The fitness industry is constantly bombarded with the latest myths and quick fixes, “This food that will melt your fat!”, “10 exercises to get rid of your belly!”,  “How to sacrifice a loaf of bread to appease the gods of gluten”. As a personal trainer I can tell you, most of the time these are useless pieces of advice (apart from the last one, the gods of gluten are vengeful 😜). So today, rather than writing about that 1 magic pill that will solve all your problems, I’ve taken a different route. I am going to share with you three things that contrary to popular opinion WILL NOT make you fat.

Junk food

Most people assume they need to eat “clean” to lose weight and tend to label foods “good” and “bad”.  This is not entirely correct as food is fundamentally just energy. In fact, regardless of what you eat, you can still lose weight. The real trick lies in calorie intake vs calorie expenditure, having SOME junk food even if a reduced calorie version has been shown to lead to better long-term results as it encourages consistency in the training and dietary programme.

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Artificial sweetener

Artificial sweetener has got a bad rep with many people believing it can lead to weight gain. This is simply not true. But, what exactly are these mysterious substances?  and how do they make things taste so darn good? Simple! Sugar contains a molecule called sucrose, when sucrose hits our taste buds it sends a signal to the brain to trigger what we know as  “sweet”  taste. Now, there are other substances that can create the same brain response, some of these are natural and can be found in plants most famous example being stevia, some others are man-made. Bottom line: neither is necessarily bad for you or will make you fat, in fact if you are trying to lose weight cutting back on sugar and replacing it with sweeteners is a great place to start!

Carbs and Insulin.

Carbs or as many of us may know them – modern day villains. The legend goes that they spike your insulin and that you won’t lose weight! Whilst this is not entirely wrong, it is also not entirely correct either, let me explain.  Insulin is a hormone released by the pancreas, which allows glucose to enter blood cells and be distributed around the body for energy, it also stops fat burning and promotes energy storage. The logical conclusion therefore is that carbs spike insulin and when insulin is high, you can’t burn fat and you don’t lose weight – Right? What people don’t realise is that protein also spikes insulin and eating fat also stops your body from being able to burn fat because when you are eating your body is storing and not burning! Back to my previous point people, your overall calorie intake throughout the day and time spent burning the calories you have consumed is really what will determine a successful weight loss.

Most of the diets out there will work so my advice is: find one that suits your lifestyle and allows you to be consistent and go for it!

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Darren Holness
Personal Trainer Sevenoaks & Blackheath
Better Body Group