Has Your Diet Failed You? 3 Common Weight Loss Mistakes

by SaraVance on January 7, 2013

New Years is a great time to start fresh and refocus on health.  But many people have given up setting New Years Resolutions or dieting out of frustration – because they have gone on a diet in the past only to gain all the weight back (and then some).   So many of us think we failed on our diet – but in reality – it may have failed you.

Here are 3 of the most common weight loss mistakes:

#1: Calorie Counting:

Most diets are based on calorie-counting. It makes sense from a math perspective, if you expend more calories than you bring in, you will create a deficit and lose weight, right?  Not so fast. The only issue with that logic is that the human body is unfortunately not that simple, and not all calories are created equal. Think about it this way – if you eat a 100 calorie pack of low fat cookies your bloodsugar and insulin will spike, which will be followed by a crash.  So you will be hungry again in about 30 minutes, you will also crave sugar more, and so you will eat more.  Do that enough times, and you can create a condition called insulin resistance where your body no longer can process sugar effectively anymore.  However, eating a half of an avocado (about 100 calories) will help to stabilize your bloodsugar, satisfy you longer and also quelch your sugar cravings; so you will eat less. So besides being exhausting, calorie counting just does not work and is an ineffective way to try to manage our weight.  Instead of just counting calories, we need to understand which foods boost our metabolism and which ones work against it. Read: Don’t Diet in 2013 to learn more.

#2 Falling into the Low Fat Trap

It has been pounded into our heads that fat makes us fat, and we need to avoid fats if we want to be healthy.  An entire industry has been created around the low fat and no fat craze – reduced fat peanut butter, cookies, muffins, and more. But the theory is just completely wrong – fat does not make us fat.  Yes, there are certain fats that we want to avoid like the plaque – such as trans fats (found in many packaged, some frozen, fast & fried foods, pastries, and most margarines), which do raise our risk of heart disease, and cause weight gain. We also want to avoid fats such as vegetable oils and soy oils – these cause inflammation and are easily oxidized, which damages the fats and leads to free radicals in the body. But certain fats are good for us, especially omega 3 fatty acids and even many types of saturated fats like coconut oil. Coconut oil is a medium chain fatty acid, which is more easily converted into energy and therefore less likely to be stored as fat deposits.  It is also is a natural anti-viral and anti-bacterial, so it is very cleansing to the body, and is wonderful topically.  Fats are very important for creating a feeling of satiety, and also helping to regulate our hunger hormones.  Not eating  enough healthy fats – causes hunger to spike.  Learn more about healthy fats by joining the Perfect Metabolism cleanse (starting Friday, Jan 11th).

#3 – Using Diet Foods and Drinks

Diet sodas have no calories, so how can they contribute to weight gain?  They are up to 7,000 times sweeter than sugar, so it is no wonder that artificial sweeteners increase our craving for sweets.  Studies show that they confuse the regulatory systems that control our hunger, stimulating our appetite.  Several studies on both rats and humans found that those who ate artificial sweeteners weighed more than those who did not. Artificial sweeteners were also shown to lead to insulin resistance, a common cause of stubborn weight gain, and a precursor to diabetes.  Chemicals like asparatame are a class of chemicals called obesogens – because they tell our bodies to store fat (read: How Toxins Make us Overweight). Plus even worse, they have been linked to an increased cancer risk according to this study.

Also read: Can Sugar Substitutes Make You Fat? And Artificial Sweeteners, Worse than Sugar.

What works: Re-booting Your Metabolism

A common misconception is that our metabolism needs to slow down as we age. But it does not have to. How well our metabolism is working is a function of a number of different factors – most of which is in our control!  In addition to the kinds of foods and drinks we choose, there are other surprising factors that can lead to slow metabolisms – digestion issues, food sensitivities, stress and environmental toxins, and even overexercising. When we balance all of these factors, our metabolism and so many other systems in the body come back into balance – digestion, hormones, sleep, etc.  Plus – learning how to manage our weight without calorie counting is like getting a Get Out of Jail Free card!

Join the Perfect Metabolism Cleanse, designed and led by Nutritionist Sara Vance to reboot and reset your metabolism – for good!  Next group starts on Friday, January 11th!!

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