Fat loss advice is so common (and contentious) right now. There are so many competing opinions everywhere you look - so in this post I want to focus on what gets results long-term instead of focusing on the latest diet trend or supposed magical fat loss product. Especially since there is no magical fat loss product! Trust me. I wish there were such a thing!
I respect my readers too much to make an empty promise or try to sell you on something that doesn’t work. I could make a lot of money doing just that but I won't do it.
Instead let's tackle the top fat loss myths I come across in my practice.
Myth #1: Calories make you fat - so drastically cutting calories is the key to fat loss.
First of all - taking a drastic measure isn't healthy and it's not sustainable. If something isn't sustainable - even if some fat loss occurs it's not going to last.
Second of all - calories DO matter. I'm not arguing with that specifically. If you eat and absorb a ton more calories than you use - you WILL store some for later.
When it comes to sustainable fat loss - let's ask these questions instead:
WHY do people eat more calories than they really need?
WHY do people overeat?
Well it usually isn't because they're hungry! People tend to eat too much but because they feel sad, lonely, bored, overwhelmed, tired or stressed. Or maybe even because they're happy and celebrating! All of these feelings interact with our gastrointestinal, nervous, and hormonal systems which end up influencing our calorie intake.
So understanding WHY we are consuming more calories than we need is actually more important than drastically cutting calories when it comes to sustainable fat loss!
Myth: If you want to lose body fat all you need to do is “Eat less move more”.
People have been saying this for years.
The premise of this is based on Myth #1 - that calories are evvvvvvverything when it comes to fat loss. If you use more calories (in movement or exercise) than you eat - you'll lose body fat.
Wouldn't it be nice if human physiology was as easy as a simple math equation?
Even if people could happily and sustainably follow this advice - it completely negates other factors that contribute to weight problems such as the things I mentioned earlier in addition to our genetics, health conditions, and even our exposure different environmental compounds!
Myth #3: A calorie is a calorie.
I'm so happy that people are becoming more "macro aware". "Macro awareness" is one of the things I teach to my My Hot Body Project group coaching clients.
Macro is short for macronutrients. The big three macronutrients are carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
Science has confirmed that there is a “thermic effect of food” (TEF) meaning that there is a slight increase to your metabolism when you eat! It's also been confirmed that not all macronutrients are equal when it comes to this phenomenon.
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 is 15–30%; and the TEF for carbohydrates = 5–10%.
This is one of the reasons why I emphasize protein with clients seeking fat loss.
When it comes to dietary fats - it's important to know that all fats aren't metabolized the same.
For instance, Medium chain triglycerides (fats) (MCTs) have the same 9 calories/gram that other fats do - but since they're metabolized by the liver before getting into the bloodstream - they aren't utilized or stored the same way as other fats!
According to Examine.com: MCTs "are found primarily in coconut oil, palm kernel oil, and dairy fat, and they appear to benefit fat loss to a minor extent when consumed in place of other dietary fat."
Don't get it twisted though. This does NOT mean that coconut oil, palm kernel oil, and dairy fats will magically make you lose body fat! The MCTs in these foods benefit fat loss to a minor extent. Eating coconut oil by the spoonfuls will not make you lose body fat. See Myth #4.
Myth #4: Buy ______________ (supplement/tea/food/magic potion) to lose body fat.
There is no magic pill for fat loss. There is no supplement, tea, food, or other lotion or potion that will magically melt away body fat.
If a product sounds too good to be true - it is.
Marketers know that anything promising fat loss will sell. According to PR Newswire, the U.S. weight loss market is worth $66 Billion dollars! And that's just in the U.S.!
So what is the key to sustainable fat loss?
The real magic is in adopting a sustainable, holistic and healthy lifestyle. A lifestyle makeover for the long-haul is what works, not a product that says it works. ;-)