It's inevitable, at this point all conversations revolve around the same thing, and every year I hear the same nonsense and potato theories, which only confuse more and don't help at all.
Some of the most famous:
- I only eat clean
- I don't eat carbohydrates at dinner
- I'll cut it into bread...
- I don't eat fruit because it has sugar
- I do 3×20 in all training and exercises
- Potatoes just sweet potatoes
- 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 was spread that the right diet to define the six-pack was to eat only “clean” foods, that is: oatmeal, egg whites, eggs, chicken breast, brown rice, lean fish, sweet potato, etc.
Sometimes, quantity was an issue left behind. The “blander” the meal, the more effective it would be in achieving the goal.
Today we know that, without defining kcal and macros, we won't go anywhere, and that to lose fat you need to be in a calorie deficit, period!
This calorie 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 others that are more “appealing”. Imagine: using nestum as a source of carbohydrates and not just oats.
This nutritional density is precisely the point to take into account. We live in a universe with a very diverse offer, restricting our diet to half a dozen foods makes trying to lose weight torture...
The problem is that these “tastier” foods, whether junk food or not, are more energetically dense and therefore, it becomes more difficult to maintain the calorie deficit requirement if there is no absolute control of the quantities.
Therefore, the best approach is generally:
- Monitor calories and macros ingested, comparing with needs
- There must be a calorie deficit to lose fat
- If possible, “different” foods can be included in your daily routine or in specific meals on the plan.
More classic example: We have a dinner with friends at Mac, and we want to fit in something “normal” that isn’t a salad… we have X kcal to fit in, just look at the nutritional table and try to choose.
Myth 2: I don't eat carbohydrates at dinner
Carbohydrates are the most targeted macronutrient in the diet when losing fat mass.
The idea was created that an excess of carbohydrates led to the gain of body fat, as a result of the “fattening” action of insulin. This myth was greatly fueled by the terrible fear of diabetes, and the fad of the Atkins and South Beach low carb diets.
It's curious that many people who advocate low carb diets still have extra weight and fat... just a nasty detail.
The truth is that carbohydrates are a double-edged sword because they are additives, it is difficult to control quantities and not eat “a little more” and this leads to excess calories, which leads to fat gain.
So, nothing could be easier, we remove the source of sin, we remove calories and lose weight… do we remove this excess at a time when the tendency towards excess is already there and we have a “double advantage”?
Yes… but… does this only apply to the dinner meal? No!
Eating too many carbohydrates at lunch, dinner or as a snack is exactly the same thing. Whatever. Because there is a caloric surplus.
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 almost nothing.
Thus we create a myth that is easy to propagate and maintain as true.
This is precisely when many people are most hungry... so if they don't eat enough for dinner, they take revenge and end up eating the same or more.
Metabolically speaking, in theory we even have a greater advantage in eating carbohydrates at dinner, since we have lower insulin levels at this stage and are therefore 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'll cut into bread
Attention, I'm not going to start here discussing stories about gluten, friends and company.
Bread is probably one of the foods most cited by everyone as being the cause of gaining weight, gaining weight, bloating and other accusations.
100g of bread has an average of 250kcal, and 1 small ball (like a mix) has about 50g, so about 125kcal… I don't know where the exaggeration is!
Ok, if you eat 4 a day, we are talking about 500kcal that we can easily get out. But 100g of crackers have 450kcal, 5 measly biscuits that can be eaten in 3 minutes have 140kcal and nobody says anything about them...
It's a greedy food, yes... but there are more biscuits and it's easier to get off track with biscuits.
But 1/2 to 1 sandwich is much more filling than 1 yogurt and 3 cookies, and has the same calories (+/- 30kcal which is insignificant on a plan of 1300/1500 for women and 1800 for men...).
And you don't have to eat wholemeal bread to take advantage of its benefits. Use a mixed bread, with wheat and rye flour T70/T80 as a minimum and vary as much as possible.
But yes, long-lasting sliced bread has more “stuff”, but it still has less than biscuits (and is more satiating).
Analyze the list of ingredients and draw your own conclusions.
You can find part 2 of this article here.