“Reality Check” is an article series which looks at common mistakes people make when they begin dieting for weight loss. We’ll check out some ‘thought adjustments’ that will help you make better choices on your journey. The articles include tips, new ideas to try, strategies to follow, and encouragement to keep you moving forward.

Some extra calories are better than others

“As long as you eat your extra calories from protein you don’t have to worry about weight gain, because protein is good for you.”  FALSE…

This type of statement has become a pretty common theme when it comes to diet ‘advice’.

It sounds logical if you choose not to think about it for more than a second or two. Unfortunately, there are actually a few problems with this statement.

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Problem one:

How does your body know which calories in your day are the ‘extra’ ones? Can you set your gut to keep all the protein calories until last in the digestive queue so they become the extras? Your body uses calories as it receives them, and once it’s used enough calories for the day, then the rest is extra.

Problem two:

Extra calories are stored somewhere. There is no other option. They can be stored in fat cells or muscle cells, but the bottom line is that if you’re not expending them, they’re getting stored. If your goal is weight loss, extra storage is not a good thing. This is why weight loss requires caloric DEFICIT – so that you actually use some of the stored stuff and lose weight.

Problem three:

No-one agrees on what the extra calories should be. Some say protein, some say fat, and fewer people say carbohydrates. But if this was a hard science, these ‘gurus’ would all agree. But it’s not, so they don’t, because they made it up to suit their own pocket.

Here’s the thing. If your goal is to gain muscle mass, then you MUST eat extra food.

But that’s probably not the case. You want to lose weight, right? So you need to eat less food than you burn in a day, every day, for about twelve weeks. If you actually do this, you’ll lose, which in this case, is winning.

Read more in the ‘reality check’ series below: