This is another weight-loss myth that’s been perpetuated forever. If you’re trying to lose weight, you need to avoid decadent things like creamy avocados, decadent cashews, olive oil, steak and the like. And it seems totally logical: Stick to boiled chicken breasts and plain lettuce, and you’ll definitely lose weight, right? Wrong! This is a diet myth we love to bust. Depressing diet food actually slows your metabolism.
Food is naturally one of the human body’s greatest pleasures. Take a bite of a delicious food you love, and your adrenal glands start pumping out endorphins (feel-good hormones). This prompts your brain to release serotonin (another feel-good hormone). And that tells the thyroid gland to produce another hormone—to burn fat.
Bonus: while you’re feeling happy and burning fat, your leptin (hunger hormone) levels are sinking. You don’t feel hungry anymore, so you don’t overeat!
Remember, if you eat boring food you hate, none of this happens. You screw up your body’s natural food response. It only works when you truly enjoy your food—without guilt. That’s important. If you sink your teeth into a luscious Valentine’s chocolate and then immediately think, “Oh, no! I just blew my diet!” and then stress about it for the rest of the day, your body gets too busy cranking out stress hormones to produce any of those lovely fat-burning hormones—the ones you really need to burn off that chocolate.
Stoke your metabolism with healthy foods you love—lush fresh fruits, juicy steaks, spicy guacamole—and it will be ready and raring to burn up anything you throw at it (yes, even the occasional dessert). So relax, enjoy what you eat, and build a naturally fast metabolism to take care of the rest.
While we’re at it, here’s another myth: To lose weight you need to eat less.
So how do you get that fast metabolism? I’m addressing that in my forthcoming book The Fast Metabolism Diet, but here’s a hint: You need to stop eating processed foods and sugar and fall in love with food again. Stay tuned!