Friday, 15 January 2016

Weight loss HOW TO in reverse: What NOT to do if you want to lose weight

I see so many rubbish weight loss tips circling the internet. Ones that I have followed in the past thinking they would help and now realise how horrible they are and how they actually sabotaged my healthy lifestyle and actually resulted in a really unhealthy way of thinking in regards to weight loss and obtaining a healthy lifestyle.




If you're a regular reader of my blog, you'll know I struggled with health issues for almost ten years. Once I left high school, I put on copious amounts of weight through leading a really unhealthy lifestyle and I really didn't realise the damage I was doing to my body. Through lack of education, and I admit pure stupidity, I led myself down a very destructive and unhealthy path.

Below I will go over some weight loss tips I have followed over the years that NEVER worked for me. They are all incorrect and should be ignored. Of course, I will go in to detail as to why and explain what you should be doing instead.

Limit your eating times

Don't eat after 7pm. RUBBISH. Eat at whatever time you want. Essentially the only thing that matters is what you put in Vs. what you put out. Eating after 7pm or before a certain time in the morning is not going to affect your results in any way. The only instance I will worry about what time I eat is before a workout. I like to eat 1-1.5 hours before my workouts for optimum energy output from the food (fuel).


Focus on your calorie intake

Well... this is very vague. Yes, calories matter but what I've learned over the years is that all calories are definitely not created equal. I can be on a 1500 calorie diet and depending on what I put in that 1500 calories, I can either lose weight or put on weight.Yes, it is important to set a calorie intake limit if you're wanting to lose/ gain weight however, you need to be aware of what you're putting in there. If you have 1500 calories but 80% of that is filled with carbohydrates and also high sugar foods, it's very unlikely you will see any positive results. I used to limit myself to 1000 calories but I would be having chocolate and other junk food in my diet thinking that as long as I stuck to my calories, I would lose weight. Different foods affect your body in different ways. It is important to fill your diet with a balance of carbohydrates, good fats and protein. It is also important to make sure you're limiting your sugar intake as well and to make sure you're getting enough fibre in your diet to ensure your body can digest what you're eating.
At one stage I did the reverse and limited my calories to 1200 and cut out most carbs and all fats. This messed with my body more than I ever thought. It affected my hormone levels and I didn't menstruate for months. Once I introduced fats and more carbohydrates back in to my diet, my hormones slowly rebalanced and my regular cycle returned. It really is amazing how much the food and drink we put in (or don't put in) to our bodies can affect us in ways we wouldn't expect.

Weigh yourself regularly

When I say regularly I only mean once a week. In my opinion, this is too often. In all of my previous attempts at a healthy lifestyle, I thought weight was everything. I would weigh myself at least weekly but at one stage it was daily and would be obsessed if I had gained a few hundred grams. News flash: what you eat and drink, how your body is digesting (and what stage of digestion you're in) and when you're menstruating (for women) can all have an effect on how much you weigh and your weight can fluctuate up to 5kg on any given day depending on these factors.

In my recent (successful) attempt, I weighed myself every three months. This was enough for me. I knew I was eating right, exercising and doing the right things for my body in order to achieve my goals, so why did weight matter? It didn't and it still doesn't. I concentrate more now on measurements rather than weight and rarely, if ever, weigh myself out of curiosity and try to guess how much I weigh. That number means literally nothing to me. What does it matter how much you weigh? All that should matter is how you look and how you feel. When you look at those photos where they have a line of women who all have completely different body shapes, yet all weigh the same, that's when you realise, it's not about the weight.



I myself can weigh 70kg and be out of shape and weigh 70kg and look the best I have ever looked. Your body composition changes with your diet and exercise so it's important to ignore your weight based goals and focus more on how you want to feel and what you want to look like and what your vision of healthy and happy is.

Use muscle weighs more than fat as an excuse

Ok... continuing on from above. Technically muscle does not weigh more than fat. 1kg of muscle and 1kg of fat obviously weigh the same however, they look COMPLETELY different. Muscle is very dense so therefore has a much leaner appearance than fat due to fat's loose and jiggly low volume. It's all about composition and this is the exact reason why I ignore my weight. After I lost 20kg, I noticed I was severely plateauing and then I started putting on weight despite still losing size.  Despite the fact I was getting heavier, my body was full of lean muscle and had less fatty tissue therefore, I was getting smaller. The correct way to word this is muscle occupies less space than fat. I've been told that a lot of people use this as an excuse for not losing weight (size). Really the only person you're cheating by saying this is yourself. The tape measure and your clothing don't lie. Keep regular measurements so when people ask how much you've lost, you can say "I actually don't weigh myself but I've lost __cm from my waist" for example. Generally if you have enough fat to lose, you will definitely see the number on the scale drop but once you start changing your body composition through your diet and exercise, it becomes hard to expect to lose any further actual kg from your body but you will be losing fat.



