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The myth of Glycemic Index and what to focus instead

If you were to say that GI is important, you’d be right.

But at the same time, you would be focusing only on one area rather than in the whole scenario.

Let me explain.

It’s not uncommon to hear that people should avoid high glycemic index food since that causes spike in insulin, thus leading to gain weight.

But here’s something important they don’t consider.

Every meal you eat increases your blood glucose levels, that’s for sure. 

But while there is a certain food that will spike your insulin and others that will keep it within normal range, it’s not seeing the full spectrum.

Not only research has shown that the glycemic index is meaningless when we add other macronutrients in the meal like protein and fats (and some fiber if possible), but it has shown that what dictates the change in weight isn’t really the glycemic index and its impact in the blood.

It’s quite easy to eat a ton of bread, rice, potatoes, or any “high glycemic index” food and not feel satiated, thus making you open to the idea of eating more. 

And that “extra” desire for eating more when you should be satiated is what leads you to eat more from what you should… thus, making you gain weight.

If you were to eat more “low glycemic index” (AKA. food high in fiber), you will start seeing that not only your hunger goes down, but your satiety goes up… and if you put into practice this while also eating at a negative energy balance and consuming an adequate amount of protein, you bet you will be in a far better position to lose fat.

So focus on what people consider “low glycemic index” food, but not for the reason of lowering your spikes of insulin.

Plus, you should pay attention to how much you’re eating more so than what you’re eating… if you focus on the latter without first taking care of the former, you can still gain weight by eating oats, vegetables and chicken breast.

I know this information can be sometimes confusing and for some even counterintuitive, but science is clear about this.

And in fact, if you want to get daily emails tips based on science on how to make the next diet you make the last one you’ll need, then you’re gonna want to click the link below and sign up so you don’t miss any tips:


Ivan @ Fitnessthetic

Hormones vs. calories: which one is the ruler?

It’s said that whenever we talk about calories we disregard hormones.

Funny enough, it’s the exact opposite.

Energy balance is affected by hormones and vice versa. It’s a matter of influence that goes in both ways, not a one-direction path.

What’s more, energy balance is based on certain things like how many calories does your body burn at rest (because it needs calories just to keep you alive) or the type of food you’re eating (recall TEF?), as well as other factors that are influenced by hormones.

Does this mean that you should rather disregard calories and rather focus on hormones?

Not at all, and by doing so it’s like trying to focus and control the effect of something rather than the cause.

To have a better understanding of this scope, let’s look at 2 hormones in specific that are of great importance when it comes to fat loss: ghrelin and leptin.

Ghrelin is the hormone that controls hunger/appetite in your body. It’s produced in the stomach, and it sends signals to the brain whenever it feels it’s hungry. 

(As a rule of thumb, when we have a lot of weight to lose we have lower ghrelin levels, while underweight individuals have it higher.)

Leptin is the hormone that controls satiety, produced on the fat cells, and tells your brain that you have enough energy in the form of adipose tissue to survive.

Whenever we are on a deficit (eating less from what we’re burning), we are telling the body that we want to use the current resources that we have as energy.

Well, guess what happens with your hormones?

Ghrelin (the hunger hormone) sends the signal to the brain that there’s not enough food and that you need to feed your body, or else you might die – probably not literally today, but that’s how it was back with our ancestors.

In the meantime, leptin knows it has enough resources to fuel that deficit, but if it doesn’t work properly (like when we have damaged it after trying so many diets in the past)… it won’t communicate that to your brain, thus making you eat more even when you’re satiated.

Both ghrelin and leptin have a negative relationship – so while one is up, the other one is down and vice versa.

What’s more, if the brain doesn’t signal that it has enough resources to survive, it proceeds to start spending less energy on its daily activities to preserve more of it as a reserve (you know, just so that you can survive).

So if you add up all of this, it’s the recipe for disaster.

And this is exactly part of the vicious cycle many people who are constantly dieting experience.

So to finish this cycle, you should focus on your calories.

It’s simple said than done, but when you get your calories nailed down you don’t have to worry about hormones since they would be taken care of it as well.

Now, if you would like to know in greater detail how to do this and what you need to make it happen, then you’re gonna want to sign up below where I give you daily email tips to do it (and a Free guide when you sign up as well):


Ivan @ Fitnessthetic

All diets are the same

Not all diets are created equal, but they are all guided towards the same results.

And let me show what I mean.

The ketogenic diet has the principle of using ketones (that are already in our body, just in small amounts when we’re eating a diet high in carbohydrates) as a source of energy rather than glucose.

The reason behind that?

Since glucose is the primary fuel in our bodies, this is what’s leading us to store more fat and not let us use the energy we have already in our bodies… our fat tissue. 

So to compensate for this, we have to eliminate the carbohydrates from our diets (or eat no more than 30grams per day) to turn on the switch of using ketones in our body as the primary source, which will allow us to start using the fat as energy and thus make us lose weight.

Ok… let’s stop right there for a second.

Before you go on and think that the ketogenic diet is the miracle or “the answer”, I want now to show you the full spectrum (rather than part of it).

Yes, the ketogenic diet does all of that and the reasoning behind it is pretty convincing, but… if we were to put the focus on what really matters in diets, it’s meaningless and useless.

There have been studies that compared how much weight people lose when doing a ketogenic diet vs. doing a High-carb Low-fat (HCLF) diet and measured things like how much weight they lost, how much muscle and Lean Body Mass they retained (if this doesn’t make sense to you yet, don’t worry – I’ll explain all of this in upcoming chapters).

The end result? After both groups completed the period of fat loss, they found something unexpected…

both groups basically lost the exact same amount of weight.

Plus, they retained pretty much the same amount of muscle and Lean Body Mass.

So… what does this all mean?

It means that the ketogenic diet isn’t somehow superior or better than a normal diet with carbohydrates in it.

So while the theory behind doing keto sounds compelling and it makes sense, in reality, it’s just that… it sounds good, but it doesn’t mean it’s true.

And this doesn’t happen only with the ketogenic diet.

Choose any other diet you have tried or heard before, and you’ll see the common denominator is not a “secret” or something special about them – if someone tells you there’s one, I’d run away.

Focus on what really matters and the building block of all diets.

When you do that, it’s only a matter of picking the right diet for you and lose fat (with some nuances in the process, of course).

If you’d like to get daily tips like this delivered to your inbox, then make sure you sign up below:


Ivan @ Fitnessthetic

Are calories in vs. calories out real or BS?

Let me ask you a question,

How many times have you heard the saying “not all calories are equal”?

I’ve heard it a hundred times (maybe a hundred one with this one).

And this saying makes sense.

I mean, if you eat 100kcal of avocado (because it’s a healthy fat, right?…) is not the same as 100kcal of ice cream.

…and it’s true, but to an extent.

You see, there is this constant debate of calories in vs. calories out and whether they are a good approach to dieting and losing weight.

Well, what does the research say?
(By that, I mean all the scientific field and not cherry-picking specific studies to prove my point).

Over 30 studies have shown that whenever calories (and protein) are equated, it’s a matter of how many calories you eat to see whether you gain or lose fat (maybe the number of studies are trying to tell us something…)

But not everyone “trusts” that CICO is reliable or even accurate.

I’m sure someone even says “I’ve tried cutting out my calories before and it didn’t work”

Well, ironically they are the ones who promote some type of diet that restricts your food in some way or another to (you guessed it) create a deficit and lose weight.

Intermittent fasting? Cut out a meal and because you’re eating on a certain feeding window, then by default you’ll be eating less.

Keto? Even when you replace the carbs with 2x the fats and increase protein, the fact that you eliminated a macronutrient still creates a deficit.

“Clean eating”? Stop eating rice, sugar and any processed food… well, just like in any other diet, cut calories – and in these cases, by eliminating food – and you’re creating a deficit.

So the common denominator of all of these is to create a deficit and lose fat.

And it’s not a coincidence.

Because it just happens that creating a caloric deficit is the only way to lose weight.

Let me say that again.

No matter what approach you take, the only way for someone to lose fat is by burning more calories than you consume.

Whether you do it by eliminating food, reducing your feeding window or by restricting your food intake is not what you should focus on…

what you should focus on is which approach is right for you.

Look, nothing bad will happen if you keep eating some junk food and desserts (as long as they are not your main energy source and you follow the rules), but if you feel like you’d be better off by eating only a couple of hours as the strategy to lose fat, then go for it.

Or if you’d rather eat eggs, bacon and avocado for breakfast while completely eliminating carbohydrates (yes, that includes desserts) from your diet, then choose keto.

The issue is when you choose an approach that you can’t sustain and feel miserable while doing it.

Do you think you’d be able to lose weight if you’re feeling like going through hell? Maybe

But I bet binge eating, constant anxiety when