It’s time to put the scale away once and for all. Despite what society leads us to believe, health isn’t synonymous with a number on the scale or the size of your jeans. Those last 5-10 pounds you’re desperately trying to drop? Well, you should know — losing that stubborn weight won’t necessarily make you feel any happier or healthier if it’s coming from an unhealthy mindset. It’s time to start rethinking weight loss and thinking about why you want to lose the weight in the first place. Is it for you? Maybe you want to feel healthier or more confident in your skin, and that’s great! But, if your weight loss efforts are due to societal norms or pressures, it’s time to check in with yourself and evaluate your ‘why’.
Out With The Old (Methods of Weight Loss)
Old methods of weight loss that promote excessive exercise and restrictive dieting are both harmful and ineffective in the long term. You may lose the weight originally, but oftentimes it’s at the expense of your health and happiness. Plus, restrictive diets aren’t sustainable — research from one study suggests dieters actually gained back more weight than they originally lost.
In With the New (Sustainable Habits and Healthy Mindset)
Here at FitOn, we believe in taking a balanced approach to health and wellness, including weight loss. It’s time to start rethinking weight loss — say goodbye to quick fixes, weight loss trends, and restrictive mindsets. Remember: it’s a marathon, not a sprint!
While it’s great to have goals, try not to equate happiness with a certain size or number. Think about how you want to feel in the long term, and work to maintain that feeling!
With that said, let’s debunk those old weight loss myths. Read on to find out how we’re redefining weight loss for a healthy mind and body.
5 Reasons Why What We’ve Been Told About Weight Loss is Wrong
#1 No Two Bodies Are The Same
Getting caught in the comparison trap never ends well. This often leads to negative self-talk and unhealthy behaviors. Before you start comparing your goals and progress to someone else’s, remember — we all have different genetics, different metabolisms, and different goals.
Plus, you never know what is going on internally. Even if someone appears to have your “dream body,” their outward appearance only says so much. Are they struggling with body image or health issues? Are their eating habits healthy? How is their mental and emotional state? Are they naturally slim?
The opposite holds true as well — someone with a larger build could be healthy as ever! That old quote still holds true: don’t judge a book by its cover. Meaning, don’t base someone’s value on their outward appearance.
#2 Everyone’s Goals Are Different
Remember: everyone’s goals are different, even when it comes to weight loss. And, focusing on other people’s goals could make you forget your own. Just because your favorite influencer is working out twice a day and cutting carbs doesn’t mean you should too.
Ask yourself why you started and define your purpose. From there, create actionable steps that are sustainable in helping you achieve your long-term goals! Start rethinking weight loss and develop a plan that works for you.
#3 Weight Loss is Much More Than Calories in Calories Out
It’s time to debunk the old-school calories in versus calories out theory. The idea that weight loss means eating fewer calories than you burn promotes unhealthy eating habits and a restrictive mindset. Plus, this theory suggests eating 500 calories worth of Oreos is better for weight loss than eating a nourishing, nutrient-dense 800 calorie meal. Let’s think about this, shall we?
Of course, calories are an important factor, but they are only one piece of the puzzle. And, not all calories are created equal. Different foods affect your body in different ways.
So, why should you start rethinking weight loss when it comes to this theory? Let’s talk about the quality of food.
Protein, for example, has a higher thermic effect than other macronutrients — meaning protein burns more calories than carbs or fat. So, eating 300 calories of protein is much different than eating 300 calories of cookies! Plus, protein further helps weight loss goals by promoting lean muscle mass.
Furthermore, the type of food you eat can impact your satiety levels. 150 calories of fructose-filled candy increases the hunger hormone ghrelin, leaving you hungry an hour later. A nutrient-dense snack like turkey and avocado, on the other hand, will supply your body with healthy fats, fiber, and protein. While these snacks may be the same calorie count, the latter will keep you feeling fuller for longer, making you less likely to overeat.
So, when it comes to rethinking weight loss, focusing on the quality of the food you eat rather than the quantity may be most beneficial for both your mental and physical health!
#4 Eating Too Little Can Backfire
Ditch the diet mentality — starving yourself is not the solution! While overeating can lead to weight gain, eating too few calories can deter weight loss goals too. If your body isn’t getting the proper nourishment, it may try to protect you by slowing down your metabolism and holding onto weight. The result? The few calories you do take in are stored as a means of protection, and a decrease in metabolism means fewer calories burned. Plus, restrictive eating is only sustainable for so long. Oftentimes excessive restriction leads to binge eating and other unhealthy eating habits that ultimately result in weight gain.
Rethinking weight loss starts with focusing on nourishment rather than restriction. If you’re trying to shed some weight, fuel your body with the proper nutrients while gradually reducing your calories — it’s all about balance. Extremes are not the answer!
Need help getting started? We’ve created the ultimate guide to healthy eating.
#5 We Can’t Always “See” Results
Progress isn’t always linear, and long-term changes won’t happen overnight! Even with consistent effort, we may not be able to “see” daily (or weekly) results in the mirror — but, that doesn’t mean we’re not making progress! Whether your goal is to lose weight or build muscle, keep in mind, it takes slow and steady progress.
Remember, this is a journey. Plus, there are other important factors to consider!
6 Healthier Ways to Track Your Weight Loss Progress
How Do Your Clothes Feel?
The number on the scale could be influenced by many things (how hydrated you are, what foods you’ve eaten, how much muscle you’ve built) and isn’t always an accurate representation of progress. And, that number can fluctuate daily — even hourly — which can leave you feeling frustrated, discouraged, and confused.
Instead, ask yourself — how do your clothes fit? Is it easier to button your pants? Are your clothes hugging you in different places? Rather than determining progress based on a number, consider how you feel in your body.
Do You Have More Energy?
Making progress isn’t just about an outward appearance — internal progress matters too! Increased energy can promote a more active lifestyle and is oftentimes a sign of a healthy, balanced body. Check-in with yourself and take a mental note periodically throughout the day. How is your energy when you wake up? During the middle of the day? As you’re winding down?
Have Your Sugar Cravings Subsided?
If so, this is a win! Excess sugar can lead to weight gain and other health issues. So, even if you haven’t seen physical progress, lifestyle changes (like reducing sugar) add up over time. If you’re still struggling with sugar cravings, check out our guide on how to reduce your sugar intake without deprivation.
How Do You Feel Mentally?
The stress hormone cortisol can cause weight gain and lead to feelings of anxiety or depression. In addition to diet and exercise, implementing stress management techniques may help support your weight loss efforts! Try adding a FitOn Meditation to your daily routine and notice how your progress changes.
Has Your Sleep Improved?
If you’ve noticed improvements in your sleep patterns, your waistline will thank you. Improved sleep decreases cortisol levels, reduces hunger cravings, and can even improve fitness performance.
Need some help getting your sleep hygiene in check? Take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Sleep.
How Do You Feel Overall?
When you’re evaluating your weight loss progress, consider how you feel overall. Is your skin clearing up? Are you reaching for healthier foods? Is your digestion working optimally? While these factors may not lead to overnight results, they will have a significant impact over time! Don’t undermine these small wins! They matter.
Defining Your Own Wellness Journey
Rethinking weight loss is all about shifting your perspective and considering what healthy truly means. The most important takeaway is this is an individual journey — what works for you may be different than others, and that’s ok!
Progress may not happen overnight but think long-term. Implementing healthy lifestyle changes will help you look and feel your best over time.
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