WEIGHT LOSS: FAT FREE OR SUGAR FREE?

We often complicate matters more than needed: weight loss is achieved via a nourishment plan that is very specific to an individual as it aims at creating a negative energy balance. So yes, it might be that for you, as a particular individual, a ready-made weight loss plan will not work because the variables will simply not add up to maintain a caloric deficit in your specific case.

the rise of dietary strategies to fight overweight and obesity

Most known diets that aim at promoting a guaranteed weight-loss (Keto, Atkins, Zone, Ornish, Paleo, Gluten-free) have been analyzed scientifically and little scientific evidence has been found to make a statement. (1) We cannot possibly recommend a single diet to a generalized public, hence, it’s good to take food trends with a pinch of salt before jumping in and switching to the latest hit diet.

The creation of new diets will continue to follow popular trends. However, the belief that these diets promote weight loss has emerged more from personal impressions and reports published in books, rather than from rigorously controlled research.

Rachel Freire Ph.D
”Characteristics of diets for weight-loss. Diets were classified into three categories: diets based on the manipulation of macronutrient content (green), manipulation of timing (blue), and restriction of specific foods and/or food groups (orange). Scientific evidence concludes that there is no optimally effective diet to promote weight loss. The fundamental point to success is to adopt a diet that is based on high-quality foods, creates a negative energy balance, and promotes a good level of adherence. HP, high-protein; LC low-carbohydrate.” –

Scientific evidence of diets for weight loss: Different macronutrient composition, intermittent fasting, and popular diets by Rachel Freire, Ph.D.

Adherence, meaning the success rate of which an individual sticks to a particular diet, caloric deficit and the usage of high-quality foods will determine the success of a weight loss diet. It is not about how much food you eat, it’s about how you eat, how much you move in comparison to your eating habits and what you eat.

fat-free diets: little to do with research, more to do with money, politics and power

Margarine, fat-free yoghurts with extra added sugar masking the lack of nutrients and taste, lean meat and a fear for the fatty cuts…all added up to the production of a whole new line of products: the fat-free aisle at the supermarket.

Not only diabetes has risen, but cavities and other chronic diseases in both young and older population. (2)

One of the interesting things that happens when you reduce your sugar intake is that you become less hungry. You don’t get that big surge in your blood sugar levels followed soon after by a big drop, which means you are hungry again a couple of hours after your high sugar meal or drink. So a low sugar diet is much easier to maintain than a low calorie diet where you always feel very hungry.

Dr Peter Brukner

Products that are labelled as ”fat-free” are going through a high number of laboratory processes in order to be chemically treated that will allow them to hold the fat-free designation. This can be clearly seen on dairy products, especially cheese which is naturally high in fats and protein, yet undergoes a several-step laboratory process and transformed into fat-free with the addition of sodium phosphate (linked to kidney damage).

The overall idea behind dieting for the purpose of weight loss via shortcuts such as using laboratory modified products labelled as ”fat-free” or even ”sugar-free” is wrong in it own principles: everyone that wills to lose weight does it from a physical and metaphysical perspective. Everyone’s goal in the end is to APPEAR healthy or to actually BE healthy.

The best we can do for our bodies and goals is to keep it real, eating real, unprocessed foods, better if seasonal, local and as according to our own particular needs.

A NOTE ON ”HEALTHY FATS” CONCEPT

You’ve probably heard this many many times, you have read it in books, in articles, everywhere. The issue with this concept is that in most reading material it fails to be explained as: fried, processed fats, carbohydrate + sugars added.

Healthy fats include saturated fats, taking that we’re eating proportionately, avoiding overeating and avoiding restriction of food groups. Healthy fats are not only avocados on toast or nuts on your oatmeal, but the good skin of a chicken leg you throw in your bone broth preparation, as part of a nutritiously dense meal.

We will talk more about ”healthy fats” in an upcoming article!