5 Misconceptions About Losing Weight- It’s Simpler Than You Think!
It’s hard to find a subject more daunting than weight loss. I had a baby about 4 months ago, and this past pregnancy I weighed the most I ever have. After 4 babies, I realized it was time to lose the weight. I have been so hesitant to try to lose weight because I tend to be an all or nothing type of girl, and I had no idea where to start. There are so many “rules” when it comes to losing weight, it can seem overwhelming to even know where to begin! But I realized I needed to start somewhere, and that even making one little change is better than nothing. I began with small changes like drinking more water, cutting out snacking, eating smaller portions, etc. Those small changes led to bigger changes (i.e. working out every day, preparing healthier meals) and I feel more motivated than ever. I have lost 11 pounds in the past 2 ½ months, and I’m going to keep making small changes until I reach my goal.
I realize that weight loss is not always a fun subject, and honestly it can be downright depressing. Below, I’m sharing 5 misconceptions I had about weight loss and what I have since learned.
You can lose a lot of weight just by exercising. While exercise is definitely a healthy habit and can help with weight loss, the way you eat plays a much bigger part. Weight loss is really 20% exercise and 80% healthy eating; we eat healthy for our weight and we exercise for our health. You can definitely help the calorie burning along by doing strength-training-- exercises that build your muscle will help you burn calories during and after your workout. But don’t forget that you can eat your way through any amount of exercise- healthy eating has to go hand-in-hand with working out.
You have to go without particular foods in order to lose weight. There are so many diets out there, it can be overwhelming to figure out which one is actually going to work. But honestly- you can lose weight and still eat a relatively normal diet. You don’t have to cut out all carbs or just eat protein; in fact, I’m a huge believer in moderation in all things. And I think that’s what real weight loss is all about- moderation. Eating a bowl of ice cream is not going to blow your diet. It may not be the healthiest thing for you, but if you are still eating within your allotted calories for the day, you’re not going to gain all the weight back with one bowl. With that said, you still want to try to avoid empty calorie foods for health reasons, but don’t feel like you’ve failed if you treat yourself to something tasty!
Your weight on the scale is the most important measurement. So many people get discouraged when the number on the scale isn’t going down the way they want it to. But many times, especially if you’re working out, you’re gaining muscle (which is heavier than fat), and so the scale may not reflect all the hard work you’re doing. Taking your measurements once a month or using a BMI machine will give you a better idea of how you are doing on your weight loss journey. Even if the scale hasn’t gone down, you might find that you still lost a couple inches on your waistline!
There are no baby steps with weight lost- you’re either in or out. I think weight loss seems so overwhelming to many people because they think they have to do everything just right or they won’t lose the weight. When you think about everything we’re told to do- exercising, drinking lots of water, eating several smaller meals, fewer carbs, no eating before bed etc.- it can be really daunting and we just feel like we shouldn’t even start because there’s no way we can do everything perfectly. But start simple, making one or two small changes, and when you first see a couple pounds go down you’ll be more motivated and it’s just going to get easier as you slowly make changes to your lifestyle.
You have to be hungry to lose weight. If there is one thing I have learned on my weight loss journey, it’s that the most important thing you can do is to listen to your body. As you exercise and focus on healthy eating, you’ll get better and better at recognizing your body’s cues, which will help you be healthier and happier overall. I’m getting better at recognizing when my body is actually hungry, and when I’m just craving a snack. And when I’m actually feeling hungry- I let myself eat! Losing weight doesn’t mean you have to starve!
I am by no means a professional and I’m just starting my weight loss journey, but I wanted to share what I’ve learned so far for anyone who is feeling how I felt- overwhelmed and helpless and desperate to lose weight. Your takeaway from this article- losing weight doesn’t have to be rocket science. Start with simple, healthier choices and gradually move to the harder stuff. While I realize every person has a different body with different hormones and circumstances that might affect your weight loss success, you can still make changes to have a healthier lifestyle- because the overall goal of any weight loss journey should be a healthier body and healthier lifestyle, which in turn leads to a happier life :).
Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
Email the author! firstname.lastname@example.org