Episode 60 – What We Wish More People Knew About Nutrition

Key Topics Covered

Energy Balance and Macros  

  • I wish more people understood macros and energy balance in much more detail than the average person does.
  • It seems simple, but it’s important. Because if people understood that, they would not be as prone to looking for alternative options and prioritising unimportant details over the important details.
    • E.G. Thinking lemon water will help with weight loss

The “Healthiness” of Food is Context Dependent  

  • There are no good or bad foods – everything depends on the dietary context  
  • Processed foods are a spectrum
    • E.G. One timtam in addition to a predominantly wholefood diet is still “healthy”
    • Whereas a whole packet of timtims for dinner isn’t the “healthiest option”
  • The only outright bad foods are things you are allergic to  

The Rate of Weight Loss does Not drastically Impact the Likelihood of Weight Regain

  • Most people believe that “slow and steady weight loss” means that they’re more likely to maintain weight loss.
  • Think about – “Can you name 2 people in your life who’ve lost a large amount of weight and maintained it”
  • 80-90% of people who lose weight regain the weight. Therefore, weight loss is hard to achieve and maintain anyway.
  • It’s not so much about how you approach the weight loss, it’s more about what you do after.

Metabolism Isn’t Static 

  • Metabolic adaptation – changes in response to calorie intake  
  • Metabolic rate is a moving target – this means maintenance calories are also a moving target  
  • Metabolism is not one number, it’s ever-changing – this is useful to know if you’re striving for weight loss or weight gain.

The difference between 80% effort vs 100% effort with nutrition often has only a small impact on outcomes

  • This is important just because it is wayyyy easier to get to that 80% level of effort. And it also reduces black and white thinking a bit.
  • If you feel like a failure because you fall short of hitting 100%, you might end up just not putting in much effort at all.  
  • “If you’re consistently pretty good, that’s so much better than inconsistently perfect”

Tracking Calories is Hard  

  • In my career so far, I have met more people who think they are really good at tracking calories but are actually really bad.
  • Takes some fundamental nutrition knowledge to do accurately and it takes a significant amount of time also.
  • E.g. Weighing foods or knowing what options to choose in MFP.
  • You don’t know what you don’t know here – It’s definitely a difficult skill to master

Paying Too Much Attention to the Headlines of Studies Reported by the Media is Silly 

  • Often taken out of context 
  • Only reported if they are interesting 
  • The whole body of evidence > individual studies 
  • At best they should be looked at through the sceptical lens of “that’s interesting – maybe it is worth me looking into this topic further”  

Reduced Gut Symptoms Does not always Equal to Improved gut health  

  • Low FODMAP diet can reduce IBS symptoms but is actually harmful to overall gut health  
  • Extreme example of the carnivore diet  
  • The reason I want people to know this is because a lot of things are marketed to improve gut health – but they are actually diets excluding things like FODMAPs, lots of plant foods, and limiting fiber to reduce gut symptoms which overall can be detrimental to gut health even though there is symptom reduction  
  • You can’t always conflate the two  

Relevant Links/Resources

Related Blog Posts