3 big fat lies about losing weight

Here are 3 big, fat lies about losing weight that are responsible for unsuccessful weight loss.

Lie #1: Carbs make you fat so the best way to lose weight is to cut carbs.

Even famous cable TV doctor, Dr. Nowzardan, who treats the people on TLC’s My 600 Pound Life, believes carbs make people fat. He asserts his patients must “stop eating carbs.”  I don’t think Dr. “Now” really wants his patients to stop eating carbs, but rather to cut out the heavily processed, refined carbs.

Carbohydrates shouldn’t be removed from your diet. If you were to stop eating carbs, you’d see a big, gratifying weight loss in a very short period. Weight loss isn’t necessarily fat loss. Losing weight from cutting carbs is mostly water loss because it forces the body to use glycogen stored in the muscles and liver for fuel.

It is not sustainable. Carbs are an essential nutrient. If you starve your body of its favorite source of energy it is forced to covert protein to energy. It can do that, but not well and not without side effects. Side effects include constipation, headaches, nausea and bad breath, and in extreme cases, kidney disease.

The truth about carbs:

Carbs should make up 45 – 65% of your total daily calories, but the carbs should come mainly from fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. For the most part try to limit your total carb intake of refined carbs such as foods with added sugars and white flour to about 10% of your total daily carbs.


Lie #2: You’ll lose more weight if you go gluten-free

Gluten-free must be a great way to lose weight because everybody is doing it, right? Wrong, going gluten-free offers no weight loss or health benefits to most of the human population because most humans don’t have Celiac disease or are even gluten sensitive.Celiac disease is an auto-immune disorder which causes antibodies to react to gluten as though it were a toxic substance, which to people with Celiac, it is.

Gluten is a substance in wheat and many other types of grain including  barley and rye. People with Celiac disease must avoid it because it’s harmful to their digestive system. For the rest of us, it’s harmless and it has no adverse effect on our weight unless it’s part of a diet too high in calories in general.

People with this disease must eat gluten-free to maintain a healthy diet, but somehow the science got perverted by claims that, “I finally lost weight when I went gluten-free,” or “Go gluten-free to get rid of that belly fat.” The claims, and therefore, a gluten-free diet are not supported by science.


Major manufacturers of food jumped on the gluten-free wagon. It’s a great marketing tool in a time when people are trying to reduce their consumption of processed carbs, putting gluten-free on the front of the package makes their products appear healthier than they really are.

The truth about gluten:

If your doctor hasn’t diagnosed you with Celiac disease, enjoy grains with gluten. You can lose weight and it won’t make your belly any fatter than any other foods.


Lie #3: Low-fat or fat-free diets are healthier and result in better weight loss results:

The body needs large amounts of 3 macronutrients daily for good health. They are protein, carbohydrates, and fat. You read that right – fat is a macronutrient and necessary for good health even though in the ’90s it was identified as your body’s biggest enemy.

Fat got its bad reputation because it was a misunderstood nutrient. First, it had more calories – 9 – gram for gram, unlike protein and carbs with only 4 calories per gram. Therefore, cutting out fat was an expeditious way to reduce calories thus creating a deficit necessary to lose weight. It was also linked with heart disease.

Just like gluten-free, food manufacturers catered to the public’s fat phobia by making fat-free versions of all our favorite foods. Many had more calories than the original versions with fat because lots of sugar was added to make them palatable after removing the fat. There was absolutely nothing healthier about the fat-free versions.

The truth about fat:

Fat is good for you, just not too much, but then too much of anything isn’t good for you. There are 3 kids of fat in order of least to healthiest they are, saturated fat, unsaturated fat, and monounsaturated fat. Healthy diets get 30% of total calories from fat, preferably the monounsaturated fats found in foods such as olive oil, avocados, and nuts. Ideally saturated fat, the fat found in animal sources and is solid at room temperature, should be limited to about 10% of total fat calories.


Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. She is a Weight Watchers success story. She's a weight loss expert with 25 years of experience guiding women and men to their weight-related goals. Her articles on weight management have been published in health, family and women's magazines. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news, FOX network morning program Good Day Maine and 207 on WCSH.