The Dreaded Scale

Every week we have people step on the scale at our little gym and check their progress. This moment is often dreaded. The scale does not lie. However, it is often misleading.

Here’s what we have seen. People often who go on diets and lose a lot of weight quickly,  gain it back, and then become disheartened. What’s going on? Many things. But one thing that might be creating the yo-yo effect is the fact that those diets are often not sustainable.

  • Calorie restriction cannot be sustained long term. It’s too painful. We are not meant to feel deprived on a constant basis.
  • Diet efforts that involve drinking some sort of propietary concoction such as Herbal Life also don’t work in the long run because they are expensive and ultimately unsatisfying.
  • Calorie counting is also not useful because it confuses the fact that a calorie of sugar, for example, is not the same thing as a calorie of protein or fat. These are not processed in the body in the same way and have very different results. (Sugar is metabolized by the liver into fat whereas fat or proteins are not. If you have time, please watch Dr. Robert Lustig’s lecture called “Sugar: The Bitter Truth.”)

Ok. So what to do if you want to lose weight?

Realize that there is no one size fits all diet plan. Whatever you do, it has to be satisfying and consistent with your needs.

So mapping out what you are currently eating is probably a really good idea before making any changes. This will allow you to figure out what is good about your current eating habits and what may need to be shifted over time.

Oh, yes, it all takes time. There’s no real quick fix. Because in reality there’s nothing to fix. We often see weightloss as a problem, something broken. What we often overlook is that what we are dealing with are very powerful stories and patterns within us that are either serving our bodies well or somehow preventing us from living as fully as possible. Looking at the root cause  of these stories is central to long term shifting. Gentleness and patience are two very important qualities to use here.

It takes time to change and part of that time has to do with re-educating ourselves. We need to become informed about what is healthy and not.

Don’t assume that because a product says its natural or organic that it’s healthy for you. Trader Joe’s, for example, sells three or four kinds of organic sugar!  Sugar is not good for you whether it’s organic or blessed by the Dalai Lama.

We don’t have to wait years, however, to experience the benefits of restorying our relationship with food. One simple and easy step that often has a very immediate consequence is paying attention to breakfast options.

We’ve been brainwashed to believe that cereal is good for us. It’s not. It’s a processed food, usually full of sugar and simple carbohydrates that convert to sugar the moment you eat them–even the so called healthy cereals! (Avoid processed food of all sorts. If it’s in a box, skip it.)

What else?

  • Fruits are good, but in small quantities. Really small quantities! (Berries are better for you than mangoes, if you’re eating fruit daily.)
  • Fats are not the evil macronutrients we were told they were.
  • Replacing sugars and simple carbohydrates with healthy fats from things such as olive oil and nuts is an excellent way to nourish the body and not feel hungry all day.
  • Exercise is important, but you do not have to spend hours on a spinning bike or Zumba class to get skinny. As a matter of fact, there’s not enough cardio in the world that will neutralize your daily calorie intake.

Exercise is useful as part of an overall plan, and weight/resistance training is incredibly important in the long run because the more muscle you build, the more revved up your metabolism will be.

This is an insurance plan of sorts to allow you to eat sensibly without having to worry about each calorie you eat. It also has other ramifications which innterestingly include bone health, staving off neuroligical diseases, and promoting longevity.

We write this for all of you who step on the scale and not only long to be at peace with the number you see, but more importantly, want to know that you have done everything in your power to be as healthy as possible to live a long life full of love and compassion for yourself and all around you. There is a path forward.

Walk with care and take your time to do so.

Don’t go on this path on your own. As Jack Johnson sings, “It’s always better when we are together.”

If you would like to speak to us for help on your journey, please don’t hesitate to contact us!




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