The misconception of how to lose weight, and why most people fail when trying!
By Gary Canam, BA
There is a common misconception when it comes to losing weight. People tend to lean towards the fast and easy fix in order to speed up the process of results with minimal effort. The concept that you’ll lose weight as long as you burn more calories than you consume ends up creating a mindset that weight loss should be a linear process. It’s, sadly, not that simple. There are other factors that come into play here, one being your metabolic rate. We view the metabolic rate as how many calories your body is burning at rest. Your body tends to adjust to the amount of calories that you provide it. In relation, your metabolic rate will fluctuate based on that amount as well. Think of your metabolism as a furnace, if you don’t fuel that furnace the flames will decrease. Same goes for your metabolism, the more you restrict your calories, the less fire your furnace has to burn, which pressures your metabolism to conserve calories rather than burn them.
Fad diets are another part of the misconception of how to lose weight and keep the weight off. How most fad diets play out are through reducing calories and cutting out whole food groups. Although this may lead to short-term success, in the end, this type of dieting will not be sustainable longterm. When you lose weight rapidly, muscle mass decreases as well, resulting in less furnaces for calories to burn. Also, when that fad diet becomes too overwhelming and you move on, fat comes back a lot quicker.
The goal should be to not restrict or cut out any major food group. However, you need to be aware of the macronutrients you are consuming in relation to your height, weight, age, and gender. Personally I use the “katyhearnfit” macro calculator to find what percentage I need to consume out of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Tracking your macros is not, and I repeat, is not a quick fix. It's a method set up to help you sustain longevity in regards to losing weight, maintaining weight, and gaining weight. It provides flexibility to food choices and doesn’t restrict you to a meal plan. You must be adherent to the goal, because if you steer too far from the numbers you need, you won’t see any progress. In addition, your macros evolve with you over time, as your goals change, so will your macros. All in all, macro dieting isn’t a quick fix and can take some willpower to get through the first couple weeks, but once you get past that beginning phase and you find a rhythm, the results are in your favor!