Weight loss advice is so common (and contentious) now. There are competing opinions everywhere.
And as my expertise is to help people break through weight loss resistance, which is a real condition that takes time, energy, and patience to overcome, it INFURIATES me to see people promoting crash diets, quick fixes, and supplement miracles, and even [more] people falling into the traps of these false promises.
There are too many weight loss myths out there. Let’s tackle the top ones I come across in my practice.
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 a ton more than you use, then your body’s wisdom will store some for later. Calories matter.
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.
Moreover, your metabolic rate will greatly influence how much of the foods eaten, absorbed, and digested will be used effectively as energy or stored as fat for later use. A suboptimal metabolism, often a consequence of hormonal imbalances caused by unhealthy nutrition and lifestyle habits, will result in more Calories being stored than used.
Myth: “Eat less move more” is good advice
Well, then we're all in tip-top shape, right? Because people have been doling out this advice (myth) for years.
The premise of this is based on the above myth that calories in minus calories out equals your weight. So, 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 our body are dealing with or our exposure to compounds that are "obesogenic”.
Moreover, if you stop for a minute and think about this advice: eating less and exercising more, you might come to realize that staying in this situation for an extended period of time, say more than 2-3 months, will be stressful for the body therefore taxing the adrenal glands by the constant release of cortisol, as well as slowing down your metabolism by down-regulating the thyroid gland to adjust to the new standard: spending more energy than is available, constantly, day after day.
Myth: A calorie is a calorie
Can we please put this one to bed already?
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 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 (fats) (MCTs) 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.
Repeat after me: a Calorie is not a calorie! #acalorieisnotacalorie
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 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 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.
Not to mention that these supplements are dangerous. They create changes in the body that can have lasting consequences, for example, causing hormonal imbalances, that will take even more time to reverse and render the weight loss even more difficult to achieve.
Believe me, it is not worth it!
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 good advice.
A calorie is a calorie.
Buy this supplement/tea/food/magic potion to lose weight.
When it comes to weight loss, a sustainable approach that emphasizes implementing healthy nutrition and lifestyle habits is the only way to win over time. Your strategy should focus on restoring hormonal imbalances and reviving your metabolism, which will lead to an optimal body composition that will last and be easy to maintain.
If you need help in this process, consider joining the Reset Program!