When it comes to fat loss and fat loss nutrition specifically, there is a lot of misinformation and wrong advice being thrown around which makes the whole thing harder and more confusing.
The truth is that fat loss follows a set of rules governed by science and thermodynamics as well as being interconnected with behaviour change, mindset, and individual variables.
Nonetheless, the amount of lies around fat loss compels me to share the list of common fat loss lies you need to be aware of. This is only reinforced by the popular desire to discover the faster way to fat loss success - that breeds quick fixes and ineffective shortcuts.
In today’s blog, I share with you 7 common fat loss lies that you need to stop believing as soon as possible - if you want to truly have the best diet plan for weight loss.
The fundamentals of fat loss are crucial to understood before we delve into the myths and lies perpetuated by the fake news of the nutrition world. Understanding the foundational truth allows for context and understanding of the matter….plus a recap can’t hurt just to refresh your knowledge or in case this is all new to you.
To achieve fat loss (the specific goal from the overarching result of ‘weight loss’), you need to be in what is called a Calorie Deficit (CLICK HERE to read about calories deficits and the 4 signs you look for).
Think of your calorie balance as having 3 distinct zones - a deficit zone, surplus zone, and the maintenance zone. The calorie deficit zone is where you are eating less than you “burn” and use by your body, leading to a reduction in weight over time (aka how you achieve fat loss).
However, fat loss and the thermodynamics of body composition change are dynamic and multifactorial. Therefore, there are nuances and strategies as well as best practices that can help you on your path to achieving the physique you want.
The flipside of this is that there is the opposite side of the coin - the B.S. and misinformation.
That is what we are addressing today!
Let class commence now.
THE FAT LOSS LIES!
Lie #1: Carbs Make You Fat
If there is one fat loss lie to rule them all, it is the notion that carbs are somehow inherently fattening and the biggest cause of obesity. This is one I wish I could personally throw into the fires of Mount Doom and destroy.
Here is the real talk.
Carbs are simply 1 of 3 macronutrients that make up our food supply. Alongside protein and fats, carbohydrates serve a specific purpose and are found in a variety of different foods.
While carbs do have calories and contribute to your total caloric balance, they themselves are just a pillar of the nutrition ecosystem and not the fundamental determining factor of weight loss or gain. Calories in, calories out determines if you gain weight or lose weight - hence the mention of calorie deficits earlier.
Carbs are a primary fuel source for the body. We should be happily consuming carbs and ensuring we do so with strategy and intent based on our own unique needs and goals. Not viliyfing it when it’s eating too many calories in general (from all macros!) that can make you “fat”.
Not to mention the fact carbs are found in some of the most delicious foods and make the soul happy.
Lie #2: You Need To Do Fasting
Intermittent Fasting and fasting in general, has risen the ranks of the nutrition world in recent years and become ever so popular. With that popularity has come the association made between fasting and alluding to it’s “body fat busting properties”.
Well this isn’t quite true, unfortunately. I wish I could say it was a way to streamline to a faster way to fat loss…I just can’t.
The strategy of Intermittent Fasting is a classic example of a diet tool that needs to be used for the right person, at the right time, for the right reason, to achieve a specific outcome or result as part of an overarching plan of action.
It is not a fool proof, cheat code for fat loss or better health. Those kinds of things don’t exist in the real world, especially not for things as complex as the human body. There has been a lot of attention placed on fasting in pushing the narrative that it’s the fastest way to lose weight.
Fasting could technically make it easier to be in a calorie deficit and cut calories in general (in theory at least) because you suppress the window of opportunity to eat. However, it doesn’t negate the need for a calorie deficit - and trust me you can still eat a calorie surplus while fasting!
So in the end it becomes a case of “it technically isn’t necessary to do to achieve fat loss”. And that is why it is one of the 7 lies.
Lie #3: You Need To Eat “Clean”
Oh clean eating, how I hate thou!
Clean eating is another popular term in the dieting space and a go to recommendation for guru’s who like to label food as “good” and “bad”. The notion is that you eat clean by avoiding foods deemed unhealthy - such as junk foods, treats, processed foods, and foods that don’t occur naturally.
However, the fact of the matter is that there is really no good or bad foods in any practical sense. There is only a good vs bad diet - the diet being the overarching framework and lifestyle of which you live day in, day out.
Now you may be thinking that this is all borderline semantics and that eating a diet rich in mostly wholefoods is always going to serve us better than discretionary foods. You are correct and I agree. The issue is the complete dichotomy created with food because while our diets should be mostly from healthy foods, that doesn’t make it a bad thing to enjoy others with moderation and strategic consideration.
