Demystifying Nutrition: The Real Truth About Weight Loss & Nutrition

April 27, 2023

Unearth the truth about weight loss in this myth-busting guide to nutrition. From understanding body fat to mastering meal prep, we debunk misconceptions and reveal the real strategies that work. Learn the truth about diets, protein's role, and find your perfect eating strategy.

Demystifying Nutrition

We're going to peel back the layers of the Great Nutrition Enigma – that labyrinthine puzzle that has you scouring the internet at odd hours, sifting through a sea of conflicting advice. You've got questions, we've got answers. And we're about to dive into a nutritional boot camp that will transform you into a lean, mean, informed-eating machine.

First, let's state the obvious: You're unique. Your body, your lifestyle, your taste buds – they're all one-of-a-kind. So any cookie-cutter diet plan you come across? Scratch that. You need a strategy tailored to you.

We'll tackle the three key pillars of nutrition: body weight, body fat, and the macronutrient breakdown of your food. We'll bust through the myths and misconceptions and arm you with the tools to make informed decisions about what you eat and why.

So buckle up, because we're about to take you on a journey through the wild, sometimes confusing, but ultimately empowering world of nutrition. Ready? Let's get started.

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The Current State of Nutrition

The world of nutrition is a vast, murky sea, and we're all floundering for the truth. Everybody's got an opinion, and it feels like there's a new nutrition cult popping up daily. You know the ones – paleo, keto, vegan, carnivore. They treat their diets like religion, and heaven forbid you disagree.

Some "experts" even spew nonsense about fruits and vegetables being toxic. Absurd, right? If it were true, we'd face a global food crisis that would make the smoking-cancer revelation look like child's play.

And, oh, those diet studies – so difficult to conduct. To be good, they need a large pool of subjects and tight control of outside factors. But when you're already struggling to tame your own eating habits, how could scientists possibly control what their subjects eat? So far, it's been Mission Impossible.

However, in this hazy nutritional landscape, we do have a few certainties:

  1. Don't overeat or undereat calories. 

Overeating leads to obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and various forms of cancer.

Undereating causes muscle and bone wasting, weakness, and a host of vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

  1. Eat enough protein: Aim for about 1g per pound of body weight daily to promote muscle growth and prevent muscular atrophy.
  2. Stay hydrated: Guzzle down 80 oz or more of water per day to avoid dehydration and its many side effects.
  3. Consume sufficient vitamins and minerals: No precise numbers here, but do your best to cover all the bases.
  4. Dodge toxins like mercury and lead: It's a no-brainer, but still worth mentioning.
  5. Steer clear of pathogens like E. coli: Seriously, nobody wants food poisoning.

That's the gist of what we know. Kind of pitiful, huh? But stick with these rules and you'll be navigating the chaos in style.

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Determining Your Ideal Bodyweight

When it comes to setting body weight goals, it's time to call on the trusty sidekick: BMI. That's Body Mass Index, for the uninitiated. It's a simple ratio of weight to height, measured in kg/m^2. And the healthy range? Aim for a BMI between 18.5 and 25. Heck, let's get cozy in the middle ground – 20 to 23. This is where we commonly tell our clients to be.

Now, if you're scratching your head, wondering how to find your BMI, fret not. Here's a nifty BMI calculator to do the math for you. To find your ideal BMI, test different weights in the calculator until you hit that goldilocks zone of 20 to 23.

The number you get will seem surprisingly low. You might think your high school weight is a pipe dream, but guess what? Those high school days might just be the healthiest version of yourself. So, buckle up and take a ride back in time.

"But BMI doesn't account for muscle mass!" you protest. Sure, a colossal bodybuilder with a 7% body fat could be labeled obese by the BMI scale. But let's be honest, most of us aren't gunning for a bodybuilder physique (amirite, ladies?). And guess what? A BMI in the healthy range has been linked to longer, healthier lives, even after controlling for smokers who tend to be smaller (cigarettes are an appetite suppressant, don’t get any ideas though). Who knew?

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Setting Goals Around Body Fat Percentage

Once you've tamed the beast of BMI, it's time to confront the next challenger: body fat. 

