao Paulo with my fiancé — and another 20 million people). I love coffee, books, and good food. I also really enjoy studying and learning new things that allow me to further develop myself both professionally and personally. I have a degree in Food Science and hold a Ph.D. in Agri-food Marketing. Also, I am a Certified Nutrition Coach and an enthusiastic Nutrition student.
There is a power that comes alive when women free themselves from the food prison in which they have learned to live, when they realize that they are capable and deserving of feeling fantastic in their bodies, and that confidence is a state of mind — not a body lotion which you get the right to use when you reach a weight-loss goal.
My work is dedicated to nurturing, celebrating and sharing this message.