News, Recipes & Workouts — Martha Stewart
Your Weight Problem May Be The Government's FaultEvery day I have people crying out to me in despair saying, “I have always been able to eat this food without gaining weight and now when I eat it I gain 5 pounds immediately." Or “I track everything I eat in XYZ app and yet I still can’t lose belly fat." Trying to find the reasons for this is a little bit harder than it used to be. You may think you’re eating the right way, but you aren’t. It’s getting harder to teach people the “why’s” behind all these dilemmas, and that’s because you have to unlearn pretty much what you’ve been taught about food portions and labels. I had to forget everything I had learned and start fresh. Only then did I begin to lose weight in spite of my slow metabolism.
Because there is so much confusion over what a correct serving size is there is no standard reference point for you to determine what the appropriate amount of food to eat is. Let alone what you should be eating in the first place. Package labels differ so much from brand to brand that you cannot assume that the same amount of low-fat potato chips, say 15 chips per serving, doesn’t change from one brand to the next. Guess what? It does.
You might think that in this day and age labeling and servings would be designed by a more scientific approach. I always assumed that serving sizes are calculated to goals. So if you are trying to lose weight, you should eat this certain amount, but if you are attempting to gain or maintain it would be a different amount. Makes perfect sense that serving sizes should be different when you’re a 6-foot tall 30-year-old man and a 4-foot 9-inch woman who is 55. But how is it that growing children, teens, and people who are active are told to use the same serving sizes that you are when trying to lose weight and shrink your waistline? Have you ever thought of it this way? Shouldn’t serving sizes be a little bit different if you are tall or short or whether you have lots of muscle or very little muscle? Ideally, shouldn’t serving sizes factor in the rate you burn calories, take into account your metabolism’s speed?
I speak from my personal experience and the experiences of all the people I have helped over the years. Every time I tried to follow the food pyramid recommendations put forth by the U.S. government— and, by the way, I was meticulous about serving sizes—I still gained weight. My metabolism is so slow that if I even look at ½ a serving of pasta I gain 5 pounds, yet my 6-foot tall and fairly active husband skips pasta at one meal and loses 10 pounds. (Okay, so that’s a little bit of an exaggeration, but it sure feels like it.) I’m hoping this gets you thinking. You have to be your own detective when it comes to losing weight.
Serving guidelines cannot serve as gospel, but merely as a rough gauge. The scale will show you every time if you’re on the right track. If the scale isn’t moving, you’re still eating too much or eating the wrong foods for your metabolism. It’s often a food you just can’t let go of (a little cream in the coffee, perhaps?) but need to. I urge you to follow my plan. It is guaranteed to work every time. Don’t stop following these principals until you have lost all that fat you have hated for years. Your weight gain (or lack of weight loss) is not all your fault. Serving sizes (food choices, too) are mostly to blame.
Take away—follow the metabolic boosting plan and you're guaranteed to lose 1 pound a day. If you're not, you're eating too much. It's that simple. It works when you work it!
The Martha Stewart Show: Toning Exercises with Lisa Lynn
The Martha Stewart Show, July 2008
(click the image to watch the segment)