7 Self-Sabotaging Fat Loss Lies

JJ scales danishWe’ve all heard them, and maybe we’ve employed a few ourselves.

You know the usual suspects like “I’ll start Monday.” (Usually said before a weekend deep-dish pizza dive followed by some gooey chocolate confection or during a guilt-plagued Sunday night.)

While they often start out as logical, innocuous thoughts, these and other lies stall fat loss and inhibit us from reaching our full potential.

I recently read a great blog discussing the top self-perpetuated fat loss lies, so I decided to have a little fun and brainstorm some myself. Any of these sound familiar?


“I workout rigorously so I metabolize sugar better than other people.”

I heard this often working at my gym. True, more muscle cells mean more glucose uptake, but if you’re binging on junk food some of that sugar is going to convert to fat, since your muscles can only store so much as glycogen.

Besides, most junk foods contain high-fructose corn syrup or fructose, a particular damaging sugar that doesn’t go anywhere near your muscle cells. Instead, fructose heads to your liver, creating inflammation and eventually converting to triglycerides (fat).

So yes, if you lift heavy or regularly do burst training, you can probably get away with a little more sugar, but that isn’t license to nose dive into a box of glazed donuts.

“I do intermittent fasting and so I can eat whatever I want during my ‘feeding phase’.”

You’ve diligently fasted for hours or even days, and a ravenous aftermath means you’ll devour anything within eyesight.

Stop. Take a deep breath and put that into perspective. (Hard to do if you’re starving, but try.)

Binging after fasting can create or exacerbate food intolerances, skyrocket blood sugar levels, and even contribute to eating disorders. It’s a surefire way to guarantee intermittent fasting doesn’t work.

“I eat healthy all week so I can splurge on the weekends.”

Sorry, but your body is a biochemistry lab, not a bank account. You can’t “save” calories and spend them elsewhere. It doesn’t work like that. Hormones, not calories, run the show for fat loss. Keep insulin elevated with those weekend splurges provides the perfect way to lock your fat-cell doors.

“A couple of bites won’t derail my plan.”

If I had a dime every time someone said “I’ll eat a few bites of that” and next thing they know, they’ve devoured the whole container, I could retire on some exotic far-away island that only grows organic food and hire several cabana boys to serve me pinot noir.

“A couple of bites” often become a slippery slope for hunger, food intolerances, cravings, and weight loss resistance. Even healthy foods can become unhealthy if you over-indulge (looking at you, almond butter), so know your enemy and steer clear of temptation.

“If I take a bunch of supplements, I’ll get the nutrients I’m missing in this processed food.”

I’m a big fan of supplements, and I recommend everyone use my Virgin Diet Daily Essentials to fill in any nutrient gaps in your diet. Just don’t think supplements can replace nutrient-rich whole foods or the damage that processed foods can create in your body. Supplements are designed to – well, supplement, not replace, nutrients you get in food.

“That packet of cookies is only 100 calories so I won’t ruin my diet.”

Remember what I said earlier: Hormones, not calories, are the big player in fat loss. Raise your blood sugar with sugary processed foods and you increase insulin, which not only stores fat but blocks that fat from being burned. Besides, you’re probably going to eat more than one of those tiny packs.

“I’ll skip breakfast to save calories.”

With the fast convenience of The Virgin Diet All-in-One Shake, none of my readers would do this, but I still encounter people with this mindset.

The truth is skipping breakfast is setting yourself up for an all-day blood sugar roller coaster, leading to hunger, cravings, and crankiness. Plus you’re going to make up those calories – probably more – throughout the day.

My fast, filling solution is a Virgin Diet Shake. Blend The Virgin Diet All-in-One Shake with avocado, frozen raspberries, kale or other leafy greens, freshly ground flax seeds, and unsweetened coconut or almond milk for a fat-burning breakfast that takes minutes to make but keeps you full for hours.

What’s Your Self-Sabotaging Fat Loss Lie?

I’ve heard some pretty clever excuses over my nearly three decades as a celebrity fitness and nutrition expert. Using the right logic, you can justify nearly anything, yet the repercussions often backfire on your waistline.

What fat loss lie held you back from your goals, and how did you overcome allowing it to sabotage your success? Share your thoughts below or on my Facebook fan page.

© 2014 JJ Virgin & Associates, Inc. Celebrity Nutrition & Fitness Expert JJ Virgin helps clients lose weight fast by breaking free from food intolerances. She is author of New York Times Bestsellers The Virgin Diet: Drop 7 Foods, Lose 7 Pounds, Just 7 Days and The Virgin Diet Cookbook: 150 Easy and Delicious Recipes to Lose Weight and Feel Better Fast. JJ is also bestselling author of Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sexy, a Huffington Post blogger, creator of the 4X4 Burst Training Workout, and co-star of TLC’s Freaky Eaters. Learn more at www.jjvirgin.com.

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  1. Roberto says:

    J.J. thanks so much for sharing , regarding your “I’ll skip breakfast to save calories” , I take it then that you’re not a big fan of intermittent fasting ? there is a lot of buzz around it, and some paleo enthusiasts and movement leaders promote it actively ( Brad Pilon, Dr. Mercola, Abel James, etc. ) .. I personally do it 2 or 3 times a week, as I “run on fat” and not on glucose at this point for the most part, and I have enough with a coffee with coconut milk or a hibiscus tea in the morning , eat a filling ( non high carb ) lunch at about 1-2pm with clean protein and lots of veggies, and a small dinner or a veggie smoothie in the evening with no problem or cravings .. I know every person is different and for some it may work and for some it may not.. very interested in your thoughts as you’re a respected thought leader in the community

  2. I weigh 234. 2 pounds this week I have lost about £ 6 for the diet of half starving after overeating. I’ve been doing this since the start stop dieting since Christmas so here I put myself a challenge to keep my diet for 12 weeks and followed to the letter, no matter what. I wanted to keep a diary of this because I maintain accounts to something and keeps track of my progress.
    Tomorrow morning I will start with the meal replacement diet ante. I will follow the plan without deviation.

    • JJ Virgin JJ Virgin says:

      Everyone should keep a journal to keep track of everything. I suggest you get my book and stick to it.

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