Common knowledge isn’t always common sense. That’s true in many life applications, especially weight loss. I’ve lost 98 pounds in two years. I’ve learned that many commonly-held dieting ideas are in fact, myths. To lose weight, rethink and try these common-sense approaches.
Get off the scale. In fact, throw the darn thing away. Too often, dieters micromanage that scale number till they can’t see progress. It’s like checking weather reports instead of looking out the window. I hit a “diet plateau” according to the scale. My clothes continued to fit looser and everyone said I looked skinnier. I got scared and tried a drug that made me sick. If we rely on outside confirmation of what we know is true, and it doesn’t come, we get discouraged. We may try something stupid, like crash dieting. We might conclude we’re destined to be fat and give up. I quit weighing myself, started paying attention to observable changes and trusting my gut instinct.
Get a new BMI Calculator. Or throw that out, too. Doctors talk BMI (body mass index) like it’s the Holy Grail. It’s moderately helpful at best. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outline BMI limitations. Used wrongly, BMI is a slave driver. To get to that magic number, we resort to dangerous, unhealthy techniques. Calculate your BMI initially to get an idea where you should be. Then, forget it, until you get near your goal. Constantly recaching the numbers only frustrates. Seeing “obese” or “overweight” continually, hurts. And for heaven’s sake, choose a BMI calculator that factors in real-life measures–age, gender, body shape, activity level, clothing size–not just height and weight. WebMD’s BMI Calculator Plus provides that more personalized, accurate picture.
Lose the herd mentality. Join Weight Watchers if you like to pay for things. You don’t have to. Join a free online diet support group like SparkPeople if you need accountability. Not everyone does. My friend said I would never lose unless I joined Weight Watchers (aka, because she needed it, I did too). 98 pounds skinnier, I guess I didn’t. I did retrain my food thinking and habits. I increase activity, decrease calories, eat healthier and control portions.
Quit making excuses. So often I hear “I can’t lose like you did because [insert reason].” We all have reasons we got fat. We all face difficulties. They’re reasons, not excuses. Excess fat increases health problems. Some have direct links–type 2 diabetes, cholesterol, hypertension. back and leg pain, liver and heart problems. Not everyone who has these is fat, but it does predispose you. I know. I struggled with these when I was fat. Now that I have lost, I don’t. Few conditions or disabilities can’t be improved by losing extra weight. And I started losing when I quit excusing and took steps to erase fat. .
Quit stalling. I also hear (and said) “when I [insert condition], I’ll lose weight.” For that, read ” I don’t want to.” Sure there are challenges, but they’re not insurmountable. And some (shame, insecurity) improve with weight loss. Or people say “I can’t afford special diet food or a personal trainer.” Who can? The good news is, you don’t need either. It’s free to eat less. In fact, it saves you money!
No magic bean. This is only partially true. There’s no shortcut where you eat alfredo and Cadbury Creme Eggs and still lose, There are supplements that help. I use raspberry ketones, green tea, green coffee, acai, apple cider vinegar, garcinia cambogia, coconut oil and cinnamon. I still had to count calories and regulate eating and cut portions.
I never thought I would be wearing size 3/4 jeans. But it happened because I made it happen. You can, too.