Why should you care about body fat? High body fat percentages are linked with increased visceral fat – that's the problematic fat hiding around your organs, not the harmless fluff under your skin (which is subcutaneous fat). Visceral fat is linked to all sorts of nastiness like inflammation, increased cancer risk, and cardiovascular disease.

Surprise, surprise! Even deceptively low body fat percentages can harbor dangerous levels of visceral fat. Guys with 20% body fat might be at high risk. That's why I say: aim low, but not too low when it comes to body fat. Men, shoot for 6% to 17% body fat. Ladies, you're aiming for 14% to 25%.

So, how do you measure body fat? DEXA scans, BodPod, and dunk tanks can do the trick, but they're expensive and hard to find. Instead, snag a body fat scale, like this one, online. It's not flawless, but it's good enough to give you an idea of where you stand.

Hit that optimal body weight, and you might still find yourself battling the body fat demon. Don't sweat it. Chiseling away at body fat might take longer than getting to the right weight. To succeed, focus on two things: heavy weight training (with a pro, please) and eating enough protein (1g per pound of body weight).

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How to Grocery Shop to Easily Make Better Food Choices

Grocery stores can be deceptive. They cleverly arrange a calorie-dense trap right in the heart of the store. Those alluring aisles are filled with things you shouldn't eat – the tempting, hard-to-resist "grain-based desserts" like cookies, cakes, and pies. And according to the US Department of Agriculture, that's where most Americans get their calories from.

Ready to resist the system? Stick to the periphery and you'll be on your way to a higher-quality diet. It's true, you'll occasionally need to venture into the aisles for things like spices, olive oil, and water, but be quick and return to the safer outskirts.

Navigate the grocery store with a clever eye, cruising the edges and scouting healthier options. As you dodge those sugar-packed temptations, you'll find yourself one step closer to your weight loss goal.

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A Miraculous Tool: The Meal Prep

Meal prepping, it's a game-changer. I've spilled the beans in a blog post before. You can find the in-depth meal prep guide here.

Why bother with meal prep? Two words: survival and control. It's your life raft when hunger strikes, and it makes counting calories feel like a walk in the park.

When you're unprepared, that's when the vultures swoop in, and you find yourself munching on garbage. Meal prep keeps those beasts at bay.

And let's not forget about the sweet victory of knowing your calories. Whip up all your meals at once, and you'll track those calorie counts like a pro.

Now, gather 'round for the gospel of meal prepping:

  1. Identify your Achilles' heel. If it's your lunch that's always a hot mess, prep it in advance. If every meal is like navigating a minefield, get down and dirty – prep them all.
  2. Consistency is king. Pick a meal prep day and own it. One day of kitchen chaos will buy you a week of smooth sailing.

Remember, meal prep is the unsung hero of your nutritional crusade. Master it, and you'll emerge victorious.

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The 3 Strategies to Cut Calories

Listen up, folks. Here's the secret to shedding pounds: it's all about cutting down on those pesky calories. It doesn't matter if you're young, old, or somewhere in between. You want to lose weight? Slash your calorie intake. No magic pills or potions here. Just plain and simple math.

Alright, you've got three main routes to restricting calories: calorie counting, stick to a specific diet, or give fasting a whirl. Heck, you can even mix and match if you're feeling daring.

Here’s what they look like:

  1. Tracking Calories: Welcome to the world of strict accounting, food edition. Freedom comes at the cost of precision. But hey, you get to choose your grub as long as you hit those macro targets and keep your calorie count in check. Tools of the trade: a trusty food scale and a handy app like Carbon, MyFitnessPal, or Bitesnap.
  2. Dieting: Every diet's just a different flavor of calorie restriction. Keto says bye-bye to carbs, Mediterranean shuns red meat and saturated fats, vegan kicks out anything animal-based, and paleo gives a cold shoulder to processed foods, dairy, and grains. But, seriously, find a diet that won't feel like you're being punished for eternity. Do what feels right for you, and don't forget: it's not a one-size-fits-all kind of deal.
  3. Time-Restricted Eating/Fasting: Fasting's no magical solution, but it's a pretty neat trick up your sleeve. You can create an eating window (say, 9am to 5pm), go for single or multi-day water-only fasts, or even throw in some supplements if you're feeling fancy. But, listen up, make sure it fits your lifestyle. Got a family dinner ritual? Don't skip it. Love your breakfast? Make that window work for you. Oh, and one more thing: one study (of only 30 people, mind you) suggested eating more earlier in the day and less as it progresses might curb hunger pangs. Think big breakfast, medium lunch, and small dinner. Worth a shot, right?

