Weight loss Myths

The health & fitness industry is absolutely saturated with misinformation regarding female fat loss. Women are fed an abundance of misinformation from the media, 'nutritionists' with zero qualifications, and underqualified personal trainers, even more so by social media influencers / YouTubers. Which in my opinion is not ethical, when most of the time they are being paid to promote something they may not believe in nor care about how it affects people.

We are told to drink celery juice every day, carbs are bad for you after 3pm, drink these shakes to lose weight and keep it off and eating fats will make you fat.

Therefore, leaving women and young girls more confused than ever when it comes to fat loss and leading them to a cycle of yo-yo dieting, chronic calorie restriction, excessive cardio, craving, binging and weight regain.

Which is why I wanted to outline the four biggest myths i have come across surrounding female fat loss that I feel you need to know!   

Myth #1 - Cereal is the Healthiest Breakfast Option
Cereal is a processed food product that has been marketed as a healthy breakfast option for women for decades, who remembers the Special-K drop a jean size craze?! Arguably, some breakfast cereals are better than others (especially if you make your own), however as a whole breakfast cereal as a meal, is more often than not, nutritionally empty.

Cereal contains almost zero protein and is commonly very high in sugar and high GI carbohydrates, giving you an initial burst of energy but will soon after have you feeling hungry and tired (we all know that mid-morning crash). This hunger is going to have you leaning towards those high carb and sugary snacks, or a mid-morning coffee. Therefore, creating a perfect hormonal environment for fat gain.

Replacing several meals, a day with cereal or shakes means you are missing out on a variety of important vitamins and minerals attained from other natural foods. Not only are you missing out on vital micronutrients needed for energy production and fat loss you are also missing protein and fat. Both of which are important macronutrients needed for hormone production, immune system function, detoxification, and overall health.

Eating a calorie deficit of anything will make you lose weight. Therefore, all diets will work for a certain period. If you ate a chocolate cookie 3 times a day and nothing else, you would lose weight (not fat but weight). However, these results will be short term and the long term ramifications on your hormonal pathways, which will result in weight regain, and a vast array of health issues (poor sleep, low sex drive, cravings, binging and poor gut health).

Myth #2 - You cannot eat carbs after 3pm!
Carbohydrates are often seen as the enemy when it comes to weight loss. Several diets have made millions of tricking women and men into reducing carbs to dangerously low levels as a temporary weight loss solution.

Cutting out carbohydrates so early in the day can have a detrimental effect on your brain and body. Your brain's preferred source of fuel is glucose which is obtained through consumption of carbohydrates, without glucose your concentration can weaken, and you may start to feel drowsy, and fatigued. These feelings then create the perfect hormonal environment for craving sugary snacks.

Carbohydrates are not the enemy. By selecting the correct carbohydrates and consuming them at the right time throughout the day will help you lose weight. Low GI carbs such as whole grains, oats, rice, quinoa, and sweet potatoes will keep you fuller for longer, help you recover from training, and allow for a tapered energy release throughout the day.  Even more so if you add in a good portion of Protein, this will again keep you more fuller for longer.

There is no benefit to cutting carbohydrates completely after 3pm or altogether from your diet. Several studies have looked at carbohydrate timing on fat loss and found no difference in fat loss rates consuming carbs in the morning or evening.

Myth #3 - Protein Will Make Me ‘Bulky’
Protein should be a vital component in anyone’s diet. Protein is commonly associated with maintaining, building, and repairing muscle tissue. The reality is every cell in your body requires protein to function. Protein is comprised of amino acids needed for health, including the healthy growth of your hair and nails, as well as bone health, hormone production, immune system, liver and detoxification, and many more processes. Once all these processes have been taken care of with adequate protein consumption then the body will look after the muscle tissue.

The myth that  additional protein will make you gain too much muscle is very farfetched. Women do not have the hormonal profile to gain undesirable muscle tone and get the ‘huge’ look. This requires a hard and regular training regime, eating in a surplus of calories, and a strict supplement schedule. This does not happen overnight and does not happen merely by eating a high protein diet, so don’t be fooled it is not that easy.

Protein is imperative for weight loss and to be honest, each individuals’ bodies will perform better on different macronutrients some on carbs, some on fats – but we all need some types of protein for optimal health and performance.

Generally, you should be consuming 1.5-2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. 

Myth #4 - Eating Fat Makes You Fat

Cutting out or reducing your fat intake will not encourage or accelerate weight loss. Both mono- and polyunsaturated fats (healthy fats) serve a basis for hormonal production, aid in lowering cholesterol levels, and can help to reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes.  

Consumption of healthy fat promotes fat burning within the system. Often, we consume trans fats contained within baked and processed goods from store shelves. This type of fat is useless for our body and these types of fats often put us in a surplus of calories and therefore can encourage fat gain.

In contrast, eating healthy fat also promotes hormonal function and a healthy metabolism; this means that you will burn fat faster. Healthy fat is also extremely important for the production and control of female sex hormones (testosterone and oestrogen) which play a role in providing energy, libido, muscle mass, and a healthy menstrual cycle. An imbalance of these hormones can cause mood swings, reduced sex drive, irritability, PMS, depression, and anxiety. 

Onwards and upwards

Now that you’ve had a chance to  read through these common myths and see the truth behind them all; you’d be forgiven for feeling a little annoyed at yourself if you’ve ever bought into any of them, but let’s be honest at one stage in our lives we have all been through this thought process, by clever advertising and mental manipulation. One of the most important take-aways from this post is that all macronutrients are important, and each of them plays a unique role in body composition.

Millions of people every day are making the same mistakes repeatedly; what is sad is that the principles they pin all of their hopes on are actually very rarely based on any real scientific research.

Are you currently struggling with a diet myth? Let me know in the comments or send me a message and let me help you. 

Have a great day.

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