Monday, August 2, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds swapping common diet myths for common sense

Common knowledge isn't always common sense. That's true in many life applications, especially weight loss. This blog chronicles how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass surgery. I've learned that many commonly-held dieting ideas are in fact, myths. To lose weight, rethink these weight loss myths and try these common-sense approaches.

You need a scale. Nope. Get off it. In fact, throw the darn thing away. "My 600-lb Life" obesity is one thing. So get a baseline (then throw it out LOL) and get busy on that 1200 calorie diet. Micromanaging that scale number blinds you to real progress. 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 weight loss 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. It's like checking weather reports instead of looking out the window. We may try something stupid, like I did. Or conclude we're destined to be fat and give up calorie restricting. I quit weighing myself, started paying attention to observable changes and trusting my (smaller)gut instinct.

You should track BMI. Again, nope. Throw that out, too. Doctors talk BMI (body mass index) like it's the Holy Grail. It's moderately helpful at best. But it can also show someone overweight who isn't. Sometimes it's used to "prove" obesity that doesn't exist.  BMI became my slave driver. To get to that magic number, I resorted to over calorie restricting, that weight loss drug mentioned earlier and worst of all not listening to myself. So 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 (especially when you really aren't). And for heaven's sake, chose a BMI calculator that factors in real-life measures--age, gender, body shape, activity level, clothing size--not just height and weight. 

You need a meeting. Well, maybe Al-Anon, but a diet group, uh-uh. Join Weight Watchers if you like to pay for things. There are free online diet support groups if you need accountability. Not everyone does. I was told that I would never lose weight unless I joined Weight Watchers. I also needed gastric bypass, evidently. Well, I'm 100 pounds skinnier, with no surgery. I'm not saying gastric bypass or Weight Watchers aren't good. They're just not mandatory. 

You can't lose weight because (insert reason). Blah, blah, blah. These are excuses. "My 600-lb Life" folks always have a list of excuses a mile long. We all have reasons we got overweight. We all face difficulties. They're reasons TO lose weight, not avoid it. Sometimes the "reasons" are the result of being overweight. Type 2 diabetes, cholesterol, hypertension. back and leg pain, liver and heart problems. Obesity predisposes these. I know. I struggled with them when I was obese. Since I lost 100 pounds, I don't. Few disabilities can't be improved by weight loss or maintaining healthy weight. 

You can't diet if you (insert condition). "My 600-lb Life" patients talk like Dr. Now's 1200 calorie diet is something you can only do in ideal circumstances. Well, obesity is hardly ideal. And setting unrealistic conditions (when I feel happier, move out, finish school, start my new job, ). Sure there are challenges, but they're not insurmountable. And some improve with weight loss. 

You can't afford weight loss. I've actually heard people excuse being overweight saying they can't afford special diet food or a personal trainer. Seriously?? Who can? The good news is, you don't need either. It's free to eat less. In fact, it saves you money!

There's a magic bean, or actually... So it's true there's no diet where you eat alfredo and Cadbury Creme Eggs all day (damm!) and still lose weight. A pharmaceutical weight loss drug is dubious at best. But there are supplements that help. I lost 100 pounds using raspberry ketones, green tea, apple cider vinegar, garcinia cambogia, coconut oil and cinnamon (to regulate sugar and prevent diabetes). I still had to practice calorie restricting on the 1200 calorie diet.

So this sermon might sound harsh. But I'm preaching to myself first. I made all these mistake before I lost 100 pounds. I never thought I would be wearing size 3/4 jeans. But it happened because I started using common sense instead of believing commons myths. 

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