…look at another Instagram post of someone proudly displaying a minuscule amount of fat-free and carb-y food as a testament to ‘eating healthy’ and losing weight. Worse are those ‘confessional’ posts in which she feels terrible for being so hungry as a result of calorie restriction that she ‘ate all the things’ and then publicly self-shames because I want to shout through the interwebs it’s not your fault! Ding-dong low-fat is officially dead as a paradigm of weight loss and a model of health. It’s a total lie.
…and the calories in calories out weight loss paradigm does not take into consideration the primary effect of hormonal regulation over weight loss and gain.
So, I’ma ’bout to be the change I wish to see in the healthy eating world and debunk seven insidious, persistent, and lingering myths about eating, getting, and staying healthy.
1. The low-fat movement is officially dead
I confess I did this for years and never questioned the logic or even success rate of this entrenched and ultimately doomed philosophy of health and weight. You can get away with this exhausting and flawed outlook when you are younger because the body still responds like a champ, despite under-eating and overexercising. In midlife though; you can hit the wall like I did and realize that none of this madness works and that you’ve damaged your metabolic machinery as a result. Thankfully, there is now science out that proves the fallacy of the eat less/move more theory and quite a few other entrenched myths. As you embrace your desire to thrive in midlife, I encourage you to educate yourself on these new science-backed concepts that are revolutionizing what it means to eat healthy, stay healthy, and age healthy.
2. Saturated fat does NOT give you heart disease
3. Under-eating wrecks your metabolism
the inconvenient truth about calorie restriction to lose weight
If you are not restricting your carbohydrate intake then your body relies on using blood sugar as its fuel source. Unfortunately, if you are eating lots of carbohydrates this fuel source is extremely limited – you can store only about 2500 calories of blood sugar in your muscles, blood and liver before you are totally out of gas.
If you chronically restrict calories in this sugar burning state your body responds by decreasing its energy expenditure (lowering your metabolism) in order to preserve its fuel (fat) reserves. your body would be able to switch over to burning its fat reserves ONLY IF you stop eating carbohydrates. Remember that the only job your body has is to keep you alive. It’s not going to allow you to just dip into fat reserves that it prefers to keep around for famine emergencies – or the zombie apocalypse if you are still feeling it quick cheap energy in the form of carbohydrates. It would rather downshift your metabolism instead. It really doesn’t care about how you start to feel tired, lethargic, and hungry all the time as a result. Although you might lose a few pounds initially by restricting calories, eventually you’ll plateau because your body’s burn rate has lowered itself to match or even undershoot your new restricted calorie intake.
The fallacy of the calorie deprivation model has been proven in scientific studies, most notably in the famous Women’s Health Initiative where subjects restricted calories from fat for 8 years and their weight stayed the same as compared to women who didn’t.* Caloric Reduction as a primary (long-term) weight loss strategy has a known 99% failure rate**
6. Type 2 diabetes is a reversible disease
7. Alzheimer’s disease can be avoided