Jacob Collin Nesmith
Why am I not losing weight? 4 surprising weight loss myths that have to dieTweet About 40 years ago, several major reports altered the way Americans ate. So began the worst mistake in US health policy: the low-fat diet craze. The advice was to eat less fat and cholesterol, resulting in a national food production frenzy that stocked supermarket shelves with low-fat food products. Everyone started eating egg whites, low-fat crackers, low-fat dairy products, low-fat everything. But something strange happened: we kept getting fatter. Sturm, R., J. Ringel, and T. Andreyeva, “Increasing Obesity Rates and Disability Trends,” Health Affairs, Vol. 23, No. 2, March/April 2004 Woof. Clearly, there’s a disconnect between government advice and popular culture diet fads and what actually helps you stay thin. Look around the health and diet landscape online and you’ll find wacky diet claims that are outdated, misinformed, and ineffective. No wonder why most of the US population can’t lose weight. There has been too many extreme diets and poor science reporting for the general public to understand what “eat healthy” actually means. We’re fat because we don’t know how to eat. Who can blame us? Corporations spend hundreds of millions of dollars to convince us that their food products are healthy. We’re inundated with marketing messages: 100-calorie snack packs FTW! Want to lose weight? Just eat this bowl of fiber cereal for breakfast and lunch every single day. Dr. Oz said this green coffee bean supplement was a “magic weight loss cure!” I’d rather eat only Gu for the rest of my life than listen to this nonsense. Aside from diet, there’s also exercise. Many of us focus on running for weight loss and some see great results – but others don’t. The simple reason is that most runners exercise instead of train. With more focus, you’ll get more results (but this topic is for another day). Today I want to clear the air about food choices and how they help or hinder your weight loss goals. Of course, I’m not a doctor and I certainly do not play one on the internets. I’m acting as a journalist (this article took nearly 10 hours to research and write). I’m also piggy-backing on the work of the many Registered Dietitians that were consulted for this post. Let’s start with the most widespread diet and weight loss myths that just won’t die. Myth #1: Cholesterol is Bad For You A few decades ago, the US government advised that we should limit our intake of dietary cholesterol because it causes heart disease. Many people still believe they should limit dietary cholesterol. Finally, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Council (DGAC) has reversed its stance on dietary cholesterol and is acknowledging the science: there’s no need for most of us to limit dietary cholesterol. Not only does dietary cholesterol have virtually no impact on blood levels of cholesterol, but all cholesterol isn’t created equal. There’s “good” (HDL) and “bad” (LDL) versions. But it’s even more complex: there are different types of LDL cholesterol, some of which are completely benign. This is important because we’ve been led to believe that we should …