Overcoming false beliefs about food, dieting, and health, and taking personal inventory about why it matters can yield lasting weight loss results
Almost everyone has tried a “diet plan”, which either is unsustainable (often unsafe), or yields only temporary results. Instead, let’s shift the focus to what can be done to start getting healthier…
To do that, I want to first flip the internal dialogue to this: I don’t want to lose weight to get healthy, I want to get healthy to lose weight!
This personal flipping of the script is how one might “gain clarity” about the why of weight loss. Clarifying what I call a personal “Why”—such as having more energy, gaining more confidence, lowering the risk of disease where weight is a contributor, or healing our gut from toxins—gives a stronger commitment to reaching those weight loss goals.
Take Stock of 3 False Beliefs About Weight Loss (That Are Holding You Back)
There are actually at least five, and probably even more false beliefs about food and what I call the traditional weight loss mindset. This outdated mindset involves 3 competing false beliefs about weight loss that are probably holding you back from the desired health transformation you want:
- False Belief No. 1 – I have to lose weight first, and after that I will feel better about myself, and then I will work on getting healthy.
Fact – Many factors, including our toxic body burden, hormones, inflammation, and inability to detoxify actually cause our bodies to hold onto weight; without addressing these, our bodies cannot release the weight.
- False Belief No. 2 – I have to spend a lot of time counting calories and restricting my food choices or I can take a miracle supplement and have a quick, easy surgery.
Fact – A low-calorie food is not necessarily a healthy food, and even weight loss surgery still requires healthy habits and a healing mindset going into and coming out of it; plus, fad cures are not lasting.
- False Belief No. 3 – Above all else, I have to eat low-fat and avoid cholesterol because it is bad for me .
Fact – Neither fat nor cholesterol is bad; in fact, cholesterol is a “molecule of life” that is necessary for brain function, cellular health, and adequate hormone production. Plus, low-fat has led to high blood sugar and lack of glucose control!
There are so many myths about food, fad diets, dietary strategies, and so on, that we want to tease these apart instead of becoming paralyzed about what to put in our mouths or on the table. Start by focusing on how a lack of glucose control has indeed caused hormones (and metabolism) to run amok. It’s fairly well known that everything we consume falls into three main food categories:
- Proteins – Proteins, called amino acids, are converted into the fundamental building blocks our bodies need to build and repair tissue. Choose non-inflammatory proteins and introduce it at each meal for building or retaining muscle mass.
- Fats – Eating healthy fats are the body’s best source of sustained energy and eating them correctly does not produce fat. Instead, fat is often a result of “excess energy” where the carbohydrate load is either too high or such that it triggers a hormonal stress response.
- Carbs – Carbs are the cheapest source of energy that most quickly converts to fuel; while that can be helpful for fueling a workout it also helps us to pack on the pounds. Include good carbs (complex) and replace simple carbohydrates with healthy fats to feel fuller.
Regarding food, take personal inventory and introduce those foods that produce long-lasting metabolic energy. At the same time, take out and remove those that trigger a negative response regarding blood sugar and hormones. A functional medicine doctor who understands metabolism, can support weight loss and a return to health with proper testing and essential nutrients.
Action Steps: Review the additional training & resources page, and start to clarify not only the outcome you want (and why) but also the false beliefs about your body and food that are holding you back. Take my Carbs & Glucose Control Quiz to learn about your body’s stress response to sugar, including carbs.
If there’s one key takeaway for today’s exercise it’s this: The food we eat is likely to either trigger a hormonal stress response or it will provide our bodies the energy we need to lose weight (and heal). It’s an excess sugar (and poor carbohydrate metabolism) that creates excess energy in the body, which is then stored as fat.
Dr. Douglas J. Pucci, Founder, Get Well Now, is a functional medicine pioneer and Bergen County’s Face of Functional Medicine. He was honored to receive both The Best Of 2020 Awards for Functional Medicine in Oradell, NJ, and entry into Trademark Publications’ 2020 Who’s Who Directory, Honors Edition.