Here's Why Weight Loss isn't as simple as "Just Eat Less"

If you’ve been dieting for any length of time, chances are you’ve heard the suggestion to “just eat less.” This is probably the most common piece of dieting advice out there, and it’s also one of the worst. It’s not only ineffective, but it can also be damaging to your health. 

Keep reading to learn why this advice is a bad idea and some more helpful advice that will help you lose weight safely and effectively.

Table of Contents

Where does "Just Eat Less" come from?

So, why is being told to eat less a bad idea? There are a few reasons. First of all, it’s important to understand that weight loss is ultimately about creating a calorie deficit. This means that you need to burn more calories than you’re consuming. When you eat less, you’re naturally cutting down on the number of calories you’re consuming, which can lead to weight loss. 

However, there are a few problems with this approach.

It's not Sustainable Long Term

If you’re constantly depriving yourself of food, eventually you’re going to find yourself giving in to your cravings and overeating. This can lead to yo-yo dieting, which is not only ineffective, but it’s also unhealthy. 

Yo-yo dieting has been linked to a number of health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke, that occur due to the fat regain that happens.

It's psychologically damaging

When you’re constantly telling yourself that you can’t have something, it can lead to feelings of deprivation and resentment. This can make it even harder to stick to your diet in the long-term. It’s also found to be linked with bad relationships with food.

Woman sitting with hands covering her face

5 Key Focus Areas for Weight Loss

So, if being told that eating less is a bad idea, what’s a better alternative? There are a few things you can do that will help you lose weight safely and effectively. 

  1. Focus on eating healthy, whole foods. This means swapping out processed foods, sugary drinks, and unhealthy fats. Instead, fill your diet with lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats like olive oil and avocados.
  2. In addition to making healthier food choices, you should also make sure that you’re getting enough exercise. Exercise not only helps you burn calories, but it also has a number of other health benefits. It can help improve your mood, increase your energy levels, and even improve your sleep quality.
  3. Focusing on better sleep can also be helpful. Getting enough sleep is important for both your physical and mental health. It can help improve your mood, boost your immune system, and even help you lose weight.
  4. Maybe even have some time off dieting. Dieting can be difficult, and sometimes it’s necessary to take a break. This doesn’t mean that you should give up on your weight loss goals, but it does mean giving yourself a break from time to time.
  5. Lastly, its and probably the most difficult is to learn to shut out those that offer this advice. Whilst on the surface this advice seems like it is the right answer, it is the most unhelpful. It offers nothing to provide troubleshooting or practical takeaways that you can use to direct your efforts.

Dieting is both a psychological and physiological process. That means it requires both your mind and body to work together. Your mental state and the influences around you will heavily impact your journey towards successful and long term weightloss. It’s therefore important to focus on a healthy journey instead of short term fixes. 

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