In a world where you can get literally one thousand different opinions on the best way to lose weight, it becomes increasingly important for you to seek out the facts. Facts are proven by science. By scientifically sound, unbiased studies.
This gets extremely hairy when medical doctors feel the need to throw in their two cents about a science (human nutrition is a science) that they did not specialize in.
Medical doctors are great. Western Medicine is NECESSARY. I’m not a proponent of witch-craft medicine and curing medical issues with essential oils or yoga… although those practices have their place, your medical diagnoses should absolutely be handled by your MD.
Nutrition specifically however?
Should be delivered from someone who actually studied it for a substantial amount of time. Medical schools do not train their medical students on nutrition. In fact, when speaking to peers of mine who have gone through medical school, they spend a portion of ONE semester studying human nutrition. That’s 1-2 courses. And I can only imagine how general they are, seeing as human nutrition is a very complicated, multi-faceted area of study.
Here’s the scoop:
I listened to a medical doctor speak to a room full of women and say, verbatim: “carbs are the devil” and preached to following a “high fat low carb diet.”
Interestingly enough, she said that high fat diets used to be thought of as being unhealthy. That studies were cherry picking evidence to try to prove that high fat diets were inherently bad.
Stay with the times, lady!
There are NUMEROUS studies out now that also disprove that carbs AND sugar are also NOT inherently bad.
Remember when we thought the earth was flat?
Thanks to higher thinking individuals, we were able to disprove that theory and not sail our ships right off the edge of the Earth. (Full disclosure: if the earth WAS flat, I’d be on the first ship right off this baby after listening to this doctor speak. Ugh!)
I am beyond frustrated that there are people in positions of power that are directly responsible for the longevity and health of their patients/clients that give out half-assed, poorly researched and poorly substantiated ideas on health.
My MO has been, and will remain to be, the sustainability of the client.
I don’t ever claim that the weight loss is fast.
I don’t ever put a time-line on it.
“Lose 10 pounds in 30 days.” Big fucking deal if you lose 10 pounds in 30 days!
What I’m more concerned with is what you’ll be doing on day 31 and beyond.
We have to get over the idea that losing 10 pounds, only to gain it all back, (usually and then some) is some sort of coveted goal.
If it takes you 6 months to lose 10 pounds, and you NEVER, EVER, gain it back- you’ve won. You’re in the top 5% of “dieters”- because 95% of those who “go on a diet” gain all of their weight back.
Here’s my PERSONAL issue with extreme diets like cutting out carbs or lowering them drastically:
(Listen to my podcast episode on this here.)
-If and when you’re presented with the opportunity to eat carbs again, (your birthday and you have a slice of cake, or your nephew’s first birthday party and you have a slice of pizza, or your best friend’s wedding day and you have a few glasses of champagne) YOU WILL FEEL GUILTY. You’re on a diet that specifically tells you “DO NOT EAT THIS, DO NOT EAT THAT!” which only perpetuates and feeds the ugly guilt-cycle. THAT IS A PROBLEM. Food should NOT cause guilt. Period.
-By being so extreme with your diet, you’ll likely always feel like you’re
“on the wagon” or “off the wagon.” Which is exhausting and counter-productive in my opinion. Chances are, when you’re “off the wagon”, you’re REALLY off the wagon. Extremes promote a scarcity mindset– which usually manifests itself in binge eating. “OH MY GOD. I BETTER EAT ALL OF THESE CARBS BEFORE I GET BACK ON THE WAGON AND CAN NEVER EAT THEM AGAIN!” Someone please tell me that you know exactly what I’m talking about- because I KNOW YOU DO.
-So you take all of these steps “forward”… then something happens that causes you to “eat off of the diet” and eat “foods you’re not allowed to eat”, and puts you BACK closer or even farther behind than where you started. What is it going to take for you to realize that you’re spinning your wheels? Losing the same 10-20 pounds OVER AND OVER again is NOT weight loss. It’s a joke. It’s an exhausting, exhausting joke.
-Carbs are the body’s number one fuel source. Also? Glucose (what carbs turn into after you eat them) are your brain’s ONLY fuel source. So why the actual fuck would we deprive our brain of it’s fuel source?
YES. Your body CAN create glucose even without ingesting carbs, but it’s incredibly hard for the body to do that. My poor little pea-brain does NOT need to work any harder than it already does just to function normally. I’ll keep my carbs for brain fuel alone, thank you very much.
-I’ve had SEVERAL clients come to me after being on Atkin’s or South Beach or The Zone diet. They lost a ton of weight. Gained it back for a number of reasons (duh, NOT SUSTAINABLE!), and they, too, were taught to believe that carbs are the devil. After some nutrition coaching, lots of education, and a few nudges in the right direction, all of those clients were able to introduce carbs back into their diet, coming from a variety of foods, lose weight and KEEP IT OFF FOR OVER A YEAR and then some. Uhhh, HELLO! If you can lose weight and still enjoy a cookie here or there, a slice or two of pizza each month, and maybe even a glass of wine every once in a while, WHY WOULDN’T YOU DO THAT!?
I’m not a fan of using personal opinions or experiences in order to prove a point. That’s where things get tricky. So, if you’re anything like me, here are the FACTS, completely devoid of anyone’s opinion, including my own:
-The FIRST FUCKING LAW of thermodynamics PROVES that weight loss is a simple function of calories in vs. calories out. The law of thermodynamics is a LAW. It’s not a theory. It’s a law.
-All this means is that weight loss can be achieved by simply lowering calories or increasing caloric expenditure in such a way that the body is in a caloric deficit.
-Carbohydrates help muscles retain water. An immediate loss of water weight will take place after cutting out carbs- and will be seen on the scale. This levels out eventually and IS NOT FAT LOSS. Your body composition did not change due to this small decrease in stored water. After this immediate water flush, your body weight will regulate. It will not systematically continue to decrease.
-If carbs are not present for long enough, you WILL continue to lose body weight and fat. This is simply due to the lower caloric intake, NOT due to the lack of carbs all together.
-After the brain fog subsides (direct cause of lowering carbs too low) you will begin to feel extremely energetic and start praising the low-carb-gods. Want to know where that euphoric feeling is coming from? Adrenaline. Increase in adrenal secretion can lead to things like adrenal fatigue, an increase in cortisol levels (stress hormone). Do you want your body to be constantly secreting a stress hormone? Probably not.
One study (of the thousands) can be found here.
-The negative effects of either an acute or chronic increase in cortisol secretion can be found here.
(But seriously, why would you put your body through more stress? Is anyone else looking for more self-induced stress in their life? No? Ok. Me neither.)
-If someone were to cut out all carbs, and ingest the same amount of total calories coming from either fat, protein, or both, weight loss would NOT happen. Again, First Law of Thermodynamics- it just won’t. Go ahead, try it.
-If someone were to lower total caloric intake and/or increase caloric expenditure in such a way that the body was in a caloric deficit and STILL INGESTED CARBS, they would lose weight. Again, First Law of Thermodynamics. This is not my opinion. This is a proven law. This is a fact.
There’s a better way to lose fat:
-Create a sustainable caloric deficit. Lose weight on AS MANY CALORIES AS POSSIBLE.
-If you can objectively track your calories on something like My Fitness Pal, I would start there. Remaining objective is KEY!
-Limit your serving sizes of junky foods. Hand full of chips with lunch? Go for it. Entire bag of Doritos? Think again.
-Enjoy the way you eat.
-Exercise with intensity regularly.
-Get quality sleep each night.
Now, here is the RESEARCH, conducted by SCIENTISTS to who have dedicated their life to actually study human nutrition (yes, unlike a general practitioner, who has bigger fish to fry and other things to worry about than pretending to even be remotely familiar or qualified to give nutrition advice.) If your doctor is coming at you with some extreme bullshit directly related to losing weight, I’d ask for a referral to see a Registered Dietitian or ask them to read this articles in their spare time so that they, too, can deliver relevant, correct, information to their patients. It’s. their. fucking. job.
Here are over 10 links to studies that prove that carbs are not inherently bad let me know if anyone wants anymore 😉
Dr. Mark Haubs showed this in 2010 on his Twinkie Diet, he lost 27lbs in 10 weeks eating junk food everyday. NOTE: his “bad” cholesterol levels decreased and “good” cholesterol levels increased while his triglyceride levels decreased throughout this time period. (SCIENCE!!!!!!!)
Then you have the review below, which found that up to 20% of added sugars in the diet had no adverse impact on micronutrition – and in fact, diets with less than 5% of energy from sugars were associated with poor nutrient intake.