For those who are seriously giving it their best efforts, shedding body fat can be a confusing and frustration process for most people. I understand that frustration. I’ve been there. You feel like you will forever be a perpetual before picture and will never reach the holy grail of achieving the abs you’ve always dreamed of having.
I’ll let you know a little secret. It’s not your fault.
The reason why it’s not your fault is because you have been brainwashed and mislead. That’s right. There is so much misinformation out there which derails your efforts and makes weight loss seem much more complicated than it really is.
Here are the fat traps I fell into which kept me feeling forever frustrated and frumpy and how to break free.
A calorie is a calorie
I know we’ve all heard this one a million times, but ask yourself, is a calorie really just a calorie? It’s not just a matter of what you eat, but what your body does with the foods you eat. Nutrients are used by the brain, liver, kidney, heart, muscles, etc. They impact your insulin levels, hormonal system, endocrine system, adrenal and nervous systems, metabolism, etc.
Many people will track their calories to stay in a certain caloric range. Think about how your body is going to process the foods you eat. If a calorie is just a calorie, will your body process 100 calories of Oreo Cookies the same way it will process 100 calories of a grilled chicken sandwich? Probably not.
So, if you are dieting by how many calories you consume, take a close look at the calories you are eating.
If you want to lose weight, keep your mouth shut
We’ve all been told to lose weight, we need to be in a caloric deficit. Calories in vs. calories out. Most people have a knee jerk reaction to this concept. They will put themselves in too much of a caloric deficit by not eating enough calories and not eating the right calories. Without any real planning, most people look to the latest “weight loss shake of the moment craze” or automatically assume that if they eat nothing but salads, boiled chicken breasts and broccoli, that they will have the abs they’ve always dreamed about.
Hate to tell you this Bunkie, but a diet of “shakes” and salads ain’t gonna cut it.
Instead, you end up slowing down your metabolism. Your body becomes a fat storing machine instead of a fat burning machine. You’re cranky, irritable and hungry all the time. Subconsciously you feel like you’re depriving yourself and being punished. Not only that, but you are depriving your body of nutrients it desperately needs creating nutrient deficiencies.
After a few days or a few weeks, you break down eating everything in site only to become even more frustrated , throw your hands up in the air and go back to your old habits.
Diets are short lived and most people get tripped up when they go on a “diet” per say. Instead, you need to change the way you think about food. Rather than look at the short term goal/effect, you need to think about it long term as a lifestyle for the rest of your life.
Exercise and eat anything you want
Many people think that as long as they exercise, they can eat whatever they want, whenever they want and as much as they want. While it is true that we need to burn more calories than we consume, this goes back to a calorie is a calorie. Exercise all you want, but at the end of the day, you can’t exercise away a poor diet.
You’ve been brain washed
You’re probably unaware of this, but your subconscious mind has been brainwashed, programmed, hypnotized by the food industry through messages and advertisements that you are hit with day in day out into believing that “healthy” foods are bland, boring, expensive, time consuming etc.
Think about it. You’re constantly being told that junk food – fast food is quick, cheap, easy, convenient, tastes good. These are positive messages your subconscious mind is receiving about convenience foods which also tells your subconscious mind the opposite about healthy food.
On the surface, you know that eating junk food and processed foods is not good for you and works against your desire to shed unwanted body fat. When you do find yourself at the drive through, or eating something which doesn’t contribute to your goal, subconsciously your mind is telling you that this one time isn’t going to make an impact and after this you’ll be good. You forget that with every time you make a poor nutrition decision, over time, the inevitable outcome of that action pushes you further and further away from your goal.
Eating Healthy Is Expensive
One of the biggest stumbling blocks people have with making better food choices is that they believe that a healthy diet is difficult, time consuming, expensive, you don’t have as many food choices, etc. This is what the food industry has led you to believe.
Also, most people draw a blank when it comes to knowing how to or what to put together as a healthy meal or snack. Honestly, it’s not as difficult as most people make it out to be and there really is no reason to overcomplicate this.
Eating healthy is not more expensive than eating fast food. The average fast food “meal” including tax is roughly $7.00. The average fast food breakfast costs roughly $2.50 – $5.00. Most people don’t eat breakfast at home and will end up grabbing some sort of calorie laden “latte” , donut and coffee, or breakfast sandwich and coffee. Most people don’t brown bag their lunch and eat lunch out several days a week. And let’s not forgot those nights you’re tired, hungry or in a hurry and grab dinner on the go.
Let’s not forget the sugar soft drinks and snacks you get from a vending machine a few days a week. The average sugary beverage or snack from a vending machine will cost anywhere from $1.50 – $4.50. On average, you may end up throwing $5.00 into that vending machine for a sugary beverage/snack combo. Do that more than once a week and you’re spending $10.00 – $15.00 a week on junk that only contributes to your expanding waist line and declining health.
If you add it all up by the end of the week, you’ve easily spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $30-$60.00 per week on empty calories that have no nutritional value.
For less than $10.00 you can buy a rotisserie chicken, salad in a bag and a gallon jug of water which will feed 4 people or can get a single person through 4 meals.
For $3.00 you can have a container of Greek Yogurt, 1 organic apple and ¼ cup of almonds as a mid-day snack which is 50 cents less than the can of soda you get from the vending machine every day.
For $5.00, you can have a chicken breast sandwich you made a home with a piece of fruit for lunch.
For less than $1.00 you can have a bowl of old fashioned oats for breakfast.
For roughly $10.00 if you cook dinner at home, you can have fish, chicken or lean beef, green veggies and a sweet potato with a glass of wine.
At the end of the day, eating healthy is not necessarily more expensive than grabbing food on the go. The food industry wants you to think otherwise.
The new brainwash
It’s time to change your inner conversation about food. Don’t think about food in terms of “diet”. You’re consuming foods 365 days a year, 7 days a week for your entire life. Think of food in terms of nutrients. What nutrients are you feeding your body with? Are they foods that will nourish you? Are you eating foods that are loaded with calories that do not nourish your body.
Keep in mind, you didn’t gain weight overnight. Weight gain was the inevitable outcome of eating foods over a long period of time that didn’t nourish your body. Think of it this way. You can’t go to bed one night and say, tomorrow, I will be 10 pounds heavier. However, when it comes to weight loss, our minds play tricks on us.
Most of us subconsciously think we can suddenly wake up the next morning 10 pounds lighter.
If 90% of the foods you ate were real, nutrient-rich foods, (not the food-like substances readily available that have a laundry list of ingredients) what would be the inevitable outcome of doing that be?
Obviously, you would reverse the process of weight gain, improve your health, and have more energy.
Be more aware of the foods you eat. When you are out and about, really look at your choices. Question the foods you eat. Where did it come from, what’s in it, will it provide my body the nutrients it needs.
When you consistently do this, you will change your thought process and your inner conversation with food. Your conscious mind will prevail, the weight will come off, your energy levels will sky rocket, you’ll not only look better, but feel better too.