Stupid Fat Loss Trends

If you’ve been around the health and fitness industry long enough, you’ll hear some absolute bollocks coming out of some peoples mouths. I suppose you could call this one more of a rant more than anything, we just wanted to bring to light some of the more stupid things we’ve heard of this year.

 

Putting Coconut Oil or Butter in Your Coffee

As far as weight loss goes – there is barley any logic to this.
  1. Coffee is great
  2. Butter is also great
Why would you mix them together?! Now to be fair, there isn’t actually anything wrong with mixing the two but in regards to weight loss you are taking in liquid calories that you could be eating to increase satiety.
If you are tracking your calories, understand that butter is a calorie dense food and the recipe for the bulletproof coffee is as follows:
  • 2 Tablespoons of MCT Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons of Butte
  • 1 Cup of coffee
These macros total around 460 calories. And that for some people is an actual meal.
Some research suggests that MCTs (Medium Chain Triglycerides – the type of fat found in coconut oil) may have a small beneficial effect on fat burning, but this is outweighed by the amount of fat itself, and while MCTs may be superior to other forms of fat, your fat loss progress still comes down to calorie balance over time.
The major claim is that these coffees give you energy. I’m just going to reiterate that this coffee has nearly 500 calories. That equivalent of 2 eggs on buttered toast with bacon and a normal coffee.
Take your pick.

 

Gluten Free?

There’s nothing inherently bad about going gluten-free, and plenty of foods naturally don’t contain any gluten.
For those who don’t suffer from Celiac Disease, gluten seems to have a small impact on gut permeability. This is a reason that some will advocate for a gluten free diet. However, the rise in gut permeability may not be very significant for normal, healthy individuals.
Again, this argument really comes down to energy balance. To the average person who doesn’t understand energy balance, what kills their weight-loss progress is the fact that plenty of gluten-free alternatives of regular, everyday gluten-containing dishes are actually higher in calories than their gluten-containing counterparts.
Because they can’t use regular flour, they often sub in more calorie-dense flours, such as almond flour, which bumps up the calorie count, and can make sticking to your macros much harder.

 

Prioritizing Nutrient Timing Over Total Daily Intake

There seems to be a misunderstanding in regards to timing.
Yes, it is important – but it’s not the make or break and it’ not as important as the hype that precedes it.
Classic example: Post workout protein. Multiple studies have been shown that the ‘anabolic window’ is not half an hour after the workout, not an hour after the workout, not ever 2-3 hours. Research now points to maintaining a daily intake.
There’s a lot of science to support the efficacy of a well-planned pre- and post-workout meal, but many guys and girls massively over-complicate the issue. They’re following the advice from magazines or supplement companies and believing that the right food and supplement combo is the end all be all.
In terms of fat loss nutrition hierarchy, calories come first and foremost, followed by macros, and then, perhaps, meal frequency and workout nutrition after that. Without the first two though, workout nutrition is meaningless.

 

Body-type Dieting

Alright, lets get this one straight – weight loss ultimately comes down to calories in vs. calories out. Although all calories are not the not the only thing that’s important. Basic laws of thermodynamics command that you can’t expect to lose body fat long term whist in a sustained calorie surplus.

In case you were not aware, there a guy back somewhere in the 1940s that there are 3 different body-types they were identified as:
  • Endomorph - Naturally a bit thicker
  • Ectomorph - Naturally skinnier
  • Mesomorph - Muscular and lean
It was believed (and still to this day) that you needed to adjust your diet based on your body type which in theory sounds good, but the problem here is that no one is really 100% of either three – we are all a mix of each.
The real best way to determine what the best diet for you is (i.e. the one that will work and that’s easiest to stick to) is to calculate your ideal macronutrient intake, your protein intake and then tweak your carb and fat intakes to suit your tastes.
It really doesn’t need to be any more complicated than that.

 

Going Vegan

Holy shit – I could go on forever about this. Let’s keep in mind here that just because you are vegan does not mean you are a plant-based eater or healthy for that matter. For example; this Redbull on my desk in front of me is ‘vegan’ as well as the packet of Oreo cookies in my treat drawer right now, or even the bags of instant noodles in the pantry.

So; Just because you are vegan DOES NOT mean that you are going to lose weight.
In some cases, yes, it is definitely possible. But again, remember the reason you are getting fat is because you are consistently eating in a caloric surplus – this will overpower any food choices you make.
In the case that your diet is predominantly fruit and vegetables, you do have the advantage of a high fibre diet which helps to increase satiety, therefore, less snacking and can help with weight-loss due to a lower calorie intake.
But overall, you still need to keep and eye on your calories. Because you can very easily put on weight being on a ‘vegan’ or even ‘vegetarian’ diet.

 

‘Superfoods’

The title for this section is ironic as there is actually no criteria for something to be called a superfood. As far as a definition goes, I like this one:

foods that offer maximum nutritional benefits for minimal calories. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
This does not quantify anything and probably more than anything just a buzz word for normal everyday foods. Consider the following
  • Quinoa
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Green Tea
  • Salmon
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Ginger
  • Tumeric
  • Eggs
Notice anything special about the above foods?
Yeah neither. They are just normal everyday whole foods that you could use to either gain, lose or maintain weight. None of them give you special ‘fat burning powers’.
Instead of calling things superfoods – we can just call them foods. Eat less food, lose more weigh. Eat more food, gain weight. Simple.

 

Waist Trainers

When you wear this 500-year-old device, you squish your lungs and ribs, which makes it hard to breathe.

Spot reducing fat doesn't exist. You can't reduce the collection of fat in any one particular area of your body. If you push your stomach in, all the fat will go right back to where it was no matter how long you’ve worn the waist trainer for.
There is no science to support the claims that wearing an extremely compressive garment around the waist will instantly strengthen the abdominals and cause specifically abdominal fat loss.
These need to go.

 

Conclusion

This list could just go on and on. And I think we all know something new and stupid is just around the corner.

All-in-all I would encourage you to become more a critical thinker. Put thought and research as to why you do what you do. Being exposed to the health and fitness industry has it’s many pitfalls. The important thing for your weight loss journey is that whatever you do should be sustainable and produce results.
Remember that resistance training and a calorie deficit is a tried and true trend that does actually work and will probably be around for a while. So, if all else fails. I would stick to that.

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