The fitness and weight-loss world is FULL of people ready and willing to hand out advice on how to lose weight. The catch? Most “professionals” have never actually done it! If you were going to climb Everest — and needed advice on how to build a plan, would you rather listen to an arm-chair mountain-climbing enthusiast, or a person who had ACTUALLY climbed Everest?
While the answer seems obvious, the majority of people teaching others how to lose weight professionally have been fit/healthy for most of their lives, have never had to lose a significant amount of weight, and don’t understand the nuances between “healthy eating” and “weight loss eating”. Most of these people have never had to lose a significant amount of weight. (Taking off “a little baby weight”, or losing 30lbs, does NOT qualify someone as a weight loss expert.)
I also see fitness experts.. personal trainers.. nutritionists.. and others who dish out advice on how to eat right to lose weight…….. And while some of the advice is good, MOST of it is much more geared towards “maintenance”. Fit/healthy people eat differently than people trying to lose weight.. They don’t realize that weight LOSS is a whole different game compared to weight MAINTENANCE. The rules just aren’t the same! (For example, fit/healthy people can get away with a little orange juice now and then… people trying to lose weight? Not so much. The vitamin C might be good for you, but the hormonal response from that much sugar could block fat-burn for several days!).
Further, “fitness” experts, personal trainers, and others are often unable to comprehend the mental challenges that come with significant weight loss, nor do they understand many of the unique “tricks” you can use to trick your body into burning fat. (Tricks that would be meaningless to someone who’s already at their goal weight). So while the common advice of, “if you want to lose weight, just eat healthy and exercise” is true — it’s MASSIVELY over-simplified, and ignores 80% of what it actually takes!
As if it weren’t enough to have professionals out there who don’t understand their own industry, your friends are probably ALSO making the problem worse. I know when I started to lose weight, my fat/overweight friends came out of the wood-work to offer me lots of terrible tips on how to lose weight. (Does anyone else see the horrible irony in that?). Now we’ve got fit/healthy people handing out bad advice on one end of the spectrum, and overweight people handing out completely different bad advice on the other end of the spectrum.
The answer? Never take advice from someone who hasn’t accomplished what you’re trying to accomplish. This doesn’t just apply to weight loss! It applies to.. well.. everything!