The Truth About Diets - Part 1
Updated: Apr 29
Whether your on keto, vegan, low-carb, high-fat, low-fat, no fat, or any diet for that matter, at the end of the day, it all comes down to the concept of calories in, calories out. Popular to what the fitness industry wants you to believe, losing weight is actually just that simple. Eat less calories than what you burn in a day and you'll be golden!
"But I've lost so much weight from being on a keto diet! You can't tell me that they don't work!"
It is still completely possible to lose weight on these fad diets, because at the end of the day, if you eat less calories, you will lose weight. The problem with these fad diets is that most of them are not sustainable. You can go a couple of days, weeks, maybe even months of eating these high fat, low carb foods, but can you sustain yourself eating these foods for life? You see, that's the problem with these fad diets. Sure, they work at the beginning, but you can bet that you will gain that weight back as fast as you lost it. Especially with a keto diet, which can be extremely deceptive for your weight. Your weight is actually very volatile and can change daily from a variety of factors. It isn't uncommon to wake up one day and be 3 pounds heavier than you were yesterday, only to go back down the day after. With keto diets specifically, your body will lose a lot of weight within the first couple days of starting it. This is because you deprive your body of carbs, which causes the body to store extra water in the form of glycogen. With this sudden lack of carbs, your body will naturally lose that water weight within a couple of days of the diet. While this may please your scale, you'll be pressed to find out that your weight will bounce right back up as soon as you start eating carbs again.
"So how do I lose actual weight?"
The answer is simple. Calories in, calories out. You eat less calories than what you burn in a day and you will lose weight by being in a calorie deficit. But how do you know how many calories you burn in a day, or in other words, what's your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure)? Fortunately, there are many resources online that you can use to help you estimate your TDEE. Once you figure that out, you just eat less than your maintenance level of calories and you will lose weight.
"Is it really that simple? Seems easy enough to do."
Well, yes but actually no. While the overall concept is simple, it's much harder to actually do. The problem is, 99% of people don't know how much calories they are actually eating. It's especially hard to find out how many calories you're eating if you're not the one controlling what goes into your food. The easiest way to fix this issue is to prepare your own food, otherwise you'll have no clue how much calories is actually in the food your eating. When preparing your own food, the most important thing is to scale and measure everything you put into your food. This is pretty much a necessity when it comes to tracking how much calories you ate in a day. When it comes to this, the food scale will be your new best friend. Scale and measure everything you put into your food and you will know exactly how much calories is in your food.
Your second best friend is your brain. However, your brain sucks at guessing exactly how much something weighs by just looking at it. But do you know what it doesn't suck at? Reading and processing things. When you combine this with the information you get from your food scale, you got yourself the winning combo for weight loss.
Being able to read nutrition labels is extremely important to losing weight as many nutrition labels on packages are very misleading and deceptive.
Take this standard bag of Doritos Nacho Cheese and it's nutrition facts for example:
How much calories are in this bag? It can't be that much right? It's only 260 calories.
Well that's 260 calories per 21 chips or 50g. One bag has 235g of chips. That means one bag has 1222 calories worth of Doritos. The average intake of an adult is 2000 calories. That means that almost half your daily caloric intake is already gone in one bag of Doritos. To put it in another perspective, let's say you're trying to lose 1 pounds a week. To do that, you need to be eating 500 less calories from your TDEE. If you binged one bag of Doritos during the week on top of your TDEE, you will be set back 2.5 days worth of your dieting, all from one bag of chips.
Now that you know how to measure your food and how to read nutrition labels, you have all the knowledge to lose weight and create the perfect diet for you! But how do you apply this knowledge? How do you create the diet perfect for you? Read more about that in our second part!