I think it’s inevitable for almost every woman, at some point in her life, to try some form of ‘dieting’ to try and change the outward appearance of herself in some way. With the intense cultural pressure to stay fit, many young women are approaching dieting in an unhealthy way. Below are some of the biggest dieting myths that I have discovered.
1. Skipping meals to help lose weight: We’ve all been there. In a hope to lose a few pounds fast, we consider skipping breakfast or lunch, thinking we can push through the hunger pangs until dinner. For starters, this will leave you with low blood sugar levels, brain fog, moodiness, and hunger pains. Without a new supply of calories, your body will start to shift into starvation mode in an effort to conserve energy. Then your metabolism slows down, so the calories you do eventually eat aren’t readily burned off. Not only do skipping meals take a toll on your body, but it also sets you up for a slower metabolism which in the long run will do the opposite of weight loss. The healthier strategy? Lose weight by eating 4-6 smaller, nutrient-dense meals throughout the day!
2. Not eating enough: Personally, I like to think of my body as a car. A car needs gas to drive, just as much as our body needs food to thrive. When you’re putting the right fuel into your vehicle, it runs much more efficiently than it would without. Food is fuel. When your body doesn’t have enough fuel (nutrients) in it throughout the day you’ll have a much harder time functioning properly. Every body type is different and needs various types/amounts of foods to thrive properly. Check out 7 signs your body’s telling you that you’re not eating enough!
3. Setting unrealistic expectations: Start with one small goal a day, or even a week! Often times when we overload ourselves with these unrealistic expectations we tend to feel overwhelmed and are less likely to achieve any of them. Instead, start with something small like giving up dairy for a day, incorporating more greens, drinking more water, etc!
4. Restricting yourself too much: Restricting yourself from any specific food is probably one of the worst ways of ‘dieting’ out there (something I’ve totally done before!). When we restrict ourselves from something sooner or later our bodies are going to end up craving it even more than before. So next time you’re trying to stay away from a specific food, allow yourself to have just a little bit, instead of going overboard with it. An example would be chocolate. I LOVE chocolate, and can easily eat an entire bar in one sitting! So right now instead of eating the entire bar, I’ll have just a square or two in one sitting and save the rest for later. Whether it’s chocolate, french fries, cake, pastries, or candy, training your body over time to enjoy smaller amounts in moderation will definitely help reduce cravings and create a better relationship with food 🙂
5. Focusing too much on the scale: I don’t know about you but whenever there’s a weighing scale in the house I religiously find myself standing on it ALL THE TIME. Not only do I believe it’s unhealthy, but it can also easily become an obsession when done too frequently. When I was fifteen I took my very first runway class. At this time I wasn’t truly confident in who I was and didn’t really know what I wanted to do yet. I remember the instructors would weigh each of us individually in front of everyone and then we would have a group discussion on what a ‘healthy weight’ for a model should be. Not only was I in puberty (so I still had a little baby fat on me) but I wasn’t exactly ‘model skinny’ yet. I looked like I weighed about 110 when in reality I weighed around 125. From this, I learned that weight is truly just a number and that having a scale in the middle of your bathroom floor isn’t the best idea. It took years for me to truly grasp this, but eventually, I came to the understanding that as long as I was active and healthy it didn’t matter what weight I was!
I hope these dieting myths have inspired you with knowledge and confidence! Interested in diving deeper into healthy and effective weight loss? Check out our work with me page, we’d love to help inspire your journey!