It frustrates me occasionally that some people will go after any excuse to justify their lack of results in… Well… Anything. Maybe fat loss is the best example since it’s such a hot item. After decades of research concluding that the majority of people completely and utterly suck at actually tracking their food intake, people still go for “but it’s because my hormones are unbalanced” or “it’s genetics, I pack on fat regardless of what I eat!” or one of the worst: “yeah but it doesn’t work that way for me.”
Of course. Out of 7 billion people you’re the only fucking one who can defy the laws of nature and not lose weight when eating less than you burn. It obviously has nothing to do with the fact that, you know, you DON’T CONSISTENTLY EAT LESS THAN YOU BURN.
“But I know of other people who had the same problem!”
I’m sure you do, however you and those other people are not part of a group of people who cannot lose weight. You and those other people are part of a group of people who consistently overeat or at the very least eat what you burn in a day.
“Well, I tried tracking my intake and stuff but it didn’t work!”
Well, either you’re some genetic freak that the world of science has somehow overlooked or you simply did something wrong and don’t want to admit it.
“Well, I know people who ate too little to lose weight! Their metabolism just went down too much!”
This would actually be possible if it concerned underweight people. They would wreck their organs, immune system, bones and muscle mass in the process. These same people are generally not concerned with losing weight unless they were anorexic, in which case they need serious help. This has nothing to do with an otherwise ‘normal’ person who wants to shed a few pounds. Your metabolism doesn’t just drop to nothing from eating less. Yes, it gets lower because people who diet tend to (subconsciously) move around less and yes, it gets lower because the less body mass you have, the less you burn. Even fat mass is active tissue that burns calories (albeit not much). All this does not change anything whatsoever about the fact that YOU MUST EAT LESS THAN YOU BURN TO LOSE BODYMASS.
But what about carb sensitivity/genetics/unbalanced hormones/etc? Well, some of the things that diet gurus are cashing in on these days are valid subjects that will influence fat loss in one way or another, but the possibilities of manipulating those factors are often limited or simply lack results to speak of. In most cases, these things are not really interesting and people are simply not being consistent. This is a problem with behavior and psychology, not with your body being special. If you’re a competing bodybuilder with inhumanly low levels of body fat and/or are on some sort of (performance enhancing?) drug, some things may change and you’ll have to pay attention to a lot of complex details, but I doubt you need to be reading this article then. For the vast majority of people it comes down to eating your protein and fiber, lifting a bit of weight and either eating a bit less or (and?) moving around a little more.
“What about diet X that cuts out this or that food product? I heard a lot of good stuff about it, a lot of people got great results with it.”
Cutting out food products generally leads to less eating, but it probably won’t come as a surprise that many diets have a low success rate in the long run. Even with people that stick to the diet.
“Science isn’t everything, you know! I did this natural/detox/paleo/raw/hippie/whatever diet and made it into a lifestyle and I feel and look great!”
You cut out the cake, booze, ice cream and junk and you look and feel better. Praise the lord, it’s a miracle!
I’m pretty sure there will be people reading this that will demonize some sort of food (MSG, sugar, wheat, whatever) as the cause of being fatter than they’d like, despite research proving them wrong over and over. Oh wait, my bad. That research was manipulated by the global conspiracy of the medical and food industries trying to keep us fat and ill! Despite the fact that countless people lose significant amounts of fat just fine while eating those same demonized foods if they just, you know… CONSISTENTLY EAT LESS THAN THEY BURN.
If you need to lose a few pounds and have come to the honest conclusion that you need to work on your mindset and habits, you can get into the productive side of things and actually join the group of people that garners good results. Stop bullshitting yourself, get your priorities straight and if fat loss is high on the list: take it seriously and work on it relentlessly and methodically.
“Everything makes you fat if you look through enough diet books. That same “thing” is also the cure for your fatness in a book one shelf away.” – Dan John