The other day I was in the Starbucks waiting in line for my all too expensive, but tasty peppermint tea when I overheard (ok maybe I was eavesdropping) on the two 40-ish ladies in front of me.
I only give the age for context.
The convo went something like this.
“Hey, Jen you look fantastic. Are you doing that thing again?”
To that Jen replies, “Yes, I’m xxxx. It is my fourth time and I love it”
Friend “Oh my gosh. I need to be xxx”
Names and diet styles changed for privacy 😉
Internally I gave a little side smile and a chuckle.
But I had questions:
When did how we eat become an attribute?. When we fill out forms will it soon look like this ‘please fill in your gender, age, height, eating style?’
Why is this her 4th time? Did she just want a jumpstart after the holidays? (that's cool) or did she achieve fast results, lose the results and start over again? (not cool).
Is her friend going through a serious case of FOMO right now? Fear Of Missing Out on the latest and greatest..
Oh, how I wanted to ask all 3 questions so bad. But then the scene flashed through my head and I concluded I would ultimately look and sound like the nutty health girl.
But really this is nothing new.
10 years ago I was asked about fat-free, The Zone, Atkins, low calorie, whole grain….
20 years ago it was carb loading, packaged meals, South Beach Diet …
Last few years you may have heard about Paleo, Keto, Raw, Vegan, Grain Free, Dairy Free, Volumetrics, Mediterranean, Fasting
So Moni, Don’t avoid the question.
What do you do? What are your clients doing?
Well, my answer is kinda lame, that is why I do not like being asked, because … It depends.
Some styles work for some and not work for others. i.e) I do Paleo and lose 5 lbs and you do it and gain 5lbs. Some may work the first time but not another time.
WHY? Because our bodies demands are different than your friends and are also different day to day.
Key questions to ask before embarking on any ‘eating style’ (my nice word for diet):
- Would I be able to do this on vacation? aka sustainable
- Will it fit into your monthly grocery budget? aka is not another car payment
- Does it sound too good to be true? aka Lose the 10 lbs in 10 days and have “the sky is the limit” energy.
- Is it by nature? aka will your body recognize and know ‘it’ as food? Notice I didn't say ‘natural’. The word ‘natural’ can be very misleading (a topic for another day)
So what am I?
I am no style of eating but Real Food. I believe in bio-individuality and specific balances of our macronutrients (protein, fat, carbs) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) that is age, activity and metabolism specific to achieve goals and gain results.
I know your yawning. Boring.
OK, I will divulge a little more.
For my clients that are active and interested in maintaining a level of athletic performance (weekend warriors to triathletes to the pros), we work on developing nutritional strategies weeks, heck months, ahead of time for peak performance in their sport/activity. Not just 48 hr before like yester year ‘styles’
For my amazing women over 35 that are figuring out that their metabolism has changed. And what worked to lose some extra fluff when they were 20/30 is not working now. They feel like they have hit a wall and their confidence, motivation and patience are dwindling day by day. We look at body composition, balance blood sugar, hormones and decreases inflammation first and foremost. Without this, nothing will work (thats hard science lol)
Again in both scenarios, my physiologies are not for everyone. For example - if you are raw vegan we are probably not a fit. And that is ok.
Weight loss advice is so common (and contentious). There are competing opinions everywhere.
Jen in the Starbucks line says so, and Google says so.
I say, forget about "who's right" and let's focus on "what's right." Because what gets results is what I'm focusing on in this post.
There are too many weight loss myths out there. I’m going to share the top ones I come across in my practice.
Common Weight Loss (Fat Loss) Myths Busted
Myth #1: Calories cause weight gain, and fewer calories are the path to weight loss
Calories are important for weight loss. If you eat and absorb a ton more than you use, then your body’s wisdom will store some for later.
On the other hand, if you don't consume enough calories through the day your body doesn’t understand what is happening. All it knows is that it is not getting enough to survive and do day to day functions so it will also store everything for later.
But, they are not the “be-all and end-all" of weight loss; they're important, but they're the symptom, not the cause. Let's think about the reasons people eat more calories or are not eating enough right calories. Let's focus on the causes.
Myth 2: Amp up your cardio to lose the fluff
Well, then we're all in tip-top shape, right? Because people have been doling out this advice (myth) for years.
The premise of this is based on the above myth that calories in minus calories out equal your weight. So, burn off more calories (because human physiology is a simple math equation, right?).
The problem is that hour-long sessions of aerobic exercise can also wreak havoc on your adrenals and cause more stress on the body. Especially if you are coming into your session tired and stressed already. What does the body do when it’s stressed? It holds on to fat. It's survival.
Though we never want to forget about our heart health there are other methods of working out that are just as effective aerobically, less time consuming and more apt to get your metabolism firing all day long.
Myth #3: A calorie is a calorie
Can we please put this one to bed already?
Science has confirmed several caloric components of food differ from others. For example, the “thermic effect of food” (TEF) is that some nutrients require calories to be metabolized. They can slightly increase your metabolism, just by eating them.
For example, when you metabolize protein you burn more calories than when you metabolize carbohydrates. Proteins and carbohydrates both have 4 calories/gram; but, the TEF of protein = 15–30%; and the TEF for carbohydrates = 5–10%.
Here’s another example of a calorie not being a calorie. Different fats are metabolized differently. Medium chain triglycerides (fats) (MCTs) have the same 9 calories/gram that other fats do; but, they're metabolized by the liver before getting into the bloodstream and therefore aren't utilized or stored the same way as other fats.
Myth #4: Buy this supplement/tea/food/magic potion to lose weight
There is no magic pill for weight loss. No supplement, tea, food, or other potion will do the trick.
There are products that make these claims, and they're full of garbage (or shall I say "marketing gold?"). The only thing you will lose is your money (and possibly your hope). So, please don’t believe this myth. There is a reason most people who lose weight can’t keep it off. The real magic is in adopting a sustainable holistic and healthy approach to living your life. What you need is a long-term lifestyle makeover built around your metabolic state, not a product.
Weight loss (fat loss) is hard!
There are too many people out there trying to make it sound like they have the simple solution (or the latest and greatest!).
No one style of eating will be right for everyone. Don’t fall for the myths that say:
● Calories cause weight gain, and fewer calories are the path to weight loss.
● Amp up your cardio to lose fluff
● A calorie is a calorie.
● Buy this supplement/tea/food/magic potion to lose weight.
Now check out my magical “weight loss salad” recipe below (just kidding!)
Recipe (Myth-free salad, filling and nutritious): Kale Cucumber Salad
- 4 cups kale, divided
- 1 cup cooked beans of your choice (white beans, chickpeas, etc.)
- 1 cup cooked quinoa, divided
- 1 cucumber, sliced and divided
Cucumber Dill Dressing
- ½ cup tahini
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 2 tbsp dill
- ½ cup cucumber, chopped
- 1 green onion, chopped
- ½ tsp maple syrup
- 2 dashes salt
- 2 dashes black pepper
- ¼ tsp garlic, minced
- Divide salad ingredients into two bowls.
- Add all dressing ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until creamy. You may need to add water to thin. Add it slowly, a tbsp at a time until desired thickness is reached.
- Add dressing to salads and gently toss.
- Serve & enjoy!
Tip: Extra dressing can be stored in the fridge for a few days.
In thriving health,
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