What you can expect from this article:
- Approximately 1500 words
- Everything you knew about nutrition in relation to weight loss is probably wrong
- Healthy eating is not an absolute concept and is not related to weight loss
- Eating fat does not mean that you will accumulate fat in your body
- The freer diet brings superior results in terms of weight loss
- The food industry has got you in the lies
We will start this series of articles with the least technical, but certainly the most controversial of all. This is because not only are there many misconceptions in the field of nutrition and slimming, but there are also many vested interests behind it. The following articles will help you to slowly understand how your body works and what's best for it so that you can achieve your goal. And you may not like what you read in this article because of the brainwashing you have been subjected to, but when you have finished the whole series, you will definitely have changed your mind.
When a client comes to me for weight loss, one of the things that comes up in conversation is healthy eating and what kind of sacrifices they have to make to lose weight. And that's always one of the reasons he hesitates until the situation has reached an extreme before he starts the diet. The sacrifices. Keep this well in mind.
My answer to this always makes the prospective client wonder if I am serious. What does someone mean when they say healthy eating? Does that mean if I replace white bread with quinoa bread, will I suddenly turn a hot dog into a healthy meal? Okay, that was an easy answer I guess. No. If I eat 3000 calories from apples and eat as many calories as I need to lose weight from a pizza, which is the healthier of the two? The apples, which will make me gain weight, or the pizza, which will make me lose weight? And furthermore, don't forget that in terms of macronutrients, the apple is basically just plain carbohydrates, while the pizza will also have a lot of protein and fat, and is higher in calcium and vitamin B12. Don't get me wrong, I'm not arguing that pizza per se is a healthier food than apple, I'm intentionally exaggerating. After all, apples are superior in other micronutrients. But what I mean is that when we talk about healthy food, we should always ask the question: In what sense healthy?
Unfortunately, the food companies and the supplement companies have given a lot of money to get the ideology across that if you add what they sell to your diet, you'll either lose weight, get healthier, or I don't know what else.
That's all it is. If you want to lose weight or at least keep it off, you need to eat less or as much as you need, not more. It is not healthy under any circumstances to eat more than your daily needs, just because you will receive an ingredient that offers something to the body, even if it is as much advertised as healthy as orange juice.
If you ask the average person, they will tell you that the only thing you need to do to lose weight is to cut out breads, sugar and junk food in general. This is just not true. Or to be more specific. If all we are concerned with is the process of losing and gaining weight in the human body, then it is simple. If someone takes in more calories than their body needed that day they will gain weight. Conversely, if someone takes in fewer calories than their body needed that day they will lose weight. And to prove this, Professor Mark Haub lost about 12.5 kg and 8.5% of body fat in two months by eating almost exclusively "junk food" (plus some milk, carrots, vitamin supplements and protein shakes to make sure his body was getting the essentials).
Something even more interesting about this case is that when he finished his experiment, he made the decision to stay healthy and started eating "healthy". The result? He gained almost 8 kg. So, any ideologies about breads, sugars, "junk food" and the fact that eating fat leads to fat accumulation are summarily put to rest.
To return to the discussion of weight management, it ultimately depends on the individual. You don't have to sacrifice on certain things if you don't want to, but there will always be compromises. For example, if he wants to keep eating sugar, he can. He'll just have to exercise a little harder, otherwise he'll have to cut back elsewhere, which will in turn result in the day's meals not being rich enough to feel full throughout the day. Of course, in this particular example, the ideal would be to gradually reduce sugar or replace it with something else, such as stevia.
And to get to the heart of the matter, not only does one's diet not have to be miserable, but it is often good to include things that are considered "naughty". Imagine someone who religiously follows the traditional bread rule and hasn't eaten pizzas, cheese pies and sandwiches for days. I don't even get into weeks and months. And he hasn't been to a social event. What will he do? Let's say he resists and goes to a party or goes out with his friends and doesn't eat anything once. Let's say two. Eventually, he will break down psychologically, not only consuming something just to try it, but doing it mindlessly, destroying much of the progress he had made. Many, near there, even give up the diet altogether. No wonder then that one can see advertisements of nutritionists like this one:
The situation is no laughing matter. It's a crying shame. There are a lot of lazy and crooks in the industry, but this guy is not one of them. The man is incredibly honest and I commend him for that. The psychological pressure to eat is real and can be a big factor in long-term weight maintenance.
But coming back to our topic. Confront someone who has no such shortage. The worst that can happen in his case is that he eats just a little too much, since he knows he'll be eating pizza again in a few days anyway. If we factor in the fact that one of the reasons one hesitates until the situation has reached the breaking point before starting the diet is the sacrifices one will have to make, we can see that the benefits of a flexible diet are significant before we even get into the physiology of the body.
There are well-known celebrities who pay thousands of euros to dieticians so that they can take portable coolers with them everywhere they go. Without knowing it, no matter how many walls they have put up psychologically and no matter how much they try to keep their social obligations that involve food to a minimum, they have done incredible damage to their health without knowing it.
The human body is a relentless machine that is built to adapt to incredible situations in order to survive. When you keep feeding it the same foods and restricting calories, the metabolism slows down so that it can cope with its daily needs.
In short, even when it comes to people who want to go on very strict diets, sometimes it is still necessary to periodize. That is, designing a programme with discrete goals per cycle and long enough intervals between them, during which they will have freedom to eat, even if it means some weight gain. As strange, unorthodox or counterproductive as this may sound, in a future article we will look at scientific research that proves exactly this and how much more effective this method is compared to strict diets.