5 Things The Diet Industry Has Got Wrong About Losing Weight
While a lot of common myths about losing weight or getting in shape are slowly being debunked, there are still a lot of things the diet and weight loss industry continually get wrong regarding the best, most effective and healthiest way to lose fat, gain shape, health and vitality. The reason for continually remaining in the dark regarding these factors is largely unclear. However, it's almost certainly in part due to the lack of communication between fitness professionals with proper know-how and the scientists, dieticians and medical practitioners working in the diet and weight loss industry. Unfortunately, they seem to prefer doing research in labs and accumulating qualifications, rather than simply asking successful coaches and trainers about what's best. Below are the 5 things that are most commonly mistaken as fact, and therefore distort and prevent real progress in Fat Loss and Health.
1. Weight Loss Means Fat Loss
The wrong terminology in any field can be both damaging and misleading. 'Weight loss' is simply not the same as 'Fat loss.' The body is made up of many different kinds of tissue, and only one of them is body Fat. Depending on what is eaten and in what amounts, weight loss can come from almost any tissue, not just Fat. Some of these tissues are extremely valuable for health, vitality and body shape - like muscle. Losing muscle is like taking logs off a fire on a cold night. It totally defeats the point. Muscle is metabolically expensive tissue - the more one has the higher the potential Fat loss. The trouble with the diet industry is that it almost always ignores the vital differential between body tissues. Water weight loss will also occur in practically every diet, mostly in the beginning stages, and it will influence body weight in different ways long term. Trained muscles for example hold more water, so this will offset body weight changes significantly.
2. The Scale Tells You What You Look Like
Numbers tend to be obsessed over while on a Fat loss journey. Numbers are continually flashed at would-be participants in weight loss programs and conventions; Lose 20lbs in one month, shed x pounds fast, get slim quick - and so on. While stepping on the scale and seeing a favourable number might make someone happy, an unfavourable number might not - regardless of their physical appearance. There's something very wrong about this. More often than not someone who wishes to lose body Fat actually just wants to feel and look good, but instead they outsource that emotion to a number on a scale. It makes no sense. Very occasionally people desire results that only a total body recomposition will provide, which involves losing body fat and gaining muscle. Because of the tissue exchange ratio in favour of muscle, body weight long term may not actually change very much - but the trainee looks and feels like an entirely new person. Once someone looks and feels great, they don't care what the scale says anymore.
3. All Calories Are Created Equal
This one sounds like a broken record, but sadly people still drill on about 'calories in versus calories out' as if they are some kind of enlightened diet guru. If this approach worked, then everyone would be in top shape. Unfortunately, as much as we'd like to believe it, Human beings are not robots. We possess very little objective measuring tools and are our own self contained chemical factories with a near infinite amount of variables working in an extremely delicate balance. The Calorie is an objective measuring unit. It's a word Humans made up to help define the amount of energy released from food when it's set on fire (literally). Thankfully for us, there's no actual fire in our guts or in our Fat cells, and we have zero calorie receptors in our stomachs. When we eat food, our body doesn't register calories, it registers Protein, Fat, Carbohydrate, Volume and Fibre content. Each receptor sets off its own cascade of chemical reactions depending on what it has registered. Protein, Fat and Carbohydrate all solicit different reactions in the body, some good for fat loss, others not so good. This is one reason why macro counting is vastly more effective than calorie counting.
4. Eating Fat Makes You Fat
This one has trainers and coaches baffled everywhere, not only because of the overwhelming amount of evidence disproving it, but because how clear the science of Human biology is on this subject. Simply put, Body Fat is stored by Insulin - a nutrient transportation hormone that is not stimulated at all by dietary Fat. Only Carbohydrate and Protein stimulate Insulin. So why the blind statement? Because Fat is calorically dense (9 calories per gram), it's been named the main culprit for increasing energy intake within the diet and therefore the demonised contributor of Fat gain - and thus a hinderance to Fat loss. Nothing can be more misleading then this over simplified hypothesis. The only way Fat can be stored as body Fat is if there's been a prolonged Insulin spike caused by excessive consumption of Carbohydrate (or very high Protein). So it's not dietary Fat that's the problem, but foods high in both Fat and Carbohydrate which causes an elevated Fat storing environment in the body. Therefore, Fat does not need to be reduced significantly for Fat loss, but prioritising the reduction in Carbohydrate will help the process immensely.
5. There Are Specific Fat Burning Foods
This goes for fit teas and juice cleanses as well. While fit teas and juice cleanses may help you reduce body weight, it's mainly in the form of either dehydration or by cleansing the bowel of undigested rubbish (best not to eat the rubbish in the first place), rather than actual body Fat. The best way to aid Fat loss via food choice is to choose foods that have a lower net gain in energy compared with others (Vegetables) or that increase thermogenesis during digestion (lean Animal Protein sources). There are no foods worth eating that have a net loss of energy (less energy absorbed than it took to digest), so any claims that a specific food can reduce body Fat are just plain wrong. The body needs nutrients in order to thrive as well as burn Fat, plus a net gain in energy - that's how food works. Any deviation from this principle means that one is not actually eating food, and the body will suffer greatly from the lack of energy and nutrients.
Are there any more factors the diet industry has got wrong?! Let us know!
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