If you’ve been struggling to lose or maintain weight, you may have noticed that there is a lot of conflicting weight loss information online, in books, in magazines, and on television. Some people claim that the keto diet is the best way to go. Others push pills and supplements, detox teas (which is just code for diarrhea), meal replacement shakes, or shaping devices, all of which have the potential for harm. So how do you deal with the conflicting weight loss information?
Dealing with conflicting weight loss information is one of the biggest barriers to weight loss success. If you’re confused, you’re not alone. If you’ve tried many of these short-lived gimmicks, you’re also not alone. If you’re frustrated, you’re definitely not alone. Health scams are frustrating for everyone, including the people trying to achieve better health, and the medical providers trying to help patients achieve better health.
Dealing with medical providers can also be another layer of frustration because some can come off as insensitive, some are pushing surgery for quick results, and some are gaining financially from many of these useless gimmicks.
We Have Good News
Weight loss can be simple and inexpensive. Note: we didn’t say “easy”! The term “simple” is more accurate because getting back to the basics of weight loss and maintenance, while shedding the fancy gimmicks, is where you will find your successful journey.
You do not have to eat low carb in order to lose weight
Lowering your carbs can help with weight loss, and if that works for you that is fantastic! If going on a low carb diet makes you feel miserable or ravenous for carb-tastic foods, you can still find every bit of weight loss success without cutting out all of your favorite eats.
You do not have to go keto
In fact, we are not fans of the keto diet. It could be a useful short-term solution for some people, but going on the keto diet doesn’t solidify the habits that lead to sustained weight loss. The keto diet is also high in fats – the good and bad fats – and we don’t believe there is enough evidence to support the lack of harm from using this diet long-term. The keto diet can make people feel just downright lousy, and the lack of carbohydrates can inhibit muscle growth.
The reality is that we live in a society with a culture, and most cultures have traditions that center around a meal. This is not inherently bad, and these traditional gatherings can do wonders for our relationships and mental health. Cutting out entire food groups is unhelpful when we are not able to completely control everything about our food environment. And most of us do not live in a situation where we have 100% control. Many of us have families and obligations that require us to make decisions about the foods we eat. And keto options may not always be available.
You do not have to spend hours at the gym
Exercise is a wonderful addition to any weight loss journey, but it is not a requirement for weight loss. Most of your weight loss progress will come through your nutrition. Have you heard that old saying, “Abs are made in the kitchen”? Whether you’re aiming for a six-pack or not, nutrition is your greatest resource. Exercise will help you burn more calories so you have a little more flexibility while losing weight. Exercise, in general, is part of any healthy lifestyle and all of us should be finding ways to work it into our lives regularly.
It is absolutely vital to remember that you can’t out-exercise a bad diet.
A Big Mac at McDonald’s has about 540 calories. This is okay on its own, but if you were to eat a Big Mac in addition to a large fries, that adds 510 calories equaling 1,050 calories for one meal. This might work okay for a tall male, but for a petite female, this is nearly an entire day’s worth of eating. (Side note: this feels very unfair for petite people everywhere because restaurants don’t usually have a “petite” menu.)
In order to burn 500 calories, about half of that meal, you would need to exercise for around 1-2 hours, depending on the level of intensity of exercise (like running versus walking, swimming versus yoga). Exercising for that long each day is not sustainable for most people, and there is no shame in that. We’re all busy! Cleaning up your diet will do more for your weight loss than trying to spend that long exercising each day.
You don’t have to cut out gluten
Gluten is fine unless you have an underlying condition or intolerance to it. Mmm… bread…
You must burn more calories than you’re eating
The bottom line when it comes to dealing with conflicting weight loss information is simple: you must burn more calories than you are taking in. Some people achieve this through cutting out food groups or exercising more and if that has worked for you, congratulations! We are so happy for the successes you have found. If this doesn’t work for you, let’s find a better, non-confusing way for you to reach your weight loss goals.
There is a wealth of information throughout these blog posts that can help you get started. We also offer a free consultation for our weight loss services to discuss your goals and see if we can help you reach them. You’re stronger than you think, and we are ready when you are!