Ten reasons why losing weight isn’t about eating less and exercising more
Counting calories to lose weight is pretty much the biggest nonsense we have come to believe together in recent years. If there is one myth that I would really like to get rid of it is this one. It is the cause of an incredible amount of pain, sadness, frustration, lack of self-confidence, and loss of confidence in our own body. A soft-boiled egg and an egg cake have the same amount of calories, but what matters is what those calories DO in your body. An egg does something completely different in your body than an egg cake and that’s what it’s all about. What calories you eat makes a world of difference. If your body can do something useful with it, if it contains nutrients, then it is nutrition and it will contribute to your health and thus a healthy weight. If your body cannot do anything with it because it contains no or hardly any nutrients, then it is filling. With filling it is impossible to gain and maintain a healthy weight for a long time.
Most diets mean going to war with your body
Research shows that when people go on a diet, 98% will have returned to their old weight or even gained weight after a year. Any industry with such dramatic numbers would have long since gone bankrupt. You board the plane to Rome but you end up in Helsinki. You might try that one more time at the most, but then you are looking for another way to get to Rome, right? Why do so many women get on that plane in the springtime and again full of hope? When will that light come on that another means of transport is probably more suitable for getting to Rome?
There are dozens of different diets in circulation and most of them are downright unhealthy. They usually boil down to waging war on your body instead of cooperating with it and that’s a battle you’ll always lose. Most diets fight against your body’s powerful survival mechanism and you never win that battle.
25 percent of all your energy goes to your brain
Dieting and counting calories is usually about eating less or avoiding high-calorie foods. Many fats are eliminated while they are your most important energy suppliers! That is one important reason why losing weight in the long term is not possible: healthy fats your body needs so badly. But when we start dieting, we switch to light products, low-fat products and try to survive for a while on low-calorie ingredients. But you probably want your heart to keep beating, your blood pressure to maintain and your brain to continue functioning. Did you know that 25% of all your energy goes to your brain? In short: your body still needs energy and your survival mechanism will ensure that it comes. No matter what.
Your survival mechanism goes into power save mode
If not enough energy can be obtained from your diet, your survival mechanism will first extract that energy from your glycogen stores: the surplus of glucose stored in the cells of your muscles and liver. Your body has stored 4 grams of fluid for every gram of glycogen. That’s why you lose the most weight in the first week: those first kilos are 80% moisture and 20% glycogen. If your body is still not getting enough nutrition, the proteins in your muscles will first be addressed and then your fat storage will apply.
Meanwhile, your survival mechanism has signaled that there is apparently famine, so your body has gone into power save mode. Your body can handle scarcity very well; your genes have experience with that for centuries. Your body is more and more sparingly and more efficiently with all the bits of energy (read nutrition) that it receives. This means less weight loss while you are still on a diet. And if at some point your brain and the rest of your body crave energy from food, there is no stopping it: then you bow down. Sadly, that’s never for a pound of broccoli but for the family bag of M & M’s Linda dreamed of.
Ten reasons why you don’t lose weight permanently despite eating less
I know some women who are heavier than me and eat significantly less. In any case, fewer calories because I eat plenty of healthy fats so a lot of calories. Do you also know such a woman in your area? I had a period when I was jealous of slim friends who seemed to be able to eat anything. Now I understand how it works and I can do it myself, although I am now over 50. How does that work? Your weight is largely determined by other things than how much you eat and exercise. In my book The Energetic Women’s Nutrition Compass, I describe ten reasons why you may not lose weight despite eating less and exercising more. I will briefly mention them here:
- Most importantly, your gut flora isn’t working as it should; bad bacteria have prevailed and cause persistent obesity.
- Your thyroid decides to slow down because your adrenal glands are overloaded with stress. This makes losing weight very difficult.
- You have a lot of stress which disrupts your hormone balance; your adrenal glands are making too much because of the stress cortisol On.
- Your body continuously makes too much insulin because your cells have become insensitive to its insulin. through insulin in your blood, it is not possible to burn fat.
- Your liver has difficulty detoxifying and removing hormone-disrupting substances and because these can cause damage, your body decides to store them in a safe place: in your fat cells. This is fat that your body is stubbornly holding onto.
- The fewer muscles, the slower your metabolism, the more difficult it is to lose weight. You have to keep using muscles throughout your life, otherwise, you will lose them.
- Your metabolism is in survival mode as a result of years of (crash) diets. Your body then deals very efficiently with every crumb of food and a little surplus is immediately stored as fat.
- Your body lacks a number of important nutrients such as magnesium, zinc or the B vitamins to burn fat.
- You are taking medicines that have the side effect of making it difficult to lose weight. Note: the pill is also a medicine.
- Your metabolism slows down as you become old and Your body needs less food than it has always been used to.
Losing weight is about eating, not dieting
I wish so much that I could get this in the mind of all women: focus on getting healthy, then a healthy weight almost always follows naturally. The great thing is that you do not need willpower, because you are not fighting against the survival mechanism of your body. You do not send out any signals that there is famine because you EAT: losing weight is about food, not about diet!
The biggest obstacle to success, and do not underestimate this, is that you will have to learn what really healthy food is and what is not. And note: 80% of what is in the supermarket is not. All processed food, say almost anything that is wrapped around a package, usually means a burden on your body, because there are far too few nutrients and often harmful substances that make it difficult for your body. It’s stuffing, not nutrition. For optimal health and a lot of energy, your body needs many different nutrients, which are only found in unprocessed food. My motto: if you want to count anything, count the different nutrients you get in, not the calories.
Finally, add a sauce of humor
My advice for all women who want to become (more) healthy and lose weight is the following: eat as much as possible unprocessed food in a wide variety, eat mainly vegetable, learn what healthy fats are and eat them, and drastically reduce everything that contains sugars, contain dairy or gluten. In addition: do not be to a perfectionist, learn to listen to what your body needs, have a large dose of patience, and cover everything with a sauce of humor. Keep smiling at all your struggles with life, that keeps it light.
By the way: for me, a healthy weight is size 38, but it may be different for you. Get rid of the scales, buy a mirror and smile at yourself more often, whatever you look like. Smiling at yourself works wonders for your health. I promise you!
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