Sometimes when we look to blogs, health magazines and health professionals for inspiration, we can end up further from our weight loss goals than closer.
The average person trying to lose weight must be frustrated because trying to figure out what they should or should not be eating to drop pounds is confusing. I know, I was one of those people for most of my life until I finally figured out my body and lost 80 pounds. Struggling with being overweight the majority of my life, I know firsthand how frustrating these conflicting messages can be.
Conflicting messages are everywhere. “Get healthy and lose weight by eating this.” “Eat these superfoods!” “Eat these healthy muffins, brownies and cakes!” Sure. They may be packed with healthy fats and unrefined sugar, but are they really going to help you lose weight? The answer is no. The truth is eating healthy and losing weight are two different things.
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Case in point. As a teenager, my father had heart problems. My parents went to a dietician who told them eating more carbohydrates was a better diet for our family. So what did we do? We loaded up on ALL THE carbs. Pasta, rice, bread, cereal, bagels, galore! But there was a major flaw in what this health professional told us.
While carbohydrates are good for you, the unrefined ones (think whole wheat bread, pasta & brown rice), any carb turns into sugar when the body doesn’t need it as fuel. When sugar isn’t used, it’s not like the body tosses it in the trash i.e. toilet shall we say. It stores it as fat for a rainy day. Our family not only needed to eat healthier, but also needed to lose weight. For years, I was eating healthy consuming fruits, vegetables and whole grains, but I was actually sabotaging my weight loss goals and ended up gaining weight because I wasn’t active enough to burn the fuel. The excess went to my hips and thighs.
If you’re trying to lose weight, the one thing you must do is cut back on sugar so it doesn’t get stored as fat. You have to train your body to burn it’s own fat cells and use them as energy. If you keep feeding it sugary foods that fat burn will never happen. Yes the body needs fuel, but when you’re overweight you have stored fuel for a rainy day. If you keep feeding your body sugary foods, it will continue to rely on the foods you feed it for fuel instead of pulling from its storage. Think of weight loss as your rainy day.
What people often miss is that so many foods are laden with sugar even healthy ones. In addition to cutting back on treats, sugary drinks and reducing portion sizes of unrefined grains, eating lower sugar fruits and vegetables is also key.
While produce has many vitamins, nutrients and minerals, they may not help you lose weight. That is exactly how I jumped started my weight loss by avoiding certain fruits and vegetables that were high in sugar. Once I lost the weight, I brought them back into my diet over time because they are good for you.
Very High Sugar Fruits
Banana, Fig, Grapes, Mango, Pineapple, Cherries & Any Dried Fruit
Vegetables High In Sugar
Beets, Corn, Parsnips, Peas, Plantains, Potatoes (in any form), Winter Squashes
While health professionals emphasize eating a wide array of fruits, vegetables and whole grains for most people, the problem with this is most over weight people are creatures of habit with food control issues. If they’re habitual and have tendency to overeat, this doesn’t work and the person will forever struggle with weight.
Last year I wrote this post about a popular fruit mentioned in the list above and how it can detriment weight loss. Nutritionists, dietitians and health coaches responded angrily that it couldn’t be true that this healthy food could stall weight loss. They demanded to know where I got my information and how I performed my study.
This isn’t a new concept people. Fitness professionals lean out all the time and the way they do it is avoiding high sugar foods and reducing calories for a period of time. They don’t discriminate. They cut out the good and the bad. This is how they burn fat and show off the muscle they’ve built. This is exactly what I suggest for people trying to lose weight. Avoid higher sugar foods for a period of time until weight loss is achieved then very gradually re-introduce the healthy foods back into the diet and in moderation.
I really wish there were more weight loss focused professionals out there because too often nutritionists and dietitians focus on what’s healthy and overlook this critical connection between sugar and fat burn. The bottom line is healthy does not necessarily equate to weight loss. I may not have a degree in nutrition, but I don’t need one. I lost 80 pounds.
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As always, check with your health professional before losing weight. I also encourage everyone to find what works for them and their body. No one knows it better than you.
What are your thoughts on the sugar, fat burn connection for weight loss?