Tuesday, February 25, 2014

10 Things You Thought You Knew About Losing Weight!

I used to begin my Workshops for Women with the following question:  “Who here is satisfied with their bodies?  Raise your hands.”  A nervous titter would trickle around the room while everyone looked at each other and smiled.  Not one hand ever went up.   Not surprising, really, since I have never known a woman who was satisfied with her body.  If I ever do meet one, my first greeting will be, “Welcome to Planet Earth.  I hope you enjoy your stay.” 

No, we have lots of complaints about our bodies, but the “biggest” (sorry!) seems to be about our weight.  No matter how great others tell us we look, we always want to lose 5, 10, 20 pounds (or more). 

Of course, there is certainly no shortage of diets out there to help us do just that, and famous faces touting their miracle results.   The newly slim Marie Osmond is currently the face of Nutrisystem. 

The wonderful Lynn Redgrave (1943-2010), who had gone from plump and frumpy to slender and stylish, was the first celebrity to do commercials for Weight Watchers in the 1980s.  Her signature tag line was, “This is living!” 

And, of course, all these diets work……………..until you go off them.   Nutrisystem makes it particularly easy.  Just choose from a menu, and the food is delivered to your door.  How easy is that?  But, is it too easy?  And what happens when you get bored with the selections or (quelle horreur) want to actually go out to eat to a restaurant or friend’s home, which is discouraged.

At the end of the day, Ladies, if we want to maintain a healthy weight over the course of our lives, we need to learn how to make healthy choices. 

Elle Adore
I recently came across a nifty little list of 10 THINGS we think will help us lose those extra pounds that not only don’t work, but can backfire…..and why. 

The article, by Bénédicte Flye Sainte Marie, appeared in a French magazine on line geared to young, hip French women – elladore.com.  (Yes, Ladies, even they fret about their weight, too.)   I love to check it periodically to see what these chic young things are doing, wearing, eating and how they are decorating their tiny, huppé Paris apartments.  

French Dietitian, Damien Galtier, gives us a list of 10 things we typically do to lose weight that DON’T WORK.  (For the full article in French, click here.  The following is my translation, with a few helpful additions.)   


1.     “I Will Give Up All Starchy Foods.” 

Complex carbohydrates are fuel for the brain, which consumes 5 to 8 grams of the stuff every hour.  If you deprive yourself of these carbs for too long, your brain suffers from fatigue and sends you an urgent message that it’s starving, at which point you’re more likely to overeat.    

2.     “I Will Say “Adieu” to Sugar.” 

If you totally deprive yourself of something you love, your body will try to compensate for its loss.  It’s O.K. to enjoy something sweet, like a piece of dark chocolate, after a meal.  If you eat your sweet indulgence after, rather than in between meals, the calories will be more easily assimilated with the meal. 

3.     “I Will Count Every Calorie.” 
What a way to ruin a meal, not to mention the pleasure of dining!!  How the body conserves and expends its energy is still not fully understood.  You’re better off following up any eating excesses with well-balanced meals.  Better for your body; better for your state of mind. 
4.     “I Will Fill my Refrigerator ONLY with “Light”/Diet Foods.” 
Bad idea!  When you deprive yourself of the taste of “richer” foods, you are more likely to console your taste buds with quantity, which can pack on the calories.  Make sure you have a mix of rich and light foods in your refrigerator. 
5.     “I Will Go on a Crash Diet, Because They Work Best.”
Again, bad idea!  When we lose weight too quickly, we lose fat, muscle and water, which puts us right on track for the “yo-yo” effect. 
6.     “I Will Just Skip a Meal a Day.”
Don’t get caught in that trap.  Your body thinks it’s being starved, so it slows down and starts stockpiling food.  Eating three meals a day keeps it functioning at its most efficient level. 
7.     “I Will Do a Complete Fast for a Period of Time.”
Fasting can actually be toxic for your body.  After several days, you are at risk for muscular and joint problems, as the depleted body begins to rob protein from those areas. 
8.     “I Will Weigh Myself Every Day.”
Losing weight does not happen in a straight line right to your goal weight.  You’ll only drive yourself crazy.  If you must, weigh yourself once a week or once a month or, better yet, let your clothes tell you how you are doing. 
9.     “I Will Drink As Much Water As Possible.” 
Water logging your body will not make you thinner, but will make you feel bloated.  Let me put it this way -- You can’t pee the pounds off. 
10.  “I Will Take Up a Sport.  That Should Do It.”
While it’s true that a muscular body burns up more calories, even while resting, exercise only works in conjunction with eating healthy, well-balanced meals. 
Well, there you have it, Ladies……..sound, sensible advice from an expert.  Now, how often does that happen? 


  1. Gosh, I think I've fallen into each of these traps and I can confirm that I am none the lighter for it!
    Warm regards

    1. You're not alone. I used to skip meals after having eaten a bit too much at a previous one. Stopped doing that a long time ago. Found it to be counterproductive.

      Hope your weather is a bit warmer than ours at the moment. We're in single digits.

      Warm regards, M-T

  2. I agree with all of the above. Diets just don't work. I am lucky in that I have kept a steady weight most of my life, exceptions being after having children and the menopause. I find that cutting back a little on the fats from time to time helps.

    1. Sounds as if you have found the solution to keeping yourself looking as great as you do. Keep up the good work.

      Cheers, M-T

  3. Dearest Marie-Thérèse,
    Very sound advise indeed. After my recovery time following surgery, I did gain a few pounds but those I will shed easily once I can go outdoors. Still facing one more night with frost, like the past one so the outlook is postponed once more. In The Netherlands the azaleas were blooming and lots of other spring flowers. Makes me wonder what happened to the USA...?
    Sending you hugs and love,

  4. I agree with you; this is one of the best weight management resources I have seen in your blog.
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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Nancy. I will check out your resources.

      Cheers, M-T

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