I would see people who got fit and lost a lot of weight and ask them how they got their results. More often than not, they would say, “I worked out a lot.” “I hit the gym.” “I stopped being lazy and became active.” Ugh. None of that helped me, because I was so overweight that physical activity was downright dangerous for me to undertake.
When I started reading online about people changing their lives through diet alone, I was incredulous. I figured that there HAD to be some sort of work to be done. How else would my body drop the weight and burn the fat?
The first fallacy I had to get past was burning fat. You don’t “Burn fat” when exercising. Your body will use the stores of fat after your exercise. Your body will burn energy in your blood and even your muscles before it actually burns any fat. Because it never burns fat.
The second fallacy I had to get past was exercising to lose weight. Your body will drop weight when you have a calorie deficit. That’s why people who watch what they eat can lose weight. It’s just much harder to create a good calorie deficit with calorie rich foods which is why the healthier you eat, the easier it is to create the calorie deficit because healthy foods take more to fill you up. I guarantee a 6 oz steak will fill you up better than three Twinkies (454 vs 450 calories).
The third fallacy I had to get past was that eating right was going to be boring, bland, and nothing more than baked chicken, salads, and white rice. Whole30 is restrictive, but not as restrictive as you would think. If you set your mind on all the delicious foods you already enjoy that are on Whole30, it gets easier than to think about the foods you can no longer eat. The same goes for Paleo with the added benefit of being able to recreate a lot of non-Paleo foods with Paleo-friendly ingredients. My quality of life remains almost unchanged since going Paleo as it pertains to food flavor, satiety, and variety.
The fourth fallacy was that losing weight was difficult. Losing weight in and of itself is not hard. Temptation can be hard for some people, and discipline may be another problem area, but when you’re eating healthy and delicious foods in quantities enough to leave you filled up and not needing to snack, it gets much easier to stick to the diet. I was so concerned with the ease with which I was losing weight that I went to a doctor to make sure there wasn’t something else wrong with me. Turns out that eating right and avoiding foods with added sugars, grains, legumes, dairy, and alcohol really was good for me, and it made it actually easy to lose weight.
There’s a lot of bad information out there, and a lot of people claiming to have the answers to losing weight. If they want money from you, steer clear. If they want to sell you a product that promises weight loss, turn the other way. All you need to do is eat good, healthy food and maybe get out and move a little bit every now and then (and even that isn’t actually necessary). I never had to count calories, I never had to count portions, and I just ate healthy food until I felt comfortably full. Our bodies are good at telling us when we’ve had enough, and when you’re eating healthy food, it will tell you when you are done eating. It’s up to you to listen.