"I can't eat that." (and other weight loss food lies we tell ourselves)

“In two decades I've lost a total of 789 pounds. I should be hanging from a charm bracelet.” Erma Bombeck

It sounds like Erma believed a few lies about weight loss. I wonder how many you have believed through the years. I don't mean to rain on your Valentine's Day parade, but there are a few things I think you should know no matter what time of year it is. Maybe you'll find yourself among some of these common myths.

Lie #1: "I'm going to cut calories and exercise to get into that dress."

The Truth: Cutting calories below your resting metabolic rate-the number of calories your body needs simply to function tell your body it's starving, which results in burning muscle (not good!) for energy + slowing your metabolism down=loss of muscle mass and weight gain. So if you are exercising, make sure you’re eating more calories than your resting metabolic rate. (Search "resting metabolic rate" and you'll find a calculator to figure out what yours is).

Lie #2: "It doesn't matter what I eat, as long as I keep my calories super low."

The Truth: The 'calories in/calories burned' idea simply doesn’t work. Just take a look around. Consider all the people you know who restricted calories for years and have had a yo-yo experience with their dress size. Losing weight is a matter of what you eat. Some simple guidelines to start: Limit your grains (wheat, corn, rice), reduce your refined sugar to less than 25 g/day, increase your water (1/2 your body weight in ounces/day), increase your green veggies, and enjoy the sweetness of relationships with others.

Lie #3: "I'm cutting out all fat so I don't get fat!"

The Truth: The growing obesity epidemic is evidence that low-fat diets don't work. America has had a LOVE affair with this way of eating since the 1970's AND we are bigger and sicker than we have ever been. When you eat good fats (extra virgin olive oil, walnut oil, coconut oil, macadamia nut oil, seeds, and nuts), you increase your fat burning capacity. And yes, while fat has more calories, adding healthy fats into your diet will also make you feel full quicker.

Lie #4: "I need to lose weight, so I'm not going to eat carbs."

The Truth: Chances are when you think of carbohydrates, you think of bread, pasta, cake, and cookies. Reducing/avoiding these is definitely a good idea, but do you realize that vegetables and fruits are carbs? Did you know that they are filled with something called phytonutrients (chemicals that contain powerful antioxidants that reduce inflammation)? Simple carbohydrates (like refined sugar) enter your bloodstream quickly and if they aren't used right away, they are stored as fat. Complex carbohydrates (beans, legumes, nuts) are absorbed more slowly, allowing more time for your body to use them. You also need to consider the glycemic load of the food you eat-the effect of a total meal on your blood sugar. The glycemic load takes into account how all the foods work together to affect you. Mixing beans and vegetables provide a low glycemic load, while spaghetti + sauce has a high glycemic load. So pick your carbs wisely: veggies, fruits, beans, nuts, and seeds. Combine them with a healthy fat, and you can feel good about what you’re eating.

Lie #5: “High Fructose Corn Syrup is the same as sugar.”

The Truth: High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is absorbed very quickly into your cells and leads to the production of triglycerides and cholesterol. And here's the real kicker...when your body processes sugar, your brain gets the message that it's full. But with HFCS, your brain gets that message very slowly, so you tend to overeat and gain weight. Check labels for HFCS.

Lie #6: “I use artificial sweeteners so that I don’t gain weight.”

The Truth: The general problem with artificial sweeteners is that your brain doesn’t know the difference between them and real sugar, so it tells the pancreas to release insulin. Insulin then gets all fired up, waiting for the sugar that never arrives. In a sense, insulin demands the brain for sugar creating hunger. Bottom line, artificial sweeteners, at the very least, have been associated with overeating and obesity.

Hopefully, this clears a few things up. If you have questions, remember it costs nothing to sit down with me for the first time.

I’d love to know what works for you. Tell me your weight loss success story!

And as far as Valentine's Day is concerned, no matter where you are in life and relationships, know that you are loved beyond measure by Almighty God! Renee