Our society is saturated with ways to lose weight. The next "new" diet book, weight loss pill and exercise DVD is always right around the corner for you to buy and try. Sadly, this industry is clouded with a lot of misconceptions and pseudoscience.
So let's cut through the fat-loss myths and then go over sustainable ways to lose those stubborn pounds.
Myth: Make sure calories in are less than calories out.
Losing weight is a simple math equation right? If you just eat less food, count your calories, and burn off more than you are consuming, you'll lose the weight. Sounds logical enough, but it's not true. Sure, if you starve yourself on a low-calorie diet and live in the gym, you may lose some weight for a while. But what happens after a little time? You gain it all back and then some.
In reality, 500 calories of broccoli and 500 calories of chocolate chip cookies are not the same to your body, which is a lot more complex than a simple equation of calorie counting. Your weight today is a result of a complex array of hormonal pathways and sophisticated bodily systems that regulate your body's metabolic (weight) set point.
For most people, being overweight is typically a symptom, not the cause, of some underlying hormonal or other dysfunction of the body. Because of this, putting the body through months or years of yo-yo dieting can make the problem even worse. Because the body is holding on to weight for a physiological reason, giving your body less of the very nutrients that it needs to correct itself is a recipe for long-term weight loss resistance.
You have to get healthy to lose weight, not lose weight to get healthy. Instead of the life-consuming, calorie counting hamster wheel, dealing with the cause of the weight loss resistance is the only sustainable weight loss solution. More on that later.
Myth: Eating fat makes you fat.
If you eat fat, it will make you become fat; sounds reasonable right? But it's wrong. That belief is a holdover from an era of weight loss practices that taught us that dietary fat will make you gain weight and clog your arteries. In truth, our bodies' ultimate regulator, the brain, is made up of 60% fat and 25% cholesterol. The cells of our body are lined with a membrane made up of — you guessed it — fat! It's important to note that the cell membrane is where hormonal communication occurs, and healthy fatty foods like coconut, avocado, and nuts may help with weight loss.
How to Heal Your Weight Loss Resistance
If you're exhausted at even the thought of doing one more fad and crash diet, and you want to get to the root cause of why you've been unable to sustainably lose weight, let me give you three tips to overcome weight loss resistance:
1. Seek personalized diagnostics.
For anyone that wants to find out why they're going through unanswered health questions, we have to go beyond the surface and look at the underlying components of weight loss resistance. Functional medicine is based on cutting-edge research and diagnostic testing that gives insight into issues like weight loss resistance. I investigate these factors for people all around the world and help them overcome these seemingly insurmountable problems.
2. Heal your hormones.
Dysregulations and resistance patterns of hormones like cortisol, insulin, and leptin can play a role in stubborn weight gain. Healing hormonal communication pathways varies so greatly and has to be looked at on an individual basis by a functional medicine practitioner or other qualified clinician.
3. Heal your gut and your brain.
There are many connections between your gut health and your weight (like maintaining a healthy microbiome), and a healthy brain is another key component to healthy weight loss. There are plenty of resources out there to help you take a more holistic approach to weight loss, so get reading!