4 Common Weight Loss Myths Busted

October 25, 2017
Lyndall McAlpine

Weight loss advice is so common (and contentious). There are so many competing opinions everywhere. So let’s forget about “who’s right” and let’s focus on “what’s right”.

There are too many weight loss myths out there. I’m going to tackle the top ones I come across in my practice, what gets results is what I’m focusing on.

Myth #1: Calories cause weight gain & fewer calories are the path to weight loss

Calories are important for weight loss. If you eat and absorb a tonne more than you use, then your body’s wisdom will store some for later. Calories matter, but, they are not the “be-all and end-all” of weight loss – they’re important, but they’re the symptom, not the cause.

Let’s think about the reasons people eat more calories, let’s focus on the causes. People eat too many calories, not because they’re hungry, but because they feel sad, lonely, or bored, or maybe because they’re tired or stressed. Or maybe even because they’re happy and celebrating.  And all these feelings interact with our gastrointestinal, nervous and hormonal systems; all of which influence our calorie intake.

Myth #2: A calorie is a calorie

Science has confirmed several caloric components of food differ from others. For example, the “thermic effect of food” (TEF) is that some nutrients require calories to be metabolised. They can slightly increase your metabolism, just by eating them. 

For example, when you metabolise protein you burn more calories than when you metabolise carbohydrates. Proteins and carbohydrates both have 4 calories/gram; but, the TEF of protein = 15–30%; and the TEF for carbohydrates = 5–10%.

Here’s another example of a calorie not being a calorie. Different fats are metabolised differently. Medium chain triglycerides (fats) (MCTs) have the same 9 calories/gram that other fats do; but, they’re metabolised by the liver before getting into the bloodstream and therefore aren’t utilised or stored the same way as other fats.

Myth #3: “Eat less move more” is good advice

The premise of this is based on the above myth that calories in minus calories out equals your weight. So, eat fewer calories, and burn off more calories (because human physiology is a simple math equation, right?).

YES exercise is important for healthy weight loss. But “exercise only” completely negates other factors that contribute to weight problems. Things like the causes of overeating as mentioned above, not to mention our genetics, health conditions we’re dealing with or our exposure to compounds that are “obesogenic”.

We need to learn to fuel our body with nourishing food and not have the mindset of a cream bun and a big run is successful, healthy, or sustainable.

Myth #4: Buy this supplement/tea/food/magic potion to lose weight

There is no magic pill for weight loss. No supplement, tea, food, or other potion will do the trick long term.

There is a reason most people (a whopping 83%!!!! report here) who lose weight can’t keep it off. The real magic is in adopting a sustainable holistic and healthy approach to living your life. What you need is a long-term lifestyle makeover, not a product.


Beware of the latest and greatest fad diet/product!  Too many people out there trying to make it sound like they have the magic quick, easy solution.

There are many factors that contribute to successful sustainable weight loss. Rather than counting calories and looking for the quick fix, focus on creating a “healthy body”. Creating an achievable goal, having support and accountability and accepting that your end destination can only be reached by each individual step will allow you to successfully lose weight and most importantly sustain a healthy, happy you living a happy, healthy life!

Now check out my magical “weight loss salad” recipe here (just kidding!)

Pear, Rocket and Parmesan Salad

Are you struggling to lose weight? You are very welcome to have a free consult with me to talk about your challenges and see what and how I might be able to help


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