Before describing the seven myths about weight loss we will first look at some core nutritional facts that play a role in how our bodies can gain weight:
- HIGH-glycemic foods spike blood sugar and promote insulin release which converts excess sugars to fat. They also stress the body, increasing cortisol and adrenaline which promote weight gain. LOW-glycemic foods balance blood sugar and provide sustained energy release over several hours.
- Dietary fiber is a carbohydrate found in plant foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It isn’t easily digested so it helps you to feel full without additional calories, plus it balances glucose levels.
- Sugar (fructose + glucose.) Insulin sends glucose into cells to use for fuel. But high fructose corn syrup enters cells unassisted, converts to cholesterol and triglycerides, and causes liver disease and weight gain.
- Hydrogenated oils and trans fats bind to cells, slow fat burn, slow metabolism, increase cholesterol, create insulin resistance, cause weight gain and other health issues.
- Artificial sweeteners stimulate hunger by tricking our tongue receptors and body to think that sugar is on its way. Insulin gets released and this makes you crave sugar to balance the insulin surplus, creating a cycle which leads to weight gain instead of weight loss.
- Eating the daily polymeal has been shown to cool inflammation, reduce heart disease by 75%, and increase life expectancy by seven years, all with no side effects. Daily polymeal ingredients: 4oz wild salmon, 5oz red wine, 3.5oz dark chocolate, 2.5oz almonds, 400g of fruits and vegetables, (i.e., about one pound) and one garlic clove. Talk to Thrive about the significance of combining these foods and modifications.
What Are The Seven Weight Loss Myths?
1. The Starvation Myth
Myth: Eat Less + Exercise More = Weight Loss. Many weight loss programs use this philosophy known as the “Energy Balance” model. It states if we eat less and exercise more, we will lose weight.
Truth: The body interprets calorie restriction as starvation and activates a biochemical cascade designed to make us overeat when we quit dieting. It also places the onus on the individual that if they just worked harder or were more motivated, they’d lose weight.
2. The Calorie Myth
Myth: All calories are created equally. Programs like Weight Watchers promote “a calorie is a calorie,” with each food having a number of points. So by not exceeding daily points, we lose weight.
Truth: It is really calorie type, not amount that affects weight and health. Each macronutrient has different caloric values, functions, and glycemic indexes, all working in a complex metabolic symphony for proper body functions.
3. The Fat Myth
Myth: We’ve been told for 30 years that “fat makes you fat” and we should reduce fat to prevent and treat obesity.
Truth: While we may lose modest body fat, it is only temporary due to biochemical mechanisms that make us regain weight. Fat also tells the brain we’re full so we stop eating. Low fat foods use trans fats, sugars, and salts to replace fat. These ingredients spike our blood sugar and insulin, making us fat.
4. The Carb Myth
Myth: Eating low/no carbs makes you thin. This is based on the glycemic index, a relative ranking of how carbohydrates affect glucose levels. Therefore, by removing carbs, we lose weight.
Truth: Like the Fat Myth, we lose modest and temporary weight by reducing carbohydrates. But we also become deficient in vital nutrients. If we reduce high glycemic foods that spike blood sugar, and increase low glycemic foods that provide sustained energy and stabilize glucose, we will lose weight.
5. Sumo Wrestler Myth
Myth: Skipping meals helps you lose weight. Similar to the Energy Balance model of caloric reduction, this myth says if we skip meals, we lose weight.
Truth: This is the worst thing we could do. We’re usually rushed and leave without eating breakfast, then nibble whatever we can during the day, come home exhausted, overeat because we’re starving, then off to bed. We need to “break the fast” that enabled overnight repair and spread all meals evenly through the day. We also shouldn’t eat within two hours of bed. Otherwise, our growth hormone, which helped us “grow up” into adults, will now help us “grow out” so we gain weight as adults.
6. French Paradox Myth
Myth: The French are thin because they drink wine and eat butter. If we eat the foods they do, we’ll suffer less heart disease and be less obese.
Truth: The French are thinner and healthier because they eat whole, “real” foods, not processed foods with hydrogenated oils or high fructose corn syrup. They help metabolism by eating slowly, spend time with loved ones, appreciate meals, and actively walk.
7. Protector Myth
Myth: Government food policies & food industry regulations protect our health. They would not tell us to eat things if they weren’t healthy for us.
Truth: Government policies don’t generally support good nutrition any more than the food industry does as both of their interests are closely entwined. The Food Pyramid has also significantly contributed to the obesity epidemic, and poor diet will soon overtake smoking as the #1 cause of death
When it comes to weight loss, our problem is that it almost always comes back, typically with a surplus. The reasons for this are complex and deeply rooted in our DNA . Weight loss also requires a balanced metabolism, which taps into the body’s natural calorie burning capabilities. To finally win the game, we must properly fuel the body to trigger safe and steady fat loss that lasts long-term. This is how we achieve sustained weight loss, prevent modern diseases, and feel vibrant again.
Please feel free to reach out to Thrive for more information on safe, effective, and sustainable weight loss strategies. Or feel free to contact us for other nutritional questions you may have.
Reference- Ultrametabolism, Dr. Mark Hyman