Last week I read an article about how salmon makes you fat. If that were true I’d weigh 800 pounds. I love salmon and eat a lot of it.
Nearly every day I read about something else that’s supposed to create a eureka moment and make you realize there’s one thing you’re eating that’s making you fat. Stop eating this thing and watch the pounds melt away.
What a crock. One day it’s carbs, the next day it’s gluten and now salmon.
Oh, how simple it would be to eliminate one thing and be done with it. “Yup, I gave up salmon and now I have thigh gap.”
We want to believe it though, right? So we try these elimination diets hoping that, like Bigfoot, we’ll finally have the proof we need to believe.
Only it’s not that easy. Bigfoot’s still evading capture and there’s no one food that makes us all gain weight.
Want to know what really, truly (you can’t see me, but I have my hand over my heart) adds poundage? Hint: it’s NOT chocolate, bread or dessert. In fact, they’re things you almost never hear about.
Here’s what I see as the Top Three biggest things that make you fat (there are more, which I’ll save for another post).
1. You make temporary changes
“Going on” a diet requires “going off” that diet at some point. So if you’ve made healthy changes and lost the weight, you can go back to eating crap and keep it off, right? Wrong.
If you cannot live with the changes you make you will not keep off the weight.
It’s why I never eliminate chocolate or anything else I really love (like bread and Brie!), because I can’t imagine life without it. Cut back, sure. But tell yourself you can’t have something and that 3-year old in your brain suddenly craves it worse than the Kardashians crave fame. Yup, it’s that serious.
2. You dine out a lot
I’m not saying you can’t eat healthy when you eat out. You can, but you never know for sure how much oil or fat the chef uses no matter what they tell you. I’ve worked in restaurants and witnessed firsthand full-fat mayo used in “fat-free” tuna salad, for example. A single tablespoon of fat or oil is 100 calories. Trust me, that adds up fast.
3. You’re in denial
Here’s where you get mad at me: You cannot fix the problem if you deny it even exists. I once worked with a client who got angry with me when I’d question her about her diet. She claimed she ate healthy but refused to fill out a food journal, which she found “unnecessary.” She chalked up her 50 excess pounds to a “slow metabolism” and would not listen to any of my suggestions.
Then one day she quit working out with me because her business slowed. In the meantime she joined a local Weight Watchers and lost 50 pounds. So here’s the big question: If she ate as healthy as she said she did, how did that weight loss happen?
It’s way easier to pretend everything’s hunky dory than to admit you regularly eat cookies for breakfast (as she did, I found out later), but it’s the only way to make the necessary changes.
Bottom line: Make changes you can do for the rest of your life, cook healthy meals at home as much as possible (I’m talking about turkey burgers and broiled fish, not contenders for Hell’s Kitchen), and be honest with yourself.
Does this make sense to you? If so, I’d love for you to leave me a note in the comments section below. And feel free to send this out through social networks, too!
And feel free to email me with questions on this or anything else that’s floating around in your pretty little head.
Until next week… Stay fit, fab and ageless!
Your Ageless After 50 Coach,