Updated: Jul 1
Lets talk about the world of nutrition and how it is full of disagreements between the scientific community and lack of similarity between media reports which are driven by promotions and marketing.
In this day and age, there seems to be some new dieting trend that promises people that they will lose unwanted fat, inches or pounds. Social media reports a miracle process one week, the next its put down for some crazy reason and a huge part of this confusion comes from the relationship between the science and media that report on it. Some people want to educate the world and some just want to make money out of the world.
Anyways. Lets get straight to myth busting...
Myth #1- High Protein / Low Carbs Diet
This is a popular diet that a lot of people follow. Even I am responsible for following this diet. How ironic that I am saying it's a myth when it actually worked for me. Lets look at why it worked for me. Scientists suggest that several mechanisms may be responsible for the weight loss seen in low carbohydrate diets:
The severe restriction of carbohydrate depletes glycogen (which is stored carbohydrate) supply leading to excretion of bound water
The ketogenic nature (hence ketogenic diet) of the diet may suppress appetite leading to reduced caloric intake. I know for a fact after a week or two of high protein low carb diet, my appetite definitely dropped and because I wasn't eating as much while working out, I was definitely on a calorie deficit.
The self selection from limited food intake may lead to a decrease in caloric intake.
What am I really trying to say here? This type of diet may work for some people but take it from me, I have severely reduced my carbohydrate intake and believe me that is not the way to live life. The acceptable macronutrient distribution range for carbohydrate is 45% - 65% your total caloric intake. Reducing your carbohydrate intake severely is just punishment. In order to lose weight, you need to be on a calorie deficit. You don't have to be on a low carb diet to lose weight as any reduction in calorie intake below daily expenditure will induce weight loss.
Myth # 2 - Carbs is bad for you ...
Popular media has twisted research around making carbs a bad word based on the argument that carbohydrate stimulate insulin release and insulin stores fat therefore, eating carbs makes you fat. This is the message that the media is promoting hence you find a lot of people doing the ketogenic diet. I like to encourage my clients to have the recommended amount of carbs while taking in the required amount of calories for weight loss or gain.
I believe an education in insulin and glucagon and a brief discussion of their roles will help nullify some of the myths and give people some clarity about any dietary implications.
Notes: The primary role of insulin is the transport of glucose from the bloodstream to the muscle and fat cells. It is a hormone produced by cells in the pancreas of a healthy individual in response to increased blood glucose.
Glucagon is the hormone that is secreted by cells in the pancreas in response to low blood glucose. Insulin and Glucagon helps to accomplish homeostasis of blood glucose.
To conclude, the body needs carbs, fats and protein to function properly and the focus should be on selecting the best choices from group not severely eliminating any single one.
Myth 3 - The more you cut out calories, the
more weight you will lose...
Well yes and no. Let me explain - An energy deficit must be created for weight loss to occur. However, I don't recommend an energy intake of any lower than 1,000 to 1,200 and honestly even that may be too low for an active or heavier person. So don't cut your calories too low thinking you will lose weight. Trust me it will only make more tired and not feeling fully energised.
My advice in this instance is to take in the energy that your body requires multiply by your physical activity level. Maintain a deficit of that through increased physical activities and you will achieve your weight loss goal.
Well, there you have it! I hope this blog has been useful and you have learned something here. Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions you have.
Stay safe and stay strong.