How to Lose Weight and Why Television Could Be Confusing You

I always highlight that reading more won’t make you stupid… However, if you principally read stories that are not true then the likely hood is that you may believe that life works in the way as described in what you are reading.

The same could be said of television- as I highlight to my wife. In season- I love a bit of Game of Thrones, sometimes I could consider maybe it’s a bit “real” (no I haven’t gone full blown crazy), I mean at one point in time you had to pretty much run around with a sword! Am I right- of course I am. Now when the magic and dragons turn up I pretty much understand that they might not be real- well I haven’t seen many dragons recently. This is fantasy comparing this to the hospital drama Gray’s Anatomy where it seems you take your life and close relationships in to your hands once you take on your employment contract- I mean if you or your significant other isn’t crushed, beaten or shot within two years working in this hospital it’s a miracle. They both aren’t real if you needed clarification… though they are entertaining.

What does this have to do with weight loss you may ask. Well continue reading and I might get to my point. There is a lot of misinformation about losing weight. Principally you need to remember one thing:

You will only lose fat weight if you are in a calorific deficit.

There, that’s it.

It’s not a fantastical story about your hormones. Overall your weight can be manipulated by what you eat and drink. Body composition is only changed if you engage in a calorific deficit or surplus.

Why is it important to highlight this point. Consider the following:

  • Eat fat, burn fat.
  • Low carb diets work best for fat loss.
  • Fasted exercise is better than non-fasted exercise.

None of them are true. If you eat fat and you are in a calorific deficit then you will lose weight. Low carb diets are as effective as low fat diets in the research. Fasted cardio is not better if you control for exercise intensity and volume. Where does that leave us? It doesn’t leave us in a place with a fantastic story- in fact it leaves two options. Control calorie intake and adapt exercise/ activity as necessary in line with your current weight/ lean muscle content.

Each of those statements have been uttered in the main stream media, on television and in print recently. What’s the result? People believe these things are real. Now they may not start pouring cream on all their meals and eating cheese like there is no tomorrow but it does confuse the message of a balanced diet and healthy sustainable weight loss.

If you know the difference between dragons being real or pretend, then that’s fine, just as the perils of taking a hospital job in Seattle. If these programmes are being delivered  as factual accounts and people believe they are real then the world would be going crazy. Some things can be dramatized- health advice probably shouldn’t be.

Published by ianmellis

Ian Mellis MSc. CSCS is the co-founder of Results FAST ( in Ware, Hertfordshire. Specialising in athletic development, physique improvement and injury rehabilitation he provides personal training, strength and conditioning and nutrition coaching for motivated exercisers and those looking to make a long term change to their health, fitness and performance.

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