For many, summer means slimming down for swimsuit time. As a result, ’tis the season for deprivation, calorie counting, juice cleanses, and low-fat everything. But before you deprive yourself of all things delicious, let’s clear up four nutritional lies about losing weight.
1. All calories are created equal. The popularity of calorie trackers leads you to believe that if you burn more calories than you eat, you will lose weight. Right? On the contrary, all calories are not created equal. Two hundred calories of chocolate does not equal 200 calories of salad. So, stop counting. Focus on eating high-quality, whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, meats, nuts, and whole grains. These are all nutrient-dense options that will keep you full and energized for hours.
2. Fat makes you fat. Many of us think that low fat is always the better option. Thank faulty research and lobbyists in the late 1900s for that. Low-fat products rely on extra processed sugar and chemicals to make them taste good. Yet eating fat actually helps you burn more calories and is critical for vital body functions, such as hormone production. So, go ahead and eat the egg yolks and take full advantage of the avocado craze.
3. Eat unlimited amounts of fruit. Many weight-loss programs claim that consuming unlimited amounts of fruit is the key to a skinnier you. Wrong again! Although fruit has nutritious phytonutrients and fiber, it also contains a lot of natural sugar. This can result in a blood-sugar rollercoaster. This stress on your body and adrenal gland leads to more cravings and overeating. Instead, aim to eat a protein, complex carbohydrate, and healthy fat with each meal or snack. Rather than eating just an apple, add some nut butter. You will avoid the blood-sugar spike and crash, while staying fuller longer.
4. Willpower equals weight loss. Because we would like to believe that our willpower to eat clean, maintain portion control, and exercise will lead to weight loss, we get frustrated when the scale doesn’t budge. Despite our best efforts, hidden internal stressors — food sensitivities, parasites, and bacteria overgrowths — can prevent weight loss. This is the case for so many of my clients. Consider working with a functional health coach to run a pathogen or food-sensitivity test (different from an allergy test) if you are doing all of the above, yet aren’t seeing results.
— Maggie Carey ’11 is a certified health coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition practitioner who uses at-home lab tests to pinpoint the root causes of clients’ health problems and then creates natural-healing protocols to restore balance and proper function. The founder of RejuvInnate Nutrition, Carey helps people look and feel their best using natural lifestyle changes. She specializes in digestive-, energy-, and hormone-related imbalances. Carey is based in Newton, Mass., but works with clients nationwide through her web site www.rejuvinnatenutrition.com.
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