If I were to take a survey of overweight people and asked how many of them thought a sluggish metabolism was the reason they can’t lose weight, more than half would raise their hands.
And nearly all of them would be incorrect.
If you can’t lose weight, 95% of you can’t blame a sluggish metabolism as the problem.
The issue is one of how you determine you have a sluggish metabolism. You’d have to:
And studies like this one show 1 and 2 above are the problem. Click on that link. It’s a fast read and will shock you out of denial.
People are notoriously bad about estimating how many calories they really eat in a day. And they are also bad about estimating how much exercise they really did. Now, I don’t really mean to knock on your math skills via the title. This is a problem even for geniuses. The mathematical prodigy Jon Von Neumann would throw elaborate parties, sometimes twice a week, and loved to just smoke, drink, and eat. According to wikepedia.com, “his wife, Klara, said that he could count everything except calories…”
As another example, I bust my butt in the gym 4 days a week. I do all heavy compound movements in a circuit training fashion. Want to wager how many calories I burn in an hour at the gym?
About 250 calories. Yeah, not enough even for a Snickers. And yet I carry less than 10% body fat. This reveals two lessons:
My own calorie calculator above will give you an honest assessment of how many calories you need to eat to lose however much weight you wish. That’s half the math problem. The other half, how to accurately measure how many calories per day you are eating, ain’t as easy.
Every day. Even when I eat burgers and fries or fry potatoes in bacon grease and throw them in my egg and cheese and bacon burritos. I should mention I am known for my mental arithmetic abilities. My son calls me a calculator. And yet I write down my food along with how much I weigh. Because my memory is not as good as stopping denial as the visual on an Excel spreadsheet.
This is what it took for me to lose my 80 pounds of denial. It helped with my emotional eating. Even when I was really down on myself, I might write “Time: 6:30 PM, Food: Shit, Calories: 1,500.” But I wrote it down.
And regarding the study above, my one issue with the conclusion that math is the biggest weight loss problem is that former fatty’s like me knew all along deep down that we were over-eating and over-estimating our exercise, but were also in denial of how much crap we actually ate. All of us who are or were overweight can list elaborate rituals designed to hide how much poor quality food we eat.
But writing it all down forced me to look at those behaviors. Even if I was afraid to look in the mirror sometimes, I could not look away from how much I was putting down my throat each day according to that piece of paper.
If you’re struggling with your weight and blaming your metabolism for why you can’t lose weight, I would suggest to you that you’re really struggling with denial like I was. Look at yourself. Measure your food, even your binges, even for one day, even for one meal., and take a look at how much you’re really eating. Compare that to how many calories you’re really burning. Then when you’re ready, do it every day.