Weight loss myths – what is good for weight loss and what is not good for weight loss?
Everything from apple cider vinegar to dieting pills to smoothies are touted as being good for rapid weight loss. So, is there any truth behind these claims or are they simply weight loss myths? Here I look at some of the most common and widely believed weight loss claims!
Is Apple Cider Vinegar good for weight loss?
Short answer, no! There are lots of claims around the apparent health benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV), one being that it helps burn fat. Firstly, lets put this one to bed, there is no such thing as a fat burning food. So, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, right? OK, so does it help with weight loss in some other way?? Well, the most widely quoted ACV study is a 2009 trial of 175 people who consumed a drink containing either 0, 1, or 2 tablespoons of vinegar each day. After 3 months, those who consumed vinegar had modest weight loss (2 to 4 Ibs) compared to those who drank no vinegar. 2 Ibs in 3 months is a mere 0.16 Ibs per week at the expense of your teeth!!!!
My teeth, really?
Yes, apple cider vinegar erodes your teeth, ask your dentist! It is also touted to improve gut health but in reality there is little evidence of this. On the contrary, it can actually cause or exacerbate heartburn and nausea. In fact, the nausea apparently, could be the cause of the modest weight loss, as it effected appetite as opposed to melting away fat!
Here are some of the most commonly believed weight loss myths!
Are smoothies good for weight loss?
No, you are better off eating your food, your fruit and your calories. It is simply a better idea to eat your food and not drink your food as it is more satiating (filling). However, weight loss is about good strategies not rules, it’s not the case that one cannot lose weight and drink smoothies, it’s just a better strategy to eat the bowl of fruit instead!! Sitting down and eating a bowl of fruit with a dollop of yogurt over drinking a smoothie is smarter. Firstly, you will be more mindful that you have eaten something. Secondly, it takes longer to eat, it takes up more room in your belly and it slows down the release of sugar from fruit. Lastly, but most importantly, it keeps you fuller for longer.
Are weight loss pills / dieting pills good for weight loss?
No, but even more importantly they may be dangerous. If dieting pills worked obesity wouldn’t exist. Do I need to say more? Other than the shameless and irresponsible promotion of weight loss pills by influencers and celebrities.
Are apples good for weight loss?
No one particular food is good or bad for weight loss. Apples are a healthy, low calorie food and a great snack. Eating apples or not eating apples will not determine your success! Moreover, people ask are beans good for weight loss, are eggs good for weight loss, are bananas good for weight loss? I get that they are genuine and sincere questions but they don’t make much sense. You can lose weight with or without the inclusion or exclusion of any one food. There is no magic bullet. It is the overall diet that determines a healthy diet and weight loss results.
Are meal replacements good for weight loss?
Meal replacements are not sustainable long term so what happens when you finish your 14 day diet? Lets call a spade a spade, you like food, we all like food so, why in god’s name would you want to replace food. Surely, you want to learn how to still eat and also manage to lose weight at the same time? Meal replacements won’t teach you how to lose weight in a healthy, safe & realistic way. They are boring and prescribed. That’s not what life or food should be about. You need to change your mindset and learn how to make the right food choices and satisfy your appetite so you can enjoy food and lose weight at the same time.
How do you know if a diet / weight loss program is another fad, unhealthy or more of the same weight loss myths?
Simply avoid anything with the following words, phrases or promises!
Fat burning foods
There is no such thing as a fat burning food. Again, if green tea or grapefruit really did burn fat obese people would not exist.
Belly fat / Flat belly
Just walk away – you can’t target weight loss to one part of your body – it just doesn’t work like that – that’s just genetics unfortunately. If you are in calorie deficit you will lose weight and I’m sure you will lose some weight in the desired area but you don’t get to choose where the weight comes off first! And you know what, some people will never have a completely flat belly. Perhaps, it may be time to just accept that. It is definitely better for your self-esteem and body confidence to learn to love the good with the bad.
Low carbs diet / Keto diet
A low-carb diet or a ketogenic diet will work if you are in calorie deficit. However, you can get into calorie deficit and still eat carbs. In other words, it is not necessary to exclude carbs to get into calorie deficit or to lose weight. My philosophy is, if it isn’t necessary why do it, you are only making the process more difficult than it needs to be. FYI, I recommend healthy carbs (wholegrains like wholegrain rice, wholewheat pasta, quinoa!!).
Lose weight quickly / guaranteed results / fast weight loss / how to lose weight fast
Keep walking!!!!!! Nobody can guarantee anything and it is disingenuous to say they can. It is you that has to do the work not them so how can anyone guarantee you will lose weight. Fast weight loss is not necessarily a good idea nor can it be guaranteed unless you starve yourself. Of course, we all know that’s not sustainable, you will most likely regain it all again. It takes a lot effort to lose weight, instead of false promises it’s more important to explain what a realistic weekly goal would be for your gender, weight, height and level of activity.
Eat for your body shape
Now this is real BS! I actually couldn’t be bothered going any further with this one 😃
I did actually think the Paleo diet sounded interesting initially, “eat like they did in the stone age”, so, basically eat unprocessed food. Then I learned you can’t eat wholegrains, beans, lentils – give me patience! This is the problem with fad diets, they create unnecessary, nonsensical rules that don’t make any sense and potentially can cause nutritional deficiencies and disordered eating. Can you imagine being a paleo vegan, so you can eat fruit, vegetables & nuts, fun!!
Green tea extract has been shown in some studies to increase fat oxidation however, these results are inconsistent. Rather, than getting into the research which will no doubt bore you, it is safe to say green tea is not a weight loss potion. It will have little effect unless you are in calorie deficit and on balance it isn’t helpful suggesting that any one food, supplement or product can help you lose weight. In other words, don’t let yourself get distracted by green tea!
There is no such thing as a detox diet. The liver & kidneys are your main detoxification organs, while the skin & lungs are also considered detoxifying organs. No food, supplement, tea or diet has the ability to detoxify your body. Whats more is, if someone is selling you a detox diet – they either don’t understand this simple biological fact or perhaps even worse, they do understand. Nevertheless, they are selling you something, they know sells!
Please tell me what does work!
I know I can hear you screaming at me at this point saying, “Well, thanks for telling me all about the weight loss myths, could you please tell me what does work, thank you!!”. Calorie deficit works. You need to be consuming less calories than you are burning to lose weight. Sounds very simple I know! However, although it is simple from a scientific stance, in practice we all know it definitely ain’t that simple. I understand most people don’t know where to start when it comes to calories, do you need to count, how do you count, what is the difference between calorie awareness and calorie counting etc.
You need to learn a set of skills!
Most people I coach do not count calories, I give them lots of guidance on portion sizes, lots of recipes which are already the right size, lots of appropriate snack ideas, even appropriate treats. It’s mostly about calorie awareness and portion size and choosing the right foods, snacks, treats, drinks most of the time. So, you can look at calories, learn about calories, be aware of calories without having to count calories. You basically learn a set of skills. Moreover, successful weight loss entails a change in mindset for most people. Most people simply look at it all wrong, they have a slice of bread and they “fall off the wagon”, because they just broke one of their rules!! These damn rules!! It’s a flipping slice of bread, it was maybe 90 calories same as a banana, get some perspective people.
I give you perspective. I explain what I mean by calorie awareness, flexible dieting, intuitive eating and lastly, I explain why context is everything when it comes to nutrition and weight loss. Context of your meal, your day, your week!