The Real Secret Behind Weight Loss
Spoiler Alert: It’s Not What You Think
Tired of reading endless articles and blog posts about the ‘truth’ behind weight loss? Yeah, me too. It’s always the same advice, and it’s always wrong. “You’re eating too much. “You’re doing too much cardio.” If you’re thinking that this advice sounds backwards and too good to be true, that’s because it is. But I’m here to tell you that there is one ‘secret’ to weight loss. It’s super simple and you’re not going to like it.
If your fitness goal really is just weight loss and not anything performance-related (I want to run faster/complete an Ironman/deadlift twice my body weight) then this is incredibly simple to achieve. In this instance, you don’t need to worry about macronutrients or buy expensive supplements, literally all you need to do is eat a calorie deficit; in other words, consume fewer calories than you burn in a day. That’s it. Simple science. It’s only when you add into the mix things like building muscle, adding endurance, or improving performance that things get more complicated.
One of the most pedalled pieces of wrong information out there is that “you’re not eating enough.” This is a load of crap. These fake gurus really expect you to believe that you should be eating MORE to lose weight? Wrong. You’re over the weight you want to be because you eat too much. One such fake guru and Instagram irritant is Camilla Akerberg. She says that, “a small salad a day and an overdose of cardio is not the answer”. If we look past the fact that she herself is clearly severely underweight, that’s terrible advice. It’s completely untrue that if you ate nothing but a salad you’d not lose weight. Of course you would. It wouldn’t be healthy and you’d be missing out on vital nutrients, but at the core of it, you would lose weight because you’re consuming fewer calories than you’re burning.
So, what is the big ‘secret’ to weight loss I hear you cry. Honestly, it’s that you’ll be hungry. That’s it. You see these models like Camilla? I guarantee she’s hungry 24/7. It is impossible to maintain a figure like that and not be hungry. High metabolism? Bullshit. If you want to lose weight, you’ll have to be hungry. Your body needs to adapt and change, and the stimulant is hunger. Your stomach will eventually shrink and you’ll no longer be able to physically eat as much as you could before, and so the weight loss journey will continue. The reason this is a big ‘secret’? Because no one wants to admit that this is what it takes. It’s hard! And it’s certainly not glamorous. You can’t sell anything using this technique, you just have to do it. There’s no pill or potion you need to take, you just need to stop eating as much.
Of course, this is only applicable if your lifestyle is very sedentary. Camilla claims to be hugely averse to cardio, and would rather lift weights. But if she’s not burning calories by doing cardio, her daily intake will need to be very low, therefore resulting in perceived hunger. If you’re an athlete, or even just someone who’s very active and enjoys running half marathons or cycling sportifs, this doesn’t apply to you! But these fake gurus are claiming not to be doing any cardio whatsoever, in which case they must be starving.
The biggest load of rubbish these ‘influencers’ tout is that cardio is the enemy. “Weights over cardio” is a really strong mindset that a lot of Instagrammers live by. My question is, what’s wrong with running? Cycling? Swimming? Real sports? Do you not consider Ironman triathletes to be in good shape? To me, they’re some of the fittest on earth, along with CrossFitters, who, funnily enough, do a hell of a lot of cardio. These fitness models who claim to eat loads and never do cardio, only lifting weights, are lying. That’s the ‘secret’. They’re lying to you.
Here are the facts: if you want to lose weight, you need to feel hungry. You need to burn more calories than you eat. Go for a run if you can. Stay active. And don’t believe what you read on Instagram. That’s it. Simple.