A Common Beginner Dieting Confusion

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 08/31/2023

Avoid conflicting diet information and save yourself grief by reading the simple facts about dieting.

RELATED: A Beginner's Overview to Keto and Intermittent Fasting 

The Biggest Misconception About Dieting

Weight Loss vs Fat Loss

If you’re new to dieting, I want to make this really simple. One of the biggest misconceptions people dieting for the first time have is that “weight loss is equal to fat loss.” In other words, if they lose weight, they’re losing actual fat. That is absolutely not true.

Reaching the Plateau in Weight Loss

Girl and dietary food at table close-up | A Common Beginner Dieting Confusion

When you change your diet, most people will start to lose water weight.  

Water Weight Definition: This is the extra fluid being held by the body in addition to the normal amount it needs. 

After those two weeks, though, you will plateau. This means you won’t gain weight, but you won’t lose much either. Then, comes in the misconception most dieting beginners have.

Most people who have just started dieting think their weight lost to this point is due to fat loss. That is false information and it sets dieters up for confusion and disappointment. As they continue, they’ll exercise more and eat less. They’ll count their calories and decide that they need to cut their food intake further to lose more weight. During that time, cravings will kick in, the body will push you to eat more carbs to make up for the cutbacks. 

It’s very difficult not to give in and start eating carbs, sugar, and protein to get your strength back. If you do succumb to your cravings, you’ll gain the weight you’ve lost, right back. Worse, it might actually stop the weight loss completely. 

Why Exercising More and Eating Less Aren’t Helping

Exercising and eating less are not going to help you because this style of dieting forces your liver to produce more Fat Storing Hormone. The more carbs and sugar you eat, the more Fat Storing Hormone will be pumped into the bloodstream. Too much Fat Storing Hormone will halt the release of fat. Fat Storing Hormone functions as the security system that prevents the body from using fat as fuel.

These strategies alone won’t help much with your diet either:

  • Eating less fat

  • Eating high protein food

  • Eating plant-based food

  • Eating healthier

What’s preventing your body from using fat as fuel is the sugar and carbs stored in your bloodstream. That means eating food high in carbs and sugar won’t allow you to lose fat. You may lose weight, which most likely be water weight, but you won’t get rid of your stored fats.

RELATED: Why Ketosis Doesn’t Necessarily Cause Weight Loss

Start Intermittent Fasting and Ketogenic Dieting to Lose Fats

Woman putting seasonings on salmon | A Common Beginner Dieting Confusion

If you really want to lose the fat and not just the weight, you need to try intermittent fasting and the keto diet. By going on a ketogenic diet together with intermittent fasting, you’ll be able to lose the extra weight, as well as fat. By combining intermittent fasting and the keto diet, you will be able to deplete your stored sugar and get rid of carbs trapped in your body. Once you’ve reached the state of ketosis, your body will start using your fat storage for energy. 

The Fat Storing Hormone lock made by carbs and sugar will open up. You’ll be able to release fat and put it to good use in your body. You can also exercise to speed the process up.

Going on a diet for beginners maybe daunting, especially if you get wrong information from the get-go. It’s not bad to exercise and monitor what you eat. But you need to make sure you’re doing it correctly. Make sure what you’re eating will help you reach a state of ketosis. That’s the most important thing.

Have you started dieting already? What do you eat or not eat when you’re on a diet? Share your experiences in the comments section below.

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Disclaimer: Our educational content is not meant or intended for medical advice or treatment.


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