Gather up girls – I’m about to drop a massive truth bomb your way. Sit down and brace yourself. Ready for it?
Dieting makes you fat !
Do you feel shocked? Disappointed? Cheated?
You should. If the narrow minded approach of calories in-calories out worked, we would all have the results we so badly want. After all, “eat less and move more” sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it?
But brace yourself, because here’s truth bomb number 2:
Dieting makes you unhappy.
Let me explain why diet is a blasphemous word and why, after all the treadmills, calorie counting and Slim Shakes, you’ve ended up an obsessed cranky pants who still can’t fit into their skinny jeans:
* Your brain isn’t vain. Your body’s main objective is survival and it has its very own starvation defence system which is designed to save you from famine. Ultimately, your brain couldn’t care less what you look like in the mirror; its too preoccupied with keeping you alive. Part of your brain’s job is to ensure there are enough fat stores to make it through a famine (even if this famine never comes) and our brain doesn’t know the difference between a low calorie diet and a famine
* Diets that include calorie restriction actually INCREASE hunger and cravings. They do this by turning on appetite regulating hormones ghrelin and neuropeptide-Y
* You’re hormonal!Your health depends on your hormones; they are the control tower of your body’s daily functions and they’re also responsible for the burning and storage of fat. If you don’t have proper functioning of the fat burning or fat storing hormones – you might lose the weight initially, but you’ll eventually end up back where you started. Sound familiar?
* Fat is jolly! Low fat diets have been firmly linked to depression and irritability, low protein diets usually mean low energy and low mood; and low calorie diets inhibit two of your biggest mood enhancers – serotonin and the thyroid hormone. Us girls produce as much as a third less serotonin than blokes – so we don’t have much to lose in the first place!
* Your lifestyle needs an overhaul. Believe it or not - you need to get healthy to lose fat!People who are overweight often have other key lifestyle issues such as poor circadian rhythm, poor digestive function and detoxification, parasite or fungal toxicities, and emotional or mental stress. Here’s a short (and not by any means conclusive) checklist whether this could be you:
* Do you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep?
* Do you have low libido?
* Do you have a bowel movement LESS than once per day?
* Do you have poor concentration or get ‘brain fog’?
* Do you suffer from stomach cramps, gas, bloating or belching after meals?
* Do you have ravenous sugar cravings?
* Do you get itchy skin, especially at night?
I’m guessing you’ve read this far and are now ready to bury your head in the chocolate mud cake you’ve held off on eating for so long. But stay with me! Here are 3 things you can implement TODAY to help you on your way:
1. Eat REAL Food. If it’s in a packet it’s a product, not a food. End of story. And yes, it’s that simple.
2. You are human, and humans were made to move – so MOVE! Include resistance training and interval training into your weekly schedule. By resistance training I mean reaching for something that weighs more than your 2kg pink dumb bells, and by interval training I certainly don’t mean a 40 minute run on the treadmill (we’ll expand on this in my next blog).
3. Read my last blog The 6 Fundamentals of Health. Having an understanding of your body from a holistic perspective will give you a huge head start towards your fat loss goal
So, what’s your take home message?
I think Sean Croxton, author of The Dark Side of Fat Loss, summed it up when he said “Health has nothing to do with how many pounds you can bench press or how good you look in a bikini. It is about being free from the signs and symptoms of disease”.
Get yourself healthy, and you’ll lose fat. Not the other way around.