Weight loss advice is so common and contentious now. There are competing opinions everywhere. I say, forget about “who is right” and let’s focus on “what is right”. Let us focus on what gets results. I am not going to make any empty promises and try to sell you something that doesn’t work.
There are too many weight loss myths out there. I am going to 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.
Calories – they are not the “be-all and end-all” of weight loss; they are important but, they are 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 are hungry!!! We overeat because we feel sad, lonely, or bored. We eat because we are tired or stressed out. We may even be eating because we are happy and want to celebrate. 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
One year my car died and I decided not to replace it right away. My commute to work suddenly included a 3 mile (minimum) daily walk. Guess how much weight I lost??? NONE.
The premise of this myth is based on the above myth that calories in minus calories out equals your weight. So, eat fewer calories, and burn off more calories. QUESTION -Is human physiology a simple math equation?
Even if people can happily and sustainable follow this advise, 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 are dealing with or our exposure to compounds that are “obesogenic”.
Myth: A calorie is a calorie
Can we please put this one to bed already?
Science has confirmed several caloric components of feed 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 that when you metabolize carbohydrates. Proteins and carbohydrates both have 4 calories/gram; but the TEF of protein = 15-30%;ad the TEF for carbohydrates = 5-10%.
Here is anther 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 are metabolized by the liver before getting into the bloodstream and therefore are not utilized or stored the same way as other fats. #acalorieisnotacalorie
Myth: Buy this supplement/tea/food/magic potion to lose weight
There is not magic pill for wight loss. No supplement, tea, food, or other potion will do the trick.
There are products that make these claims, and thy are full of garbage, they are marking gold. The only thing you will lose is your money and possibly your hope. So, please do not believe this myth. There is a reason most people who lose weight can’t keep it off. The real magic is n adopting a sustainable holistic and healthy approach to living your life. What you need is a long-term lifestyle makeover, not a product.