Myths about weight gain
I know this is a topic that gets discussed often. There’s a reason for it though – mainly the fact that weight management tends to be problematic for many. When it comes to managing weight there are key variables that need to be considered such as stress level, hormonal changes, health of the liver, etc. Each of these variables affects the interaction we have with the food we consume. Since this is an important topic I’d like to dedicate a few different posts to it. I’d like to start by clarifying a few myths or paradigms that I’ve often heard.
Myth: Calorie Counting Is Important
By definition Calories are a measurement that determines the amount of energy used to raise our body temperature by 1 degree per 1 kilogram of water. In and of themselves, Calories have nothing to do with weight gain or weight loss. Calories in food are nothing more than potential energy. How that energy is used however differs from person to person. There thousands of variables that determine how each person’s body burns calories. Instead of asking how many calories you are eating, you should ask “how is my body consuming the energy available in these calories.” Another great question to ask is “Where are these Calories coming from?” The answer to this question depends on how what you eat ends up being metabolized. This is why one person can consume 1500 calories and have weight issues while another person needs to eat 2600 calories in order to get the energy their body needs to function well. The idea that 300 calories has the same effect on each person is false.
Myth: I Can Lose Weight by Eating Less
I have interviewed thousands of individuals who suffer from being overweight. The majority of them have disclosed to me that they eat less than 1500 calories of nutritious food per day and exercise, yet they still have problems with managing their weight. The bottom line is that abstaining from eating is not enough to lose weight. Diet alone will never do the trick. In fact, many diets and fads set the body up for sickness. If you do not eat enough food, your body will find nutrition somewhere. Tissues from muscles and organs will “donate” themselves to keep you alive; by doing so however, they make themselves weaker. The only way that a diet can help in losing weight is if it triggers the body’s ability to convert fat into energy, thereby also maintaining healthy organs and muscles. Even in such situations they should be done carefully with specific protocol and within a specific set of days.
Myth: Eating Dessert Make Me Fat
There are a lot of goodies that taste amazing. There’s nothing wrong with moderation. The key is in understanding that not all desserts are created equal. Eating healthier desserts is a great way to socialize with family and friends. Many times though I run into individuals who become so strict with what they eat that they punish themselves by never treating themselves. This leads to a rebound effect psychologically and they end up with a heavy craving for extremely unhealthy sweets. If we do find ourselves gaining weight even in scenarios where we eat healthy dessert in moderation along with eating healthy foods, this is a sign that other important parts of our body are not functioning correctly. Prolonged levels of stress are a catalyst for metabolic dysfunction due to physiological misbalances that occur whenever the brain detects stress.
Knowledge Is Key to Restoring a Healthy Weight
The weight loss industry is a multibillion dollar industry. Unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation available regarding diets, exercise, nutrition, etc that is meant to keep you hanging on and not get at the root cause behind weight gain. One of the most unknown pieces of information is how critical hormones are in the body’s ability to manage weight. In my next post I’ll write more about the different glands and hormones that help in keeping us at healthy weight levels. I’ll also outline key variables that affect energy use/fat burning as well as factors that trigger fat storage and the growth and proliferation of fat cells. Additional information will also be provided on important topics such as insulin resistance that occurs on people who have not been diagnosed with diabetes, liver enzymes and why the mind matters when it comes to weight management. Knowledge is the key that brings power back into your hands for restoring health and reversing any physical or mental damage.
Originally published September 3, 2014