In the pursuit of weight loss and health, we can easily be bombarded with a tonne of conflicting information that we don’t even know what to do with. Everyone has a different viewpoint and even so-called scientific approaches seem to contradict each other at times.
If you’ve seen it all on social media (like we all have) you’ve probably been led to believe some myths when it comes to health, nutrition and dieting. Here are a few common dieting myths that could be harming your health in the long term.
Keto has become a widely popular way to lose weight over the past few years, and many people have found success with the lifestyle. However, some people on a ketogenic diet follow what is known as a dirty keto diet, wherein they fill up on highly processed and unhealthy foods, simply because they fit the keto regimen.
With a high-fat diet, you can imagine that the amount of junk foods that could make their way into the protocol is high. But this way of thinking and eating is detrimental to your health. Sure, you might still be able to lose weight if you’re staying in ketosis, but the long-term effects of eating too much processed food can be devastating.
The “If It Fits Your Macros” (IIFYM) approach is similar to dirty keto in some ways. The IIFYM myth promotes eating whatever you choose, so long as it fits within your daily calorie and macronutrient targets.
If you’re trying to gain or lose weight by eating a specific amount of calories each day (split between predetermined amounts of proteins, carbs and fats), you could technically fit whatever foods you please into those numbers. For reaching your physical goals, this might work, but remember that 500 calories of candy versus 500 calories of chicken and veg are entirely different.
1200 Calorie Diets
Far too many people (especially young women) have jumped on the bandwagon of eating 1200 calories a day in order to lose weight. Where this arbitrary number came from, nobody knows, but it’s not enough energy to sustain an adult.
If you want to lose weight by eating in a calorie deficit, you could use a macro calculator app or website to help you determine how many calories you should be eating each day to reach your goals. This will take all of your personal and individual information into account instead of just giving you a random number to work with.
Calories In vs Calories Out
The science behind the fact that weight loss is based on the calories you take in versus the calories you burn generally checks out on a surface level. However, it’s important to realise that this is not the only factor that can impact weight loss and gain.
For example, stress can play a major role – making an effort to reduce stress and improve your sleep could have major benefits on your weight loss and overall health. Further, body weight can fluctuate on a daily basis but this has no true link to overall fat loss.