This month begins with April Fool’s Day, but your health and wellbeing is no joke. Then WHY is it so hard to know what to trust? Diets everywhere claim they will help you lose weight and look great! And fitness fads are no different. I’m sure you constantly hear things like: “the best way to lose weight,“ “guaranteed to help you get lean,” “six pack in 6 weeks,” “backed by science….”
Let’s talk about this “backed by science” stuff.
How can so many contradicting methods all be right? Or are they all wrong? If you google best workout to lose weight, everything from weight lifting to cardio will appear in your search. It looks like you can basically do anything you want and it’ll work. You might as well just stay on the couch- that burns fat.
If you can’t tell fact from fiction, you are not alone.
It used to be believed that fat made us fat. In came the era of fat free food and, as a result, high carb diets. It worked. Science proved it did. Ironically, the diet catching whim today is the Ketogenic diet- a low carb, high fat diet. It works. Science proves it does. How can both be correct?
The truth is: science is always changing.
Both diets may work and be scientifically founded, but not without consequences. Another truth to remember: you will lose weight whenever any micronutrient is removed from your diet, but at a cost. Did you know that there are certain vitamins that are only transported and absorbed with the presence of fat? That means that your body is unable to use all the vitamins it consumes if you are on a no-fat diet. Translated further: you may be eating a healthy salad, but you are only getting half the good it has to offer. Not only do no-fat diets prevent you from absorbing nutrients, but it also encourages a higher intake of sugar and nutritionally sparse calories. When you remove the fat from foods, you have to do something to make food taste edible, right? You may think the keto diet solves all those problems. Wrong. It takes careful planning with a low carb diet to make sure you are getting all the vitamins and minerals you need. After all, that’s where vitamins and minerals come from: fruits, vegetables, and grains. Fat also tends to repel water, so people are often dehydrated and deficient of electrolytes they need.
You need ALL 3 macronutrients in your diet.
As a quick refresher, each macronutrient has its place. Carbohydrates provide energy for the brain and are the only source of vitamins and minerals. Protein also provides energy and is the building blocks of our body. Fat, the last energy source, is needed for transport and absorption of some nutrients and is used as cushioning; it has the potential to reduce inflammation too, if consumed correctly.
The best advice I can give is to stick to the basics.
Focus on nutrients and eating for energy. Listen to your body’s cues and eat regularly and in proportion. Temperance in all things is wise counsel. And when in doubt, ask your trainer or meet with a dietician. Vasa has a few of those and they are pretty great!
Theirs is advice you can trust.