By Rosemary Marchese
Editor, B.A. Applied Sci (Physiotherapist)
The Truth About Losing Weight
Can’t lose the last 5kg? Seeing those kilos just pile on and on? Hands up who’s frustrated with their weight? If this is you then yes, you’re not alone. Confusion in this area is so rife and it’s no wonder with so many ‘experts’ claiming this and claiming that. So today it’s time to set the record straight about how to really lose weight, and the right weight (not muscle).
First things first, you need to make sure that your intentions are to lose body fat not just any weight. Weighing yourself regularly can be okay but remember that the scales tell you NOTHING about what you look like because your weight is made up of so much more than fat (thinking muscle, bones, water, to name a few). To lose body fat, and also to stop putting on more body fat, you need to follow a few simple habits to make this happen. The truth is that most people get deflated after a day or two, or a week or two, or even months when they don’t see kilos just dropping away continuously from day 1 so they just quit. One of the simple truths is that you should be able to lose weight by following a few simple habits every day – yes every day. You may go through some plateaus where the weight on the scales doesn’t change too much (or may even go up slightly if you are putting on muscle because muscle weighs more than fat) but if you are following a healthy weight loss plan then you should be getting fitter, and your body shape should be changing for the better.
3 Truths about Losing Weight:
- Yes, we (as a nation) are eating too much sugar. There are different types of sugar but the ‘BIG’ nasty you may be hearing lots about at the moment is fructose. Before you go and ditch fruit out of your diet you should know that we are designed to eat 2 (maybe 3) small pieces of fruit each day, in its entirety (so that we get all the goodness of the fibre and nutrients together). That’s how our bodies are designed to take fructose. The problem is that when we take in more than that (hello soft drinks, lollies, breakfast cereals) the body doesn’t know what to do with the fructose part (we have systems in place for the other half of sugar, which is glucose). So, the minute we take in too much fructose our body nicely turns it into fat. Yep, fat.
- We are eating too many crappy oils. Marketers and seed oil companies have fooled us all and over the past decade we have become big consumers of canola, sunflower and other seed oils that have replaced, the often more expensive, olive oil that should be our majority (or perhaps only) oil consumption. We’ve been told to eat this stuff so that we are eating more ‘good oils’ and less ‘saturated fat’ that comes from meats and full fat dairy. Well, let me tell you as a nation we are not getting any fatter or any healthier. We are getting fatter and sicker and these oils are fast becoming known as a major part of the problem. Talk to any fit (and I mean truly fit and healthy, not just skinny or super model thin) person and you will probably find that they stick to olive oil, coconut oil and butter as their sources of goodness rather than polyunsaturated oils that have undergone massive chemical and mechanical processing to get to your dinner table!
- We are eating too much food out of a packet. You could almost guarantee yourself that if you open up your pantry and pull out a packet of anything that it is filled with either too much sugar or hidden oils that you hadn’t thought twice about. Even the cracker that you use as a side for that oh so healthy salad is likely to have some sunflower or canola oil in it. Nice hey? Not really. The other problem with these ‘foods’ is that it’s really hard for humans to know when they have had enough because they are filled with so much fructose and nasty chemicals that the body can’t regulate your food intake as well. End result? You overeat! Think about it…how easy is for a child (or even an adult) to eat a large few handfuls of crackers? Pretty easy, hey? But, give them an apple and they are unlikely to say, ‘Hey, I’d love another 10 of those!’.
So, while exercise is a really important part of losing weight it’s vital that these three home-truths are understood otherwise you could sweat it out at the gym all you like – that fat ain’t gonna shift. Good luck!