(The author is a psychotherapist who lost 140 lbs. when he developed his methods, and he’s kept it off for over 30 years. Read about his method in his book at the right, or listen to his audiobook, free sample provided here.)
Myth#1) You must exercise to lose weight.
FACT: You don’t need to exercise to lose and control your weight.
What? This goes against everything all the “experts” say! Well, it’s true. Exercise may be vitally important for a lot of things, but it’s not required to lose and control your weight, and if you don’t get your eating under control, focusing on exercise may cause a weight gain! (An hour on the treadmill will be cancelled by one brownie! Eat two because you “worked out”, and you gain weight, not lose it!) When I learned how insignificant exercise was, and that controlling my intake was the solution, whether or not I exercised, I had hope for the first time in my life. I didn’t have to exercise in ways I hated! I have clients who are disabled and cannot exercise, yet they do fine at controlling their weight. Exercise is important for lots of things, but it’s not the solution to your weight problem. Controlling your intake is the solution.
Myth#2) You have to eat special food to lose weight, and deny yourself what you like.
FACT: It doesn’t matter whether you eat health food or junk food, diet food or fast food.
Your weight is a result of your “caloric balance sheet.” Eat more calories than you use (1400 to 1800 per day for the “average” woman, 54,000 per month) and you’ll gain weight. Eat fewer calories than you use, and you’ll burn up stored fat and lose weight. It doesn’t matter where the calories come from, health food, “junk” food, carbs, fat, protein—- It doesn’t matter (for weight control purposes). A calorie is a calorie is a calorie. Is it better to have better nutrition? You bet. But if you eat too many calories of “health food” you’ll get fat, while someone who eats fewer calories of the “wrong things” will lose weight.
Myth#3) To lose weight, you have to follow a diet you may not like.
FACT: Diets are not the solution. Learning how to eat, strategically undereat what you like, is the solution.
Learning how to diet (eat in some abnormal way to lose weight) does no good, because at the end of the diet, we go back to “normal” or worse, and keep gaining. We got fat because we developed habits of eating too many calories, and if we go on a “diet” with the intention of going back to “normal”, we are planning on getting fat again. Success will come from learning to eat food we like in ways where we won’t get fat. Believe me, there is a way. We will need to change, and it must be a permanent change with no return to the old ways, but it needn’t be without pleasure. In fact, we enjoy eating even more! Our favorite foods are even better, and no guilt!
Myth#4) Eating at night turns to fat. If you eat after 7 pm, it’s hopeless.
FACT: It doesn’t matter what time of the day you eat, or even what day of the week.
Read again what I said in item #2. It really doesn’t matter when you eat, even if you eat mostly at night, or skip meals during the week and splurge on Saturday night. Real science backs me up on this. If you can create a lifestyle you like, one you can live with where your “balance sheet” is correct, you’ll succeed, even if it’s not what some “experts” think is the “right” way to eat.
Myth#5) To lose weight, you just have to make up your mind and use will power.
FACT: Success is not just a matter of “will power” or “just making up your mind”.
It’s not that some people have “it” and some don’t. Success in changing habitual behavior, even tough habitual behavior like an addiction, is not just a matter of “will power”.
There is a body of knowledge and technique in my field of behavioral medicine that you can learn, knowledge and technique that will empower you to make changes in your life that were not possible before. It will be work. You’ll have to let go of some things that you haven’t wanted to let go of. But if being overweight/obese has been a curse on your life, and you’d like to get rid of it, don’t give up. Keep hoping and praying.
Learn what you have to do. Read or listen to my book or call one of my therapists. Be prepared to learn more from legitimate sources, and work at it. You can succeed like I and my clients have. Keep going.