We’ve all been there.
You want to lose weight.
Makes sense to cut calories right?
And the best way to do this is to cut the food groups with the highest calories?
You’re not wrong, burning more calories than you consume is a proven way to lose weight.
3 fat loss myths in this article:
- You need to eat breakfast to lose weight
- Fat makes you fat
- Carbs make you fat
However, cutting whole food groups is not the best way to do it. I certainly don’t recommend it.
The two macros that get a bad rap when it comes to calories?
- Fats -it literally has the word in the title of the thing you want to lose. I see how this could be the first thing you’d want to get rid of.
- Carbs -what’s often missed here is that there are different carbs, and the foods they’re in are not all created equal. equal.
Damn Diet culture has made a fortune promoting the idea of completely cutting food groups rich in these macronutrients.
Unfortunately, by cutting fat or carbs you could be doing a lot more damage than good. Not only this, you still may not get the results you are after as your body craves these foods for energy.
This is where mindless eating and bad habits can start to take over.
Fortunately, there is a practical way that I would like to share with you so you can have all food groups, guilt-free and still lose weight.
The best way to bring this to light is to tear apart some terrible myths around fat loss and share a more practical approach.
Want to learn more?
Fat Makes You Fat
Consuming fewer calories than you burn over a period of time is the best way to lose weight sustainably, regardless of where you get the calories from.
Per gram, fat does contain more calories than either protein or carbohydrate but this doesn’t mean you should get rid of it altogether.
- Whilst it is helpful not to over consume fat, if you are trying to lose weight, it is still important to include fats as they are critical for our bodies.
We need fats to:
- protect our organs.
- (good fats) reduce our risk of heart disease.
- (good fats) reduce inflammation.
- deliver us fat-soluble vitamins.
- access essential fatty acids.
Tip#1:Don’t get rid of those good fats just because you see them as wasted calories. They are essential. But manage the portion size. A good aim is to have 10% of your plate as fats, including that contained within fat rich foods like oily fish or avocado.
Tip #2: It’s difficult to appreciate the importance of eating good fats because the benefits are not always noticeable.
You’re not going to realise that you’ve done a great job protecting your organs or reducing your future risk of heart disease. While you may not instantly feel the immediate effect of good fats, just know your insides are thanking you deeply.
You’re welcome insides.
“Rather than think ‘calories wasted’, put your time into understanding how to strike a better balance between the fats below.”
Nutrient poor fats. These are what you want to ‘dial down’ and really start thinking about carefully managing portion sizes and/or how often you consume them.
Nutrient-rich fats. These are the ones where you want to ‘dial back’ or ‘dial down’ but never completely eliminate just to save a few cals. Focus on portion control over calls.
If you would like to learn more then try 11 Super Healthy High-Fat Foods And How To Eat Them.
Carbs Make You Fat
- AGAIN: Consuming fewer calories than you burn over a period of time is the best way to lose weight sustainably.
- Cutting carbs may result in rapid weight loss initially. Some of which is water, however for those who cut carbs long term, data shows that 65% of people who lose weight through ‘dieting’ regain weight lost within 3 years as these diets are not sustainable.
- Also – carbohydrates are the preferred fuel source for our bodies. If we restrict carbohydrates we may feel foggy and be moodier than usual.
- Not only this but you place yourself at increased risk of vitamin & mineral deficiencies, kidney damage if your protein intake is too high a % of your total energy and digestive issues due to lack of fibre.
Tip#1: Managing your portions of carbs is a way better approach than ditching carbs. A good rule of thumb is to aim for 20% of your plate to be carbs.
Here is an example of how you would portion your plate using the volume eating approach.
Tip #2: Next time you have your favourite pasta think about:
- What percentage of the plate is pasta? Do you need to reduce the pasta?
- How could you top up the dish with other high volume food so it’s filling?
Now the final myth may surprise you. Especially if you’re a hungry human like me.
You Need to Eat Breakfast to Lose Weight
- “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” is a common saying but it is not really true.
- The most important thing is to tune into your hunger cues. If you are hungry you should eat. If you are not, then don’t.
- If you have breakfast, including enough protein is important to keep you fuller for longer.
- If you skip breakfast but then find yourself reaching for nutrient-poor snacks or struggle to focus during the morning, then you should probably eat breakfast.
“This does not hold true for kids however. Breakfast plays a big role in their concentration levels for learning, so it is a must for them.”
Protein is Key to Feeling Full
Speaking of breakfast, is yours balanced? And do you feel satisfied for a reasonable amount of time after you eat it?
Many common breakfasts are unbalanced and lack the protein needed to keep you fuller for longer than an hour or so. This can make a mid morning trip to the chocolate jar a lot harder to resist.
Here are my top three ways to add enough protein to your breakfast:
- Add a protein powder (I find unflavoured works best) to cereal.
- Use a protein rich yoghurt (>9g of protein per 100g product).
- Add beans or eggs to toast.
Then feel the fullness!
Now, as a hungry human myself, I absolutely need breakfast! I loooove breakfast. Here is a simple example of how I add protein to my morning breakfast.
It’s time to celebrate
It’s time to celebrate.
The days of low-fat diets are gone. Thank goodness! Because let’s face it, as well as being good for our health, fat is also delicious. You can also turn your back on any fad diet that is telling you to exclude ANY food groups.
So sit back, relax and enjoy your (suitably portioned) smashed avo.
Having all food groups in your meals doesn’t have to be difficult.
Take one of your favourite recipes and check your portions for carbs, protein and fats. Use the ‘how to portion your plate’ image as your guide.
- Are all food groups present?
- How could you make some small tweaks so your favourite recipe is balanced correctly?
Once you have dished up your favourite recipe with the tweaks, know with complete confidence that you have made a meal that is not only full of nutritional goodness but will leave you feeling full and nourished.
And you did it without overthinking calories 😊
I’ve always been a hungry human and found volume eating as a great approach that aligned with the philosophy that I wanted to take in regards to eating.
I have a FREE course called Essential Volume Eating that shows you why this approach can help you manage your hunger without going overboard on counting calories.