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Common Nutrition Beliefs

As I stated last week, humans are notorious in finding excuses on why they don’t start something or why they don’t continue something.  We find ourselves saying “can’t” and “don’t” A LOT.  I hear it daily in conversations regarding fitness, nutrition, business, and life in general.  You name the area, I can list off the excuses.

Ultimately, these are beliefs we have and lies we tell ourselves.  Luckily, they can all be overcome if we know how to attack them.  Last week, I discussed the common ones I hear in the fitness arena.  This week, I am diving into then nutrition ones.

It’s too hard.

Ok, changing your eating can be difficult in the beginning.  I will give you that.  It is change, it is different.  Isn’t most change difficult for a period of time?  Once you start to understand what is in different foods, start to understand how to cook healthier, start to understand what prepared foods are OK for you and what to avoid, it gets significantly easier.

A lot of this comes down to food quantity as well as food substitutions.  Once you get that figured out, the rest can be very easy.

Are you concerned about making two different meals every night, one for your family and one for you?  It really doesn’t have to be that difficult.  Normally make two different vegetables?  Just make three instead: one that everyone will eat, one for the picky eaters, and one for you.  Cutting up one more vegetable only takes another couple minutes.  Along with that, most foods can be made healthier, it is just a matter of learning some healthy food substitutions that keep the flavor and consistency of the food.  As stated before, it is a learning process in the beginning and then becomes easy.

I am not losing weight as it is.  If I eat more I will gain weight.

This is a big barrier I battle with my clients.  They want to lose weight in order to perform and compete better.  They restrict calories significantly and don’t lose weight.  The problem with this is our bodies require a certain amount of calories for survival.  Go lower than that number and our bodies will do everything possible to conserve energy – meaning it will hold all calories and go into a state where it doesn’t use much energy.  You will never lose the weight you want like this

When you increase your calories above the survival point, but below what is required for your normal daily activities, that is where you successfully lose weight.

For example, let’s say you need 1200 calories to survive.  With your normal day to day tasks and exercise, let’s say that number increases to 2000 calories a day burned.  A good number of calories to consume in order to lose weight would be 1600-1700.  Make sense?

Nearly everyone I have worked with as a coach has given me the shocked face when I tell them how much they need to eat and then the even more shocked face and expressions when they lose 2-4 pounds a week.  I know it is hard to believe, but it is how the body works.

I can’t lose weight, I have tried everything.

This can be a frustrating one for people.  Many people have attempted nearly every fad diet out there and have not had success.  There are several reasons for this.

First off, fad diets don’t work because they are lacking some important element.  If they do work for you, they don’t work long term.  Most fad diets are something short term to lose weight, but don’t teach you how to create a lifestyle around it.  If it does work for you, once you stop the fad diet, the weight returns.  That is the typical cycle.

The other major factor is every body is different.  What worked for your mother, sister, friend, etc. is not necessarily going to work for you.  Each person’s body responds to foods differently.  Each person has different requirements based on lifestyle.  Until you figure out some specifics on how your body works, what foods do well in your body and what foods don’t, you may not have great success.

I am eating healthy, there isn’t anything else I can do.

This is another one I deal with frequently.  The common issue with this is undereating without realizing you are undereating.  As I stated earlier, we need a certain amount of calories for survival.  Don’t get enough in and we won’t lose weight.

When people are working to lose weight, they tend to eat healthy AND do portion control.  Because of this, they are in a bigger caloric deficit than they think they are.   When I keep them eating the same foods but increase the amount they are eating, the weight starts to come off, their energy increases, and their performance with their training improves.Now that I went through these barriers, do some of them sound like things you are dealing with?

Email me at with any questions or concerns you have after reading this.

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