Over and over again, I hear these basic tenets of weight loss:
- Consume fewer calories than you expend, and you will magically lose weight.
- Follow a high-carbohydrate, low fat diet and you will magically lose weight.
- Eat whatever you want, in moderation, and you will magically lose weight.
- Stop choosing to be fat and you will magically lose weight.
Obviously these basic tenets are wrong.
Consume fewer calories than you expend, and you will magically lose weight.
The premise of a calorie-restricted diet is that by “starving” the body with fewer than 800-1200 calories per day, it will turn to the excessive, existing fat stores and utilize those for fuel. …well, that’s not quite true. You can’t just eat 800 calories worth of donuts and expect to lose weight.
The kinds of calories you eat are important, if you’re actually going to lose weight rather than just continue to store fat. You will require a special formula for suppressing your raging appetite, and this kind of rapid weight loss needs to be supervised by a physician so that you can be monitored for the development of gallstones and other side effects. The detoxification of your waste elimination pathways, including organ systems and cells, and supporting a healthy gut terrain is crucial. So is hunting down parasites, controlling viral infections and nutritional deficiencies. But perhaps most importantly, addressing your emotional issues related to food, body image and weight has to be a part of your plan, or it will fail.
Follow a high-carbohydrate, low fat diet and you will magically lose weight.
No other dietary advice has so singularly contributed to soaring obesity rates. The dependence on wheat and other packaged grains (and the corresponding decrease in healthy fats) has led to never-before-seen levels of heart disease, diabetes and cancer, as well as a few silent killers such as celiac disease and candida, and a host of neurotoxic illnesses from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s to childhood ADHD and autism.
Why? The simple answer is sugar. Not only are low-fat products drenched in sugar as a method for making up for lack of flavor, but refined carbohydrates quickly convert to sugar in the bloodstream, causing all manner of metabolic processes to go defunct.
Humans are simply not designed to ingest today’s modern, overly-processed and manufactured grains. If your diet begins with cereal in the morning and continues throughout the day with breads, sandwiches and burgers, pasta, cakes, cookies, pizza and so on, chances are you have one of the aforementioned side effects of a high-carb diet.
You certainly will not lose weight.
Eat whatever you want, in moderation, and you will magically lose weight.
How could such a benign statement be so far from the truth?
While not so devastating in its consequence as Myth #2, the proposition of Myth #3 to eat whatever you want in moderation fails to acknowledge that No! Some foods should not ever be consumed at all!
The “moderation is key” approach leads to completely destructive and undermining habits—because moderation means something different for everyone. If moderation for you means that you can have soda once a year on your birthday, fine. But for most people, moderation means “once a day,” as in every day, or “only when I’m stressed,” which is almost every day too. In addition to soda, there’s no place in your diet for foods that are rich in trans fats, HFCS, chemical dyes, artificial ingredients, endless amounts of packaging…in short, junk food.
Stop choosing to be fat and you will magically lose weight.
There is no doubt that you have to want to reclaim your weight and your health. It is an uphill battle and the odds are against you if you don’t have a good measure of personal responsibility and a supportive team. People who achieve their goals have a realistic assessment of what can be done and how quickly.
But the point is: No one chooses to be fat. In other words, it’s not a simple matter of pushing away from the table using only self-discipline. Rather, it’s a matter of regaining your health and discovering what’s been contributing to weight gain.
The message is simple. You have to understand why you are overweight. Is it because you have a parasite, an underactive thyroid, an immune problem, toxic build-up, a food sensitivity, poor gut health, or all of the above?
The truth is, there is no magic bullet diet. Losing weight, learning how to keep it off and remaining healthy requires a safe, physician-supervised program.