It seems the misconceptions about ‘weight loss’ are as abundant as Reality TV shows these days…Misconceptions lead to mistakes. Here are the top 10 reasons why you can’t lose weight and a chart displaying the myriad of issues that prevent fat loss and trigger weight gain.
The answers may surprise you, first because they are not your typical ‘weight loss blog’ rhetoric…but also some of these will go against your beliefs. But when you are unhealthy & overweight, your beliefs should be the first suspect to consider…
Understand this first: If you tried honestly to lose weight, but it didn’t work – there are real reasons for this that have nothing to do with ‘willpower’ or ‘discipline’ – you may have damaged your metabolism and the rules for ‘fat loss’ do not apply.
1) Not enough Sleep
You can come up with all the excuses you want, but if you don’t sleep, you wont lose weight and will gain weight. Lack of sleep interferes with your hormones, specifically the hormones that tells you when to STOP eating (leptin). Don’t sleep, you will end up stressed the next day, you will eat too much too often and wont know when to stop.
2) Not Enough Sleep, Part 2
That’s right, lack of sleep is a double whammy: it interferes with your appetite. Staying up late elevates the hormone (ghrelin) that regulates your appetite, in other words, you will be hungrier and have a ravenous appetite and cravings.
Stress is not only in the mind, there are several sources of physical stress. Either way, too much stress for too long (which is most of us) disrupts your hormones (cortisol), which creates a cascade of hormonal problems you will experience. Do this long enough and you will look & feel like crap. You will naturally think that exercise will give you more energy, but it will further stress your overwhelmed body. Cortisol gives you belly fat, poor memory, low sex drive and makes you crave sugar and stimulants. In a nutshell – stress makes you fat, prevents fat loss and can kill you.
Our modern civilization is completely out of phase with our biology. You absolutely MUST manage your stress if you want to be healthy and lose fat. You will not be able to manage stress if you don’t eat enough, don’t eat enough protein, don’t sleep enough or work out too hard. Figure out your heaviest stress and make a plan to reduce it NOW. Then get a book, take a class, get a massage or go on vacation – do something. You may not be able to control the stressor, but you can control how you respond to it.
Manage your stress or you’ll
get fat and die before your time.
4) Food as Drug
You use food as a distraction, as a stimulant, as a sedative or otherwise to help you cope with stress. You react to circumstances and eat out of control. Your life can seem like a game of ‘hide and seek’ – hide from the issue and seek out distractions.
Solution – To get out of this game and lose weight successfully, you will need:
- Inspiring Goals
- Plan of Action
- Balance your Emotions
- Food Journal to notice your eating patterns
- More fat & protein to balance your hormones so you can better handle stress
- Sleep: get more of it or better quality so your hormones can be balanced and you wake up refreshed
- Less carbs (which you burn through quickly) causing an energy crash and consequent desire for sugar
- A proven strategy to help you deal with stress
- Better quality food
- Homemade sweets & snacks that are natural, nutrient dense and satiating for the times when you need a fix
- Work life balance
- A new job
- A dog
5) Metabolic Damage
You have not felt well for awhile, you have been overweight or struggled to stay lean for years despite your efforts (or lack thereof). Your hormones are imbalanced. Yes, exercise supports hormonal balance – the right type & amount of exercise, that is. No, Cardio and ‘training hard’ is NOT APPROPRIATE for you, no matter how desperate or anxious you are. This is why there are different TYPES of exercise and specific GUIDELINES that professionals prescribe for different people.
The next client that hires me and then proceeds tells me what they believe they should do, or says something as obnoxious as ‘I don’t believe you’, I think I’m going to throw up …and yes, these attitudes are popular and guarantee a long term struggle, first because of an imbalanced hormonal system, second because of the unfortunate combination of ignorance & arrogance.
6) You Believe Crazy Sh*t
You may be smart & successful in your career, which is great, but that doesn’t always carry over to health & nutrition. You shouldn’t expect yourself to be an expert in all areas of life – no one is.
You don’t sleep, you skip meals and you *believe* that working out hard is like magic that will kick start your new life. You are delusional.
You have not felt well for years and your menstrual cycle has not been normal for awhile … or you are obese and on medications – yet you *believe* that you should ‘eat less and work out hard‘ like everyone else does. This is equivalent to someone driving their car into the ground for years and then hiring me as a mechanic and telling me to take it to the race track and drive the hell out of it … because you believe this will fix your broken car.
Another crazy thing people believe is that not feeling well is normal – yes, most of your girl friends have irregular menstrual cycles – or most of your buds fart all day long – but this is not normal or healthy. It is unhealthy and when its popular, it doesn’t mean this is normal, it means the masses of people are sick – which they are.
Want to know what’s the most common cause of irregular menstrual cycles? Dieting & chronic stress.
You want to know why your brother/husband/boyfriend/coworker farts all the time? Because of his lousy diet which includes all sorts of crap that doesn’t belong in a human body. Or, he may have have gluten or dairy intolerance.
Solution – turn off the TV, read a book and keep a food journal. Hire a coach, make friends with experts, find a support network and get guidance from a real expert…seriously, turn off the TV.
Why Do Good People Believe Crazy Sh*t?
This appeals to most Americans who want to lose weight. It is a primary reason why good people believe crazy shit. The media is saturated with gimmicks & weight loss scams that appeal to our desire for simplicity.
In fact, corporate marketing campaigns are expertly designed to exploit your insecurities, encourage irresponsibility & target your desire for simplicity with a ‘quick fix’.
Did you know that your ability to be healthy, prevent disease and lose weight are not only the result of your current diet & lifestyle but also connected to your MOTHER’S HEALTH WHEN SHE WAS PREGNANT, what she ate while breastfeeding you, how you lived your life as a child, how much sleep you get now and whether your goals are aligned with your core values?
If you have been unhealthy or overweight for a long time, you most likely have hormonal & digestive problems that require a more thoughtful approach to restoring health first before weight loss will happen. Achieving fantastic health & energy requires taking responsibility for your lifestyle and using your intelligence.
For a few people that have just a few pounds to lose, there are simple answers that work phenomenally well (like sleep more, eat less carbs, eat more fat & protein).
But for the good majority of people who have been overweight for a long time – there are other issues that require a more thoughtful understanding and a restorative approach that can not be understood by oversimplifying metabolism.
Solution– use your intelligence and plan your health. Don’t fall for quick fixes. If it took you 10 years to get fat & fatigued, it won’t happen overnight – be patient, thoughtful and take action.
b) Immediate Gratification (a.k.a. Quick Fix Mindset)
You were hoping for short one-liners in this blog post (like you see in Yahoo Answers, in magazines or on TV).
In the past, you looked for diets or pills to fix your problems. You rely on little blurbs from magazines or the sound bites that are repeated throughout the workday or on TV.
This mindset is wildly popular in America, it appeals to those who seek simplicity and have an inability to take responsibility.
Getting healthy means taking responsibility for your lifestyle. There are no quick fixes to long-term health issues. They are popular, but they still don’t work.
Solution: Think ‘cause & effect’ and find a proven solution. Use your intelligence rather than things you can buy. A thoughtful approach to managing your eating & lifestyle is the only guaranteed strategy for long-term success in health & wellness. It works every single time.
Short-term gratification costs. Long-term vision pays.
c) Is Your TV on Drugs?
You simply may be watching too much TV and read popular magazines, which are full of crazy ideas, absurd diets, meaningless celebrity banter, marketing scams and quick fixes that don’t work. Inject your beautiful brain with this garbage and you will believe in crazy shit.
7) Values & Priorities
When 2/3 of a population is overweight or obese, and their children are getting diabetic in epidemic proportions, you can be sure that Americans simply don’t care or have not thought enough about the issues. They don’t VALUE health & wellness – it’s not a priority.
They talk about it ad nauseam, but actions speak louder than words. Action demonstrates your priorities.
To achieve any goal, it must be connected to your values or it aint happenin’. Connect your goal to the things in life you love most. When you perceive more value to your goal, you will be consistent and have the ‘willpower’ and ‘discipline’ to achieve it.
8 Not Connecting the Dots
This happens to many sincere people, but there is a simple solution. This is probably the biggest and most costly mistake people make with weight loss.You may not realize that your bad mood or when you feel stressed has a lot to do with the fact that you haven’t eaten for HOURS. Or you may not realize that your upset tummy is related to what you ate 3 hr prior. Use a food journal and connect the dots between your energy levels, your mood and any digestive problems. When you connect the dots, you will solve a lot of your health issues, but you must look at the big picture.
To see a complete list of reasons that PREVENT FAT LOSS (fat loss resistance) and cause weight gain,
please check out this chart CLICK HERE.
Short Sleep Duration Is Associated with Reduced Leptin, Elevated Ghrelin, and Increased Body Mass Index
A Single Night of Partial Sleep Deprivation Induces Insulin Resistance in Multiple Metabolic Pathways in Healthy Subjects:
Robert Sapolsky, PhD. Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers: An Updated Guide to Stress, Stress Related Diseases, and Coping.
Sleep Deprivation Affects Multiple Distinct Cognitive Processes: http://pbr.psychonomic-journals.org/content/16/4/742.refs
Sleep Loss May Equal Weight Gain: http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2004-12-06-sleep-weight-gain_x.htm
Fat Is Not Your Fault, Dr Bryan Walsh: http://www.fatisnotyourfault.com