As for the link with fat loss, that comes back to the fundamental reality that you will lose weight regardless of what you eat if you maintain an effective calorie deficit. So this means that you do not need to be eating clean to achieve fat loss.
And considering how much more sustainable a diet is when it is flexible and allows for all foods to fit…you can see quickly why I use flexible nutrition with clients and hate clean eating as a tool for most people.
Lie #4: Calorie Counting Doesn’t Wor
Let’s keep this simple. Calorie counting is merely a tool which we can use to ensure we manage our calories more intentionally and ensure we stick to our calorie target.
Therefore, in of itself there is no way it doesn’t work because for it to not work would mean that calories in and calories out as a foundational principle of nutrition and body compsoiton would be made redundant and untrue.
Calorie counting works as well as the person using the strategy implements it. If you do it correctly and actually get into the right calorie range, you will see results. If you don’t do it correctly and/or you haven’t yet found your true calorie target (which is seldom the same as some online calculator you probably used), you will think it doesn’t work.
Calorie counting works. Plain and simple. What may not be working is your calorie adherence.
Lie #5: There Is Such A Thing As The Best Fat Loss Diet
If there is one holy grail most dieters search for, it is the best diet for fat loss. Yet it has always eluded them. I’ve been asked many a times things such as: "what's the best diet plan for weight loss?" Or "tell me the best weight loss program I can try out!"
The answer is always the same from my end…
There is NO best fat loss diet.
It doesn’t even exist.
There is only the best diet for YOU. The one that suits you and your lifestyle and that you can ultimately sustain for a period of time. Then beyond that you ensure this diet is made into a calorie deficit diet through calorie manipulation.
So to keep a long story short and not a short story long…there is no such thing as a best fat loss diet. So the notion there is one is a big fat (loss) lie!
Lie #6: Fat Burners Work
Fat burners don’t work.
I could honestly just leave it there as there is not much more to say that that fat burners working is a lie because they simply don’t.
However I will explain a bit more for you. Essentially fat burners have been proposed as a way to boost metabolism and your basal metabolic rate through the use a particular thermogenic ingredients.
The issue is that even if or when these effects take place, they are transient and uper temporary at best. Which means that from a practical sense, the effect is negligible and therefore not worth the money. It will not create a quick weight loss diet plan for you.
Want to lose weight? Want the best fat burner?
Stick to a got dam calorie defict!
Lie #7: You Can Boost Your Metabolism
“Bro you can boost your metabolism by eating this bro” - Some guru, most definitely.
Many a dieter has hit their head against the wall in the search for a surefire way to boost their metabolism and make the process of losing bodyfat all that more easy and streamlined.
If you are one such dieter, then time for you to come to the realisation that you can not boost your metabolism like it’s some kind of rocket. There are no foods or pills or diets or detoxes that can help you suddenly (and magically) level up your metabolism to such a level that it’s practically significant.
What you can do is reinforce your metabolism and keep it healthy or build it up a bit over time (and even that is limited). In addition, it is always good practice to maintain an active lifestyle and look at other ways of increasing your calorie burn - such as incidental activity.
So stop the search for the metabolism boosting hack because there is none. Stick to the fundamentals and build upon it with strategy and long term effort.
There you go. Now you know the 7 fat loss lies that you need to stop believing and stressing over. Time to focus on the right things for the right result.
Fat loss can be simple but it is not necessarily easy or clear. There will be good and bad advice throughout your journey and likely in your day to day from scrolling socials to speaking with those around you.
I hope this list of 7 makes it all smoother sailing going forward because that is now 7 less pieces of garbage nutrition advice you can chuck away and forget. And always remember to seek your nutrition knowledge and insight from a Dietitian.
Now it is time to put your mind to action and start working on your fat loss with a clearer head and more know how!
But…I do want to check with you.
Are you feeling stuck and struggling with your nutrition game?
Not seeing the body you feel happier, healthier, and more confident in?
I may be able to be of assistance.
If you are ready to take your nutrition and body to the next level and elevate your performance in a way that doesn’t make you want to punch your Sports Dietitian, then let’s chat.
I have developed a 90 Day Macro Sherpa program that is a 1:1 nutrition coaching experience to help start bridging the gap between where you are now and where you want to be with your physique & performance.
In this program, I'll personally coach you using my flexible nutrition system to help you harness the power of calories and macro strategy to regain your competitive edge - think of it as a bespoke nutrition solution that empowers you to eat better to achieve better.
Interested in learning more? Then simply email me to chat about this further at: email@example.com to have a chat about this and see if we are a good fit to work together and get you your best results yet.
Or to apply now to see if you are a good fit, simply CLICK HERE and start the process for reaching your peak potential.
Sports Dietitian & Nutritionist in Brisbane
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.