Most people in at some time or another have tried to lose weight in their lifetime, or at least tried a “way of eating” for some benefit. The problem nowadays is of course that there seems to be a new way of eating proclaiming to being the missing link to weight loss invented every minute. For example, over the last ten years you have probably heard of the likes of the following diets more than once:
- Low carb
- Low fat
- High protein
- Intermittent fasting
And likely many more have either popped up on your television, social media or over a few drinks in conversation down the pub. All the above however are simply methods of eating and suffice to say none of them have superior properties when it comes to what truly induces weight loss despite the claims on the cover. People often like to confirm their own bias when they suddenly eat a certain way, lose a few pounds, and quickly conclude that they have found the magic ingredient to losing weight for good. It’s not magic it’s math.
Let me explain, every well-conducted study that has tested different diets and when comparing diets against each other including high carb vs high fat, vegan vs vegetarian, Paleo vs Mediterranean, etc. has come to the same conclusion – CALORIES alone are the sole predictor of weight loss. In simple terms this means if someone has lost weight on a diet, they haven’t lost it because of the types of foods that were used to make up the “diet”, they’ve lost it because those types of foods equated to a number of calories that were fewer than their body needed. Also known as a calorie deficit. This my friend is the age-old principle of weight loss – no more no less.
While we are here it also works the other way for weight gain. When the total amount of calories exceeds what the body needs this leads to weight gain. Also known in the nutrition world as a calorie surplus.
So, the lesson in all this is that there will always be new methods, new ways of eating that will come with their set of rules and approaches on how to get the body of your dreams. There is only one principle and that is the principle of energy balance.