Over 60% of adults in the UK are classed as overweight or obese.
That’s a sobering statistic, isn’t it? And as the nation’s collective waistband expands, the need for nutritionists, health coaches, and fitness professionals increases. However, with the prevalence of Google, or worse, Instagram searches for weight loss help, it can be hard to know who to trust.
Have you tried everything to lose weight? Bought countless supplements and slogged through diet after diet? You’re not alone. There isn’t enough regulation in the health and fitness industry to ensure coaches and trainers provide helpful, safe, and sustainable advice.
This article will explore the myths and misinformation around diet and lifestyle that you’re bombarded with every day and steer you in the right direction for real change.
Weight Loss: What Your Nutrition Guru Won’t Tell You
I’m not in the business of people-bashing. I won’t call people out by name, but there are more than a few people in the online world pedalling supplements and bullshit that promise quick results but don’t deliver.
There are also ‘doctors’ claiming various things and using a dogmatic approach to sell more plans and diets.
And it’s not your fault that you believe them. Why wouldn’t you trust them? Let’s look at some of the common traps you might fall into and how you can navigate them for weight loss success.
You’re Not Motivated Enough
Trainers and nutritionists who say things like, “You’re not trying hard enough,” or “Clearly you don’t want this enough” should be given a wide berth.
It’s lazy coaching. They haven’t tried to get to know you, what drives you, and won’t tweak your plan. They’ve dictated to you what you should do, and because you haven’t managed to follow their restrictive approach, you must not want to lose weight.
The problem is; everyone is different. Some of us respond well to strict disciplinarians (in the beginning, anyway), but in the long run, compassion and collaboration around behaviours, thoughts, and habits bring lasting change and results for most people.
Your nutrition guru won’t tell you that you’re more likely to follow through and feel more satisfied with the outcome if you can attach a more significant meaning to your weight loss efforts. The psychological and physiological benefits of losing weight, eating a healthier diet, and enjoying exercise outweigh the fleeting joy of reaching an aesthetic goal.
- Energy increase
- The ability to play football with your mates
- No longer out of breath running for the bus
- Reduced emotional and stress eating episodes
- Feeling confident in your body
- Better, deeper sleep
Above are the benefits of sustainable weight loss that might provide you with limitless motivation.
You Need a 90-Day Transformation
Coaches that only sell 90-Day Transformations use simple methods to create photoshoot-ready clients—methods like calorie-counting and increased exercise.
Do 90-Day transformations work? Yes.
Is calorie-counting a legitimate method for weight loss? Absolutely.
Do some people create lasting change at the end of their transformation? Of course.
But if you’re anything like most of our clients, you’ve done the transformation thing and put the weight back on (and more).
Because the methods used aren’t sustainable.
We can all restrict calories and exercise more for a specific time. We can be hyper-focused and determined to achieve our goals. But what happens after 90 days?
What your nutrition guru won’t tell you is that the best coaches approach your life from a birdseye view, work with you to determine your values, identity, and goals, and then help you to change the thoughts and behaviours that aren’t serving you to create sustainable lifestyle changes.
You Need to Cut Carbohydrates From Your Diet
Let me put this simply: Cutting carbohydrates from your diet creates a calorie deficit, and that’s why you lose weight. I could leave it there, but I’ll elaborate.
Anyone who says “carbs are the devil because they spike insulin” is a quack.
Carbohydrates aren’t essential–you don’t need them to survive. But they have many benefits like;
- Energy to fuel workouts
- The fibre found in whole grains keeps you full and energised
- Better sleep
- They help regulate blood sugar and reduce cravings
You might have a friend who says, “I cut out carbs and lost a stone!”
That might be true. But we’re willing to bet they cut out pizza, ice cream, potato chips, and biscuits and labelled them all ‘carbs.’
To circle back, cutting carbohydrates creates a calorie deficit. It might work for some, but for many, it’s not sustainable. No nutritionist worth their salt will tell you to eliminate carbohydrates from your diet long-term.
Include carbohydrates, fats, and protein into your overall diet. Here’s how.
It’s All About the Calories, Bro
I’m not ashamed to admit I was an ardent calorie deficit fanboy.
Calories in, calories out is the primary mechanism for fat loss. If you consume fewer calories than you burn, you’ll lose weight.
But over the years, I’ve worked with 200-plus people, and I’ve realised that while weight loss is simple, it’s not easy. There are many variables to consider that might prevent someone from losing weight even when adopting a calorie deficit.
From medical conditions to hormonal imbalances, from deep-rooted destructive tendencies to stress responses, everyone is different and has a different story to tell.
Your nutrition guru won’t tell you that you need to do some deep work to make lasting changes to your approach to food and eating. You might need to assess biases towards certain food groups; you might also need to address habits and behaviours that are defense mechanisms and comforting in the moment.
Calorie deficits often work in the short term, but do you want short-term results or lasting change?
If It Fits Your Macros
I wondered if this was still a thing. But a quick search showed many ‘macro coaches’ still selling macro plans. They aren’t the be-all and end-all.
Your nutrition guru doesn’t want you to know that weight loss is a small part of the bigger picture. Overall diet quality, health, and eating skills are more important for sustainable change.
Is There A Better Overall Approach?
I think the word diet is associated with restriction. Whether that’s always been the case is up for debate, but in our current climate of body shaming, quick fixes, and misinformed ‘experts,’ Next Step Nutrition focuses on getting back to basics.
- Learning your hunger cues
- Listening to your body and knowing when you’re full
- Noticing your reactions to stress and how it affects your eating habits
- Learning to eat without distractions, to enjoy and appreciate food
- Appreciating your body for the things it can do, not just what it looks like
- Building habits and skills to improve your relationship with yourself and food
I’m creating a community of people who want to ditch food rules and restrictions and improve their confidence, mindset, and life. Reach out today and start your journey.