Weight loss advice is so common now – There are competing opinions everywhere.
So, when you decide that you need to get into shape, or clean up your eating, who do you listen to?
I say, forget about who’s right and let’s focus on what’s right, so in today’s post I’m going to be focussing on what gets results.
(Please just remember I’m not trying to make empty promises or sell you something that doesn’t work!)
There are too many weight loss myths out there, so I am going to look into the main ones I get asked about.
Myth: Calories cause weight gain, and fewer calories are the path to weight loss
Calories are important for weight loss. If you eat and absorb loads more than you use, then your body will store some for later.
But, they are not the “be-all and end-all” of weight loss; they’re important, but they’re the symptom, not the cause. Let’s think about the reasons people eat more calories. Let’s focus on the causes.
People eat too many calories, not because they’re hungry, but because they feel sad, lonely, or bored. Or maybe because they’re tired or stressed. Or maybe even because they’re happy and celebrating. And all these feelings interact with our gastrointestinal, nervous and hormonal systems; all of which influence our calorie intake.
Myth: “Eat less move more” is good advice
If this is true, we then we should all be in tip top health, because people have been doing this for years, haven’t they?
The premise of this is based on the above myth that calories in minus calories out equals your weight. So, if you eat fewer calories, and burn off more than you’ve eaten you will lose weight – right? Hmmmm
Even if people can happily and sustainably follow this advice (which they can’t!) it completely negates other factors that contribute to weight problems. Things like the causes of overeating we mentioned above. Not to mention our genetics, health conditions we’re dealing with or our exposure to an ‘obesogenic’ lifestyle (environments that encourage people to not do enough exercise and eat unhealthily).
Myth: A calorie is a calorie
Can we please put this one to bed?!
Science has confirmed some caloric components of food differ from others. For example, the “thermic effect of food” (TEF) is that some nutrients require calories to be metabolized. They can slightly increase your metabolism, just by eating them.
For example, when you metabolize protein you burn more calories than when you metabolize carbohydrates. Proteins and carbohydrates both have 4 calories/gram; but, the TEF of protein = 15–30%; and the TEF for carbohydrates = 5–10%.
Here’s another example of a calorie not being a calorie. Different fats are metabolized differently. Medium chain triglycerides – or MCT’s (fats such as coconut oil, butter and whole milk) have the same 9 calories/gram that other fats do; but, they’re metabolized by the liver before getting into the bloodstream and therefore aren’t utilized or stored the same way as other fats.
So you can begin to see that all calories are different!
Myth: Buy this supplement/tea/food/magic potion to lose weight
There is no magic pill for weight loss. No supplement, tea, food, or other potion will do the trick.
There are products that make these claims, and they’re full of rubbish (or should I say “marketing gold!”). The only thing you will lose is your money (and possibly your hope!). So, please don’t believe this myth. There is a reason most people who lose weight can’t keep it off. The real magic is in adopting a sustainable holistic and healthy approach to living your life. What you need is a long-term lifestyle makeover, not a product.
So, in conclusion -I don’t have to tell you that, weight loss is hard! Of course it is achievable, providing you are willing to put in the hard work and make adjustments to your lifestyle. If you don’t, the weight will just pile back on because we know that diets don’t work. I can help, by sharing the knowledge I have but again it’s your choice whether you would prefer to listen to me or be guided by someone else. I don’t mind! 🙂