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Weight loss myths debunked


Summer is just around the corner and it’s that time to start parading around in swimwear. For many, coming out of the winter slump and feeling confident for the beach, is a scary thought. Well it’s time to get cracking and beast-ing that body back into shape. When it comes to creating the right weight loss plan, from a nutrition perspective, jumping on the internet and getting some advice seems like a good place to start, but caution should be advised. The internet, along with the gym floor is fraught with nonsensical advice, hearsay and myths that could cost you more time and effort.

Let Maximuscle guide you through some of the typical myths to avoid and set you up for a confident summer in budgie smugglers. 

MYTH - Stop eating carbohydrate 

As with any nutrient, we can all eat too much of anything and, without doubt, your portion sizes need to be kept in check. Your dietary carbohydrate load should be in balance with your intended goal and your exercising demand. Carbohydrate is the body’s fuel of choice and helps to fend off infection and maintain health. It’s true that not all carbs are equal, and you should fill your diet with the starchy, low glycaemic sources, such as brown rice, sweet potato and fruit. Rather than the simple sugars and free sugar added to biscuits, chocolate and cakes.

It is worth noting that reducing your carbohydrate intake, especially when its so easy to over eat on carbs, will help you lose weight and potentially increase fat utilisation. But, carbs are not the enemy, eating too much is problem. Scientific evidence has proven that eating little and often is the most sensible approach to weight loss and has also shown to be an effective way of avoiding weigh regain. 

MYTH – It’s all about exercise 

If you exercise in the right way and for long enough, you can eat whatever you want. Wrong! Often the perception of health is taken by looking at people on the outside, rather than looking on the inside. The fittest looking people may be some of the unhealthiest. Certainly, when trying to lose weight, the most successful, long term, sustainable approach is achieved when combining a healthy exercise regime, with a calorie restricted balanced diet. Don’t be fooled though, what we are not saying is that you need to be hitting the gym every day for hours on end. It’s about finding the right balance for you and then building on it. Lifestyle choices, family, work, time, enjoyment, stress are all factors that should be considered when building your plan.


MYTH – A calorie is a calorie 

In part this is true. Energy in a food sense is determined in calories, and yes 1 calorie equals 1 calorie, irrespective of where that calorie comes from. What does differ however, and changes this fact to a myth, is how we process these calories. For example, sucrose, or table sugar is converted into its diassachride form of glucose and fructose. Glucose in the body is an energy form that causes a rise in blood sugar (glucose) levels which in turn promotes insulin release to assist in the metabolism and transportation of the energy into the cells to be utilised. From an energy perspective, 1 gram of carbohydrate equals 4 kcal of energy, however the same is true for protein, but the manner in which protein is processed and utilised is very different to the journey described for glucose. 

MYTH – Diet food choices are the best

Many make food choices based on the perceived benefits, for example, choosing low-fat foods as a better dietary alternative. However, many of the low-fat or low sugar options are, far and away, highly processed alternatives, which may actually cause more harm than good. Making the right food choices when trying to lose weight is a fine balance between the macronutrients and the total calorie consumption. Try to make natural choices over high processed foods.

It may well be true that swapping sugar for sugar substitutes helps to limit dietary free/added sugar and the negative insulin resistance this may trigger. And yes, it’s hard to conclusively tarnish sweetener consumption with a carcinogenic brush as previously suggested, but latest research has shown that sweetener consumption may well compromise gut health and consequently increase rather than decrease body mass in the long term. This certainly sounds logical, by the fact that sweetener consumption has increased significantly over the last 10 years, but with it has the global obesity epidemic.


MYTH – Avoid fat at all costs 

There has definitely been a fat revolution, and about time to. Many more studies are concentrating their efforts on free sugar than the previously down trodden macronutrient, that is fat. Being the most calorie dense of the macronutrients, containing 9 kcal of energy for every gram. Your dietary fat consumption definitely needs to be kept in check. But fat shouldn’t be avoided. Fat is an essential part of the human healthy diet and at least 15% of the overall diet should come from fat. Ideally limiting the saturated food choices and increasing the polyunsaturated ‘good fats’, the essential fatty acids. Increasing your omega 3’s from oily fish and flaxseeds.

Hopefully by debunking these top five weight loss myths, will help you formulate an achievable plan to get you on the way to a summer body. Energy in versus energy out, is always a good place to start but finishing there is setting yourself up for failure. Eating the right foods, in the right quantities, at the right time, should also become part of your plan. For further information and to get things started, take a look at our lean definition meal plan.