Cut carbohydrates, avoid fat and eat less

Continuing on from what I said in point 2, this would not be more wrong. Carbohydrates are essential for our bodies to function properly. It's important to understand what kind of carbohydrates you should be consuming but we should never cut them out completely, sure you may lose some weight, but you are depriving your body of an essential food source it greatly needs especially if you want to exercise!  The same goes for fats. Sure, avoid some of them (most processed foods), but it's important, especially for women, to get a balance of good fats in our diets to help regulate our hormones. My current main carb sources are: brown rice, fruits and vegetables. My current main fat sources come from: Full fat milk, full fat Greek yoghurt and nuts. When I was on my weight loss macros, I was eating more than I had in years. I was on 1800 calories a day and still losing weight even whilst putting on muscle. You don't necessarily have to eat less (depending on how much you're currently eating) you just have to eat RIGHT... and it's super easy once you work out what your body needs. If you need help working this out, don't hesitate to contact me through my Talk Healthy To Me Facebook Group here.

Concentrate too much on one aspect (70% food 30%exercise)

In my opinion, it's 100% everything! If you're in this because you have health and fitness goals, then you have to commit to both. Yes, the way you eat is imperative to your health but so is your fitness. You cannot out exercise a bad diet that's for sure. I see friends booking in personal training sessions and then I'll see them going out to dinner or ice cream a few nights a week and getting takeaway drinks almost on the daily. If this is you, you're wasting your money on the personal training sessions. It almost goes the other way around. If you're super strict with your food and not so eager on hitting the gym/ exercising regularly, you will still get results however, they will take A LOT longer and you won't have the fitness or strength which helps with your overall health.

What are some other weight loss tips you're unsure about?? List them below and I would be happy to confirm or explain why they won't help!

Keep smiling!

Tahana xoxo

Instagram= @talkhealthytome






94 comments :

  1. Great post Tahana! I really enjoyed reading it. All the weight loss crap on the internet frustrates me! I'm at the gym to feel better and look better in my clothes, not obsess about a number :)

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    1. Thanks Emma. And yes, no obsessing! You do what you need to do to feel healthy, happy and strong! <3

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  2. Great post! I completely agree with your point on fat vs muscle weight - for me, it's about how I look and how I feel rather the number on the scale that cab truthfully be somewhat deceiving.

    Ms Jelena xx

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    1. Thank you Jelena! I'm glad you enjoyed the post! Scales are definitely deceiving.. I kind of wish they didn't exist anymore haha <3

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  3. Loved this post, great tips in here and I have made a pact to myself for this year to get healthier. I will be only weighing myself every now and then like you mentioned as its not all about numbers it is more about how comfortable I feel.

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    1. Thanks Nicole! And don't forget your measurements! They're more accurate in measuring how well you're doing! <3

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  4. I forgot to comment here although I read this on Facebook and loved it! The one about eating after 7pm is one that I hear alll the time and even a lot of famous fitness celebrities say they swear by it but I had a feeling it wasn't scientifically proven! Loved it! Would love to see more posts like this because there are so many exercise/fitness/health tips/myths to expel!

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    1. Thanks Sarah! Glad I could help out! Write a list of the myths you would like me to address and I shall work on another post for you!! <3

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  5. THIS! This is post is hands down one of the realest weight loss blogs Ive read. There is so much false wieghtloss advice on the inter webs.

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    1. Oh wow thanks Lauren! I do always like to be honest and real with my opinions rather than sticking to mainstream thinking when it comes to health and fitness! I'm glad you liked my post!

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  14. Re-reading and had to comment again because I really do love this post for all these little reminders!!! I am reducing my carb intake because I feel it something I have way too much of and a lot of sugary items but I am still aiming to get around 100g-150g a day so I don't lose any essential energy stores like you said.

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