Inevitably, at this point, all conversations revolve around the same, and every year I hear the same spiel and potato theories, which only confuse more and help nothing.
Some of the most famous:
- I just eat clean
- I don't eat carbs for dinner
- I'll cut the bread...
- I don't eat fruit because it has sugar
- I do 3×20 in all workouts and exercises
- potato only sweet potato
- Now I do cardio every day
With so many theories, the hardest part is choosing the funniest one.
Myth 1: I only eat clean
For many years, the idea that the right diet to define the six-pack was to eat only “clean” foods, that is: oat, egg white, egg, chicken breast, brown rice, lean fish, sweet potatoes, etc.
Sometimes quantity was a matter left to the background. The more “bland” the meal, the more effective it would be in achieving the goal.
Today we know that, without defining kcal and macros, we are not going anywhere, and that to lose fat you have to be in a caloric deficit, period!
This caloric deficit can be achieved with an extremely restrictive and bland eating plan – rice with chicken, fish with sweet potatoes, broccoli, etc.
Or combine these foods, let's call them “nutritionally” dense with more “appealing” ones. Just imagine: using nestum as a source of carbohydrates and not just oats.
This nutritional density is precisely the point to be taken into account. We live in a universe of very diverse offer, restricting our diet to half a dozen foods makes trying to lose weight a torture...
The problem is that these “tastiest” foods, whether junk food or not, are more energetically dense and therefore, it becomes more difficult to maintain the caloric deficit requirement if there is no absolute control of the quantities.
So generally the best approach is to:
- Monitor calories and macros ingested against needs
- There has to be a calorie deficit for fat loss
- If possible, "different" foods can be included in everyday life or in specific meals in the plan
More classic example: We have dinner with friends on the Mac, and we want to fit something “normal” other than a salad… we have X kcal to fit in, it's just looking at the nutrition table and trying to choose.
Myth 2: I don't eat carbs for dinner
Carbohydrates are the most targeted macronutrient in the diet at the time of loss of fat mass.
The idea was created that an excess of carbohydrates led to the gain of body fat, the result of the “fattening” action of insulin. This myth was greatly fueled by the terrible fear of diabetes, and the low carb diet fads of Atkins and South Beach.
It's curious that many low carb advocates are still overweight and overweight… just a nasty detail.
The truth is, carbohydrates are a double-edged sword because they are additives, it is difficult to control amounts and not eat “a little more” and this leads to excess calories, which leads to fat gain.
So, nothing easier, we take away the source of sin, we take calories and we lose weight… do we take that excess at a time when the tendency to excess is already some and we have “double advantage”?
Yes… but… is this only valid for the dinner meal? No!
Eating too many carbohydrates at lunch, dinner or a snack is exactly the same thing. Whatever. Because there is a caloric excess.
And why is it easier to say to eliminate at dinner? Because it is a preconceived concept that at dinner we should eat little or nothing.
So we create a myth that is easy to propagate, and to keep true.
It's just when many people are hungrier… so if they don't eat qb for dinner, they take revenge afterwards and end up eating the same or more.
Metabolically speaking, in theory we even have more advantage in eating carbohydrates with dinner, as we have lower insulin levels at that stage and are less likely to spike, promoting greater metabolic control.
But then, it's more fun to say the opposite and convince the person in an almost “religious” way that they can't eat after 7pm.
Myth 3: I will cut into bread
Mind you, I'm not going to stick around here discussing gluten stories, friends and company.
Bread is probably one of the foods most cited by everyone as being the cause of getting fat, gaining weight, bloating and other accusations.
100g of bread has an average of 250kcal, and 1 ball (mixture type) has about 50g, then about 125kcal… I don't know where the exaggeration is!
Okay, if you eat 4 a day, we're talking about 500kcal that we can take away easily. But 100g of crackers of water and salt have 450kcal, 5 measly crackers that can be eaten in 3min have 140kcal and nobody says anything about them…
It is a greedy food, yes… but the biscuits are more and the ease to get out of the axes is greater in biscuits.
But 1/2 to 1 sandwich is much more satisfying than 1 yogurt and 3 biscuits, and has the same calories (+/- 30kcal which is negligible on a plan of 1300/1500 for women and 1800 for men…).
And you don't have to eat whole grain bread to take advantage of its benefits. Use a mixed bread, with T70/T80 wheat flour and rye as a minimum and vary as much as possible.
But yes, long-lasting loaf bread has more “stuff” but still has less than crackers (and is more filling).
Analyze the ingredients list and draw your own conclusions.
You will find part 2 of this article here.