Weight loss advice is so common (and contentious) these days. There are competing opinions everywhere.
I say, forget about “who’s right” and let’s focus on “what’s right.” Because what gets results is what I’m focusing on in this post.
I respect you too much to make empty promises and try to sell you on something that doesn’t work. And I respect your time, as I know none of us want to spend it on chasing down ideas and theories that just won’t get you where you want to be.
There are too many weight loss myths out there, so I’m going totackle the top ones I come across most when chatting to people about how best to go about shedding those extra kgs.
Myth 1 – Calories cause weight gain, and eating less calories is the path to weight loss
Calories are important for weight loss. If you eat and absorb a ton more than you use, then your body cottons on and will store some for later. So yes, calories matter.
But, they’re 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 and focus on the causes.
Most people eat too many calories, not because they’re hungry, but because of how they feel. They may feel sad, lonely, or bored. Or maybe because they’re tired or stressed. Or maybe even because they’re happy and celebrating. Emotional eating is a real thing and all these feelings impact not only how much we may eat, but can lead us to make less than desirable food choices. They also interact with our gastrointestinal, nervous and hormonal systems; all of which influence our calorie intake.
Myth 2 – “Eat less, move more” is good advice
Well, then we’re all in tip-top shape, right? Because people have been doleing out this advice (myth) for years.
Now, I’m not saying that moving more is bad advice. In this age when sitting down is “the new smoking”, the more we get moving, the better.
The premise of the above myth is based on the old “calories in, calories out” theory to weight loss. i.e, eat fewer calories, and burn off more calories (because human physiology is a simple math equation, right?).
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 compounds that are “obesogenic.”
It also ignores one of the fundamentals of the human body, which is an amazing beast, in which our body will always look to make changes to how it functions, in order to bring itself back into a state of balance. This is a slightly more complex topic, however in a nut shell, if you restrict the calories your body has access to, it will make systemic changes in order to ensure it’s not over-utilising what’s available. This is the body’s attempt to bring the calories in less calories out equation back to zero. And you find yourself in a metabolic crisis.
Myth 3 – A calorie is a calorie
Can we please put this one to bed already?
Not all calories are created equal
Science has confirmed several caloric components of food differ from others. For example, the “thermic effect of food” (TEF) is that some nutrients require calories to be metabolised. They can slightly increase your metabolism, just by eating them.
For example, when you metabolise protein you burn more calories than when you metabolise carbohydrates. Proteins and carbohydrates both have 4 calories/gram; but, the TEF of protein = 15–30%; and the TEF for carbohydrates = 5–10%. If you want to read more about your metabolism, head over to my here to my blog.
Myth 4 – 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 garbage (or shall 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’s 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. As a first step, why not look at cleaning up your diet, so that the food you’re eating becomes the magic pill.
Weight loss is hard! There are too many people out there trying to make it sound like they have the simple solution (or the latest and greatest!).
Don’t fall for the myths that say:
- Calories cause weight gain, and fewer calories are the path to weight loss.
- “Eat less move more” is goodadvice.
- A calorie is a calorie.
- Buy this supplement/tea/food/magic potion to lose weight.
The right mindset is an extremely important tool to help you be successful in achieving your weight loss goals. Grab my free eBook where you’ll find plenty of tips on how to Master the Mindset of Weight Loss and keep it off this year!