As a Dietitian and Nutritionist, I work with many clients who want to know how to lose weight to some extent or another and this has led to me having a lot of experience in this area over the years.
However, another less known fact is that I myself have worked on my own physique over the years which included having fat loss goals - starting from before I even become a Dietitian.
With this came wins AND mistakes that I made along the way which enables me to provide a unique insight as a health professional and fellow “dieter”.
That is why today I want to share what I wish I knew earlier about fat loss so that I can help you avoid the same mistakes and stop believing some of the misinformation spreading around the web.
In today’s blog, I reveal 4 things I wish I knew earlier when it came to my fat loss journey so that I can help you take more informed action for your own weight loss goal/s.
Due to the ever growing popularity of fat loss in the nutrition space and among most dieters, there is bound to be a lot of advice thrown around. The unfortunate truth is that a lot of this information is bad advice and downright wrong and harmful - leading to poorly implemented fat loss diets.
Therefore, it becomes increasingly confusing and hard to determine what is real and what is myth when it comes to weight loss nutrition strategy and programming. No wonder you feel stuck! I feel you and see it first hand, trust me.
Allow me to help you out by coming to you with the unique perspective and experience of someone who is both professionally qualified in the game of nutrition and as someone who has personally worked on a few fat loss phases myself (on myself!).
Allow me to help you learn from some of my prior mistakes of days past. Without further ado, let class commence now!
#1: You Don’t Have To Cut Out Your Favourite Foods To Lose Weight
The truth is that the vast majority of people’s favourite foods are the type of food that is deemed by dieting culture and society to be “bad” or “unhealthy”. Therefore, a lot of the time you will hear that you need to avoid those foods in order to actually lose weight.
One of the biggest misconceptions in the fat loss space is the notion that you need to only eat wholefoods and eat ‘clean’ to achieve good results. This is incorrect and misleading.
There are no “good” vs “bad” foods. Only bad diets and lack of strategy.
Food is food: some you should eat more of and more freely and others you need to be a bit more mindful, moderating, and strategic with but they can all fit at the end of the day!
So no you don’t have to cut out the foods you love to lose weight. You just need to make them fit your calorically managed nutrition plan and maintain a balance of quantity and quantity.
#2: It Doesn’t Matter What Time Of The Day You Eat
Meal timing has gotten significant buzz and attention in the past few years, especially with the increasing popularity and emergence of intermittent fasting. You will hear advice such as: “You can’t eat after XYZ time”, “You need to start eating at XYZ O’Clock!”, or “Eating smaller meals more frequently is better than 3 bigger meals”.
Sound familiar? Not surprised.
The truth is that meal timing has very minimal bearing when it comes to determining the extent of fat loss you can achieve as your total daily calories will fundamentally determine how influential meal timing is in a given situation.
Can meal timing be used strategically and have some purpose? Sure! Typically only for specific individuals for a specific purpose - but this does not directly relate to fat loss results or determine the level of losses that can occur.
As long as you eat enough meals to hit your nutritional targets, eat at times that suit you and promote recovery and fuelling, don’t eat at times that impede sleep or wellbeing, and eat the right amount of calories…then you are a-okay when it comes to losing bodyfat.
#3: High Carb Diets Are Not More Fattening
I’m going to keep this section short and sweet because I feel I have debunked this one to death by this point.
Carbs have gotten a bad rep in the past decade or so with the crappy insulin obesity model doing rounds of social media, unqualified people touting the harm of carbs and promoting keto and low carb diets like they are sensu beans, and with the association of carbs and “junk foods” always being on people’s minds.
Here’s the blunt truth: carbs are just a macronutrient that has a purpose and provides a benefit when used correctly. Carbs provide calories just like protein and fats and in fact are only as caloric as protein from a “per gram” point of view.
However, carbs don’t lead to weight gain. Excessive calories do.
Yes, eating alot of carbs can be a PART of the puzzle that contributes to a calorie surplus but that doesn’t mean carbs are the reason weight gain occurs. All foods and macros play a part if your calorie strategy is badly optmised in the first place.
So stop fearing carbs, manage your calories, and start following a diet that is not so illogically restrictive and badly informed. Oops, I couldnt keep it as short as I wanted…oh well.
#4: You Can’t Speed Up Your Metabolism (neither with food nor supplements)
“How can I speed up my metabolism?”
The question asked by many a dieter over the years. No wonder you see so many “fat burning” and “metabolism boosting” supplements out there or poorly research food lists online claiming to be metabolically enhancing. It’s an easy sell because it promises an easy quick fix for one’s weight loss struggles and woes.
Unfortunately it’s all B%*!S*#T and leading you down a path of futility because you actually can’t just “boost” your metabolism. It’s not a rocket. It doesn’t work like that.
Your metabolism is largely set and most of it is influenced by your baseline metabolic rate which isn’t easy to change by large amounts in the first place.
So the best thing you can do is aim to reinforce your metabolism, optimise other parts of calorie burn like exercise and incidental activity, and ensure you tweak your calories correctly.
Look on the bright side, no more stressing over boosting your metabolism with no change to show for it and a lighter pocket at that. Now you can use that money on supplements that work or treat yo self to some food faves of yours - in strategic moderation of course.
There you go! Now you know about 4 fat loss truths that can help you level up your efforts and get better results. All 4 of these are the flipsides of bad nutrition advice for fat loss that I have seen time and time again (and once believed myself to some extent or another). So now you also know what beliefs and advice to avoid.
Remember, it’s not only important to know what TO DO…but it is just as vital to understand what NOT TO DO as well. That is why you need to have both sides of the coin revealed to you and understand the bigger picture with nutrition, no matter what your goal may be.
Be informed. Be strategic. Be proactive.
Now go and implement and change things up with what you have learnt here today!
Out of curiosity though….
Are you feeling stuck and struggling with your nutrition game and not seeing fat loss despite all your efforts?
Want a body you feel happier, healthier, and more confident in?
I may be able to be of assistance.
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Brisbane Sports Dietitian & NUtritionist
Hi there! My name's Aleksa Gagic - i'm a Brisbane Sports Dietitian & Brisbane Sports Nutritionist. I have 7+ years experience in providing professional nutrition consulting and want to help you learn about the power of flexible nutrition.