Weight loss is a simple math game. Eat less, exercise more. If you just take in fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight. Right? Then why doesn’t it work?
Because it’s not about math. At least not completely.
In my 12 month span working in a health club, I estimate I had over 500 coaching conversations with people regarding their nutrition. Almost all of them have had a primary goal of weight loss, ranging from 5 pounds to over 100 pounds. Motivations varied from performance enhancement (i.e. Boston Marathon training) to disease prevention and/or reversal (i.e. diabetes or heart disease).
During all of these sessions, I discovered one, surprising, similarity.
People didn’t eat enough.
That’s worth repeating. Most people were not eating enough.
We associate effective weight loss with eating as little as possible while working out as hard as possible. Let me tell you with certainty after all those conversations…
It doesn’t work.
Yes, overindulgence in food, both quality and quantity, is the culprit for most of my obese clients. Weighing 300 pounds doesn’t happen eating too many salads. But, once a commitment is made to shed those pounds and retrieve a healthier body, the formula is not to eat carrots and celery while spending a couple of hours on the treadmill.
Want to know what does work?
Eating more. Of the right kind of foods. Protein, vegetables, and healthy fat.
What? Fat? Yep. The healthy kind found in avocados, nuts, olives, coconut oil, olive oil, and seeds like chia and flax. Even bacon isn’t the “bad” food it’s made out to be.
Fat is not the enemy.
In fact, fat is our friend. To lose fat we have to eat fat.
In nutrition’s convoluted history of foods that are “good” and “bad,” fat became public enemy #1 for a long time. Unfairly so. A misinterpretation of a world-wide nutrition study deemed all fat bad, so the food industry responded.
How? By adding sugar. To everything.
When food lacks fat, it lacks flavor. So, to stimulate our taste buds, and get people to actually eat fat-free foods, sugar, every possible variation, was introduced en mass.
Ever wonder why our “fat-free” world became more obese than ever?
It may take a lot of un-programming to adjust your eating habits to match this truth. You may approach this with the same degree of cynicism my clients did when I told them, too. It seems like a revolutionary concept but some of the best, and most respected leaders in the nutrition and health fields have been saying this for years. We’re just finally starting to listen.
What I know is this. When people are given “permission” to eat and educated on how to do it well, the pounds come off and the lightbulb goes on. 5, 10, 20, and even 30 pounds fall off their frame.
By eating smarter.
The best part if hearing how free people to eat! They’re excited to not be on a diet or feel restricted to a fat-free world. They are so grateful something so simple has such a profound effect.
Use this Portion Guide as an easy reference for every meal. Snacks, too. Eating the right foods in the right amounts will make all the difference.
So, eat. Please!
Question: How do you feel about eating more to lose weight? Join the conversation down below!