The fat loss and weight loss industry is gearing up for the new year–and “catching you” in your most vulnerable state: “Ready for change.”
All things considered, the fat and diet industry LOVES nothing more than catching you in your want and desire for change.
And, chances are they’ve told you one (or all) of the following claims as the “secret” for fat loss.
Not so fast…Check out the 14 Facts Every Woman Should Know About Fat Loss ( That No One Told You): Part 2.
(And if you missed Part 1 yesterday, check it out :) )
8. Eat Low Fat & No-Fat Dairy.
“There’s some evidence that calcium deficiency, which is common in many women, may slow metabolism. Research shows that consuming calcium through dairy foods such as fat-free milk and low-fat yogurt may also reduce fat absorption from other foods.”—said Women’s Health. Wrong.
If you thought you were doing your body a favor by reaching for the low-fat cheese, fat-free yogurt or skim milk, you may want to think again… Low-fat and fat-free dairy seems healthier. It’s lighter. Maybe you’ve even trained your taste-buds to like it better…BUT the thing about opting for low-fat and non-fat sources of dairy is that we are essentially eating a processed food version of dairy. Not to mention, MISSING OUT on the REAL nutrient benefits dairy CAN provide, including: healthy fats, Vitamin A and D, probiotics and digest-ability. And, as you know by now, when aren’t digesting our food or we are eating processed foods…our body gets stressed. See more on this here.
What to do about it: If you do dairy, opt for full-fat organic plain versions of milk, cheese and yogurt for the full healthy fat benefits (to boost your metabolism) and absorb your nutrients (not stress your body out0.
9. Drink Coffee Before a Workout.
“Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant, so your daily java jolts can rev your metabolism by 5 to 8 percent—burning about 98 to 174 calories a day”—another one-liner from a popular women’s health magazine. The truth? Caffeine doesn’t rev your metabolism. It revs your adrenal glands, insulin levels, stress hormones and dehydrates you. (Fun fact: for ever 8 ounces of coffee, you need to replace hydration with 12 ounces of water). Several clients of mine cut out coffee alone and within a matter of weeks saw a shift in the stubborn body fat that had seemingly been holding on for years. “What is happening?!” one asked, “It’s like my body is on fire.” Seriously. Coffee may be the dart throwing a direct hit into the “bulls eye” of your un-successful efforts for fat loss.
What to do about it: Cut the Joe, replace it with more water (preferably with a pinch of sea salt in a cup or two for energy and hormonal balance), and see what happens.
10. Consider Fat Burning Supplements.
Two words: GREAT marketing. “Fat burning” supps are LOTS of talk, with little action—especially if you’re turning to a pill to do “the work” of eating real food, sleeping 7-9 hours most nights, drinking lots of water and moving your body in ways that bring it to life. The real thing you could benefit from? A proper nutritional therapy approach to hacking your health: addressing any underlying deficiencies or imbalances. Perhaps you have a leaky gut—and you’re not absorbing any of the great nutrients you’re eating in the first place…or your adrenal glands are out of whack and stressing to the max…or you’re low in zinc, Vitamin D or magnesium. There is no one-size-fits-all approach or pill that will “solve” the fat-loss solution. The best approach? Finding out what your body is missing to get its digestion, metabolism and hormones up to speed.
What to do about it: Consider working with a nutritional therapist or functional medicine practitioner or other healthcare provider to address any underlying imbalances and deficiencies that may be holding your body back from healthy fat loss.
11. Eat Cheat Foods for Flavor.
Cheat meals are the downfall of any “diet.” Although it seems like they keep you sane…they also continue to make you think of food in terms of “good” or “bad”—setting you up to believe and create nutrition habits that are not sustainable in the long run. Fasting, restricting, avoiding fats or carbs like the plague may lead to short-term success…but once you get “there”—how do you sustain it (in a healthy way, without feeling like you’re dieting)? (Crickets. Crickets.). If we could solve that mystery, we’d put A LOT of diet companies OUT of business. Instead of setting yourself up for cheat meals and foods…consider the 80/20 approach. 80% of the time, you’re eating real foods. 20% of the time, life happens. Instead of calling these “cheats” or “being bad”, all it is is eating some food that is part of the wedding, the night out on the town or the work meeting boxed lunch you had no say over. It’s ok. It’s liberating. And it doesn’t set you up to reach a goal…only then to struggle with the question: “Now how do I eat?”
What to do about it: 4-5 meals out of the 21 in a given week, allow some room for that 20% “rule of thumb.” Or, if you want to break it down, per day, 80/20 could look something like eating 1-2 things not necessarily on your “clean eating” plan. In other words: Let life happen.
12. Eat Less Calories.
You actually need to eat more to “burn fat.” Not less. When we force ourselves to eat less than our body wants (and deserves), stress happens—once again. Eating less sends our body into a state of “chronic undereating”—forcing it to hold on (with all it’s might) to our body fat (for survival with dealing with stress). In addition, many fat loss or weight loss systems prescribe low calorie totals that include a “free for all” of any food you choose—as long as you fall under that calorie range: “It doesn’t matter what you eat (as long as you eat less calories),” they claim. The problem with this equation is that digestion is completely missing. 1,000 calories of broccoli and 1,000 calories of ice cream are, in fact, the same. But when it comes to digesting those calories, there is a night and day difference. When our digestion is “off”, MORE internal stress happens.
What to do about it: Instead of focusing so much on calories, focus more on eating a balance of protein (1-2 hand sizes), veggies (at least ½ your plate) and healthy fat with every meal. For snacks, reach for a protein and/or healthy fat. And drink lots of water. As a baseline, 1800 calories is generally the minimum appropriate intake for women for fat loss, with more sometimes being necessary—based on activity levels. (But if you are eating a balanced diet, no counting is necessary)
13. Workout, Eat Strict & Try Harder.
Stressing out over workouts, your diet and hating on your body is only going to send you the opposite direction—more stressed. It’s like trying to push down a wall. The harder you try and push—the more tired, depleted and un-successful you get at it…it won’t budge. Pick something else to focus on—like increasing the amount of weight you can back squat, or improving your energy levels, or healing your gut (and decreasing bloating and constipation) over the perfect workout routine, diet, number on a scale or jean size.
What to do about it: Let go of fighting so hard…pick a goal—unrelated to size, time spent in the gym or calories—and watch the magic unfold.
14. Fat is the Enemy.
We are constantly bombarded by magazine covers, infomercials, fat-burning supplements and talk with other women about fat and weight loss. What you don’t hear? WOMEN NEED FAT. Our bodies, by design, do need some fat. From an evolutionary perspective, this is the case because fat stores are used during pregnancy and breast feeding. Even if you don’t plan on being pregnant—or getting pregnant any time soon—fat also helps our bodies THRIVE—balancing hormones, giving us some energy and helping all systems operate optimally.
What to do about it. Reality check. With all the noise and talk about fat loss, we are on “auto pilot” to think “fat is the enemy” at all times. However, reality check: How would your life change if you lost some body fat? Do you personally really need to lose body fat? And what would it be like to embrace your body right where it’s at—even if you are still in process and not where you ultimately want to be? Think about it.