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4 Truths on Weight Loss you Need to Hear

Updated: Jan 15, 2022

Whilst the diet and fitness industry is undoubtedly changing, there are still 'facts' out there that are doing more hard than good. If weight loss is what you're after,

1. Move more and eat less isn't the answer.

And if it's not working, then don't eat even less...

Don't get me wrong; if you are not moving and eating mindlessly without a thought about nutritional quality and quantity, then this could be a great place to start. But, if the changes you are wanting to see aren't happening then do NOT just keep eating less and less.

You need energy to burn energy. Most people need more than 1200 calories (that is the calorie recommendation for a toddler, sedentary elderly person etc by the way). If you are an average-sized, moderately active adult, you need more than this.

Too few calories =

  • potential BIG stress response

  • more water retention

  • impaired recovery

  • less quality sleep (trouble falling asleep, or waking up a lot in the middle of the night)

  • fatigue

  • slowed digestion (and maybe digestive distress)

  • unhappy hormones...

Be aware of where you've picked up these messages about eating less and less as the solution (is it that dreaded diet culture thing? Where we we're told to value being smaller and we're better if we're eating less. That we're better people if we can just be in control of our eating?)

2. It's going to take longer than you think.

And that's ok.

If you lose it quickly, it might solve your short term pain. Great, but is that going to help you out long term? If you don't really want to jump on the diet cycles of lose it, and then gain it and then lose it etc, then I'd take the LONG TERM route. The route that makes things long-term habits and a LIFESTYLE.

Most people are going to be better taking months and years to lose weight. After all, it probably took longer than 6 weeks/months of your previous habits to add up to where you are now. A sustainable loss of weight is 0.5-1lb per week. Not more. Ironically, the faster you try and lose it, the longer overall it can actually take.

It's ok to want short term solutions, but maybe some work on perspective, the bigger picture and the real reason you desire change will help. And could be the key to long-term change.

A lot of small changes done consistently over time adds up to BIG (long-lasting) results.

This is not easy, and I am not down-laying it. When you're not used to prioritizing yourself, making changes involves fundamental shifts in identity. Planning can help support you build a life where prioritizing you and health behaviour is possible. Let there be space in your life to do the mental work of learning to prioritize yourself.

Next time you skip that behaviour you want to do, ask yourself how you felt in that moment. Figure out what caused that feeling. Start there.

3. Losing weight does not equal happiness.

You won't magically become a happier, more confident person. Your life won't necessarily be better. Yes, of course it may solve some problems for you, but happiness and joy in life aren't just linked to the size of the body you are in. Many people who do lose weight, in fact struggle with confidence MORE.

Your value is not in your size.

Your worth is not linked to the body you are in.

Your value is not linked to what you do or do not eat.

Be aware of what you expect weight loss to give you. When is enough? How will life be different? When will you be satisfied?

You cannot self-hate your way to self-love.

I recommend having goals that are not (just) weight loss related, but focused perhaps on building what your body can do, or how you feel. For a full list of ideas about how to measure progress that are unrelated to weight, check out this blog post I wrote here.

4. There's a lot of stuff that just doesn't matter.

What will help:

  • Healthful, mindful nutrition

  • Awareness and tools for handling emotions

  • More sleep

  • More protein

  • More hydration

  • Going for walks.

What is unhelpful, untrue or overrated:

  • HIIT (high intensity interval training)

  • Fat burners and other supplements

  • Fat-burning workouts do not exist

  • Burpees

  • Tracking progress with just the scales

  • No food is fattening. Nope, not even pizza, alcohol or cake.

  • Cheat days

  • Treat food

  • Aiming to lose more than a pound per week

  • Avoiding strength training

  • Perfection

  • Comparing yourself and your results with anyone else

  • Eliminating carbs (you'll feel really rubbish)

  • Intermittent fasting

  • All-or-nothing and black-and-white mindsets

  • Restricting foods you love

  • Fasted workouts

If you're wanting to lose weight, start small.

See the bigger picture.

Be kind to yourself.

What has helped or surprised you here?

What would you like to know about around weight loss?

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