Now, get out there and pick your calorie-cutting poison. Best of luck on your weight loss journey, and remember: it's about finding what works for you, not what some guru claims is the ultimate secret.

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Busting Myths About Nutrition

Listen up, because I'm about to clear the air on some whacked-out nutrition myths. Losing weight's tough enough without all this misinformation muddying the waters. Let's set the record straight, alright?

  1. "Fattening" Foods: Newsflash - no food's fattening on its own. Sure, some are more calorie-dense, like your sneaky 400-calorie donut that disappears in three bites. But eat a pound of spinach and you'll barely crack 100 calories. The trick? Keep your distance from calorie-dense foods and mind your portions.
  2. (Insert diet) helps you burn more fat: No one diet's a magical fat-buster. It's all about the calories and protein, my friend. Cut calories below your maintenance level and chow down on enough protein - that's how you shed pounds, regardless of which diet you choose.
  3. Carbs make you fat:  Hold up, don't blame the carbs. Seriously, see #1. Let's move on.
  4. Red meat's the enemy: Here's a hot take: red meat's not so bad after all. Those studies that made it look like the bad guy? They usually compared cheeseburger-guzzling folks to others. So was it the red meat, the white flour bun, the sugary ketchup, or the deep-fried potatoes causing the inflammation and health issues? When you make sure to eat fruits and veggies too, studies have shown that red meat lovers aren't at a higher risk of kicking the bucket than anyone else.

Now you know better. Don't let these nutrition myths hold you back on your weight loss journey. Remember, knowledge is power!

Alright, folks, we've reached the end of this wild ride, and if you've stuck around this long, you should've picked up on a few crucial truths:

  1. One-size-fits-all diets are a myth.
  2. Calories are the real MVP when it comes to shedding pounds.
  3. Protein's your new best friend.

With any luck, you're now brewing a plan to tackle your nutrition woes. Maybe you'll count calories and embrace the keto lifestyle, or adopt a fasting window and enjoy a hearty breakfast. Whichever path you choose, it's bound to lead to success - just don't let carbs spook you!

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Still feeling a bit lost? The pros at Galaxy Fit Lab have got your back with their Accountability Coaching services. They'll help you pick a strategy and stick with it so you can conquer your goals and feel amazing. So go on, get out there, and show the world what you're made of!

Sign up for a FREE Health Consultation here.


  1. Winter, Jeannette, et al. "BMI and all-cause mortality in older adults: a meta-analysis." The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 99, no. 4, 2014, pp. 875-890, Accessed 27 April 2023.
  2. Global BMI Mortality Collaboration. "Body-mass index and all-cause mortality: individual-participant-data meta-analysis of 239 prospective studies in four continents." The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, vol. 6, no. 9, 2018, pp. 689-700, Accessed 27 April 2023.
  3. Rivas, Teresa A., et al. "Meal timing affects glucose tolerance, substrate oxidation and circadian-related variables: A randomized, crossover trial." Cell Metabolism, vol. 35, no. 5, 2022, pp. 897-908, Accessed 27 April 2023.
  4. Kim, Keum Ji, et al. "Red and Processed Meat, Cooking Methods, and Risk of Proximal Colon, Distal Colon, and Rectal Cancer: The UK Biobank Study." Nutrients, vol. 12, no. 9, 2020, p. 2751, Accessed 27 April 2023.

John Williams, B.S., CSCS

Owner, Trainer, Explorer

John is passionate about getting people fit. After work, you can find him reading and watching Formula 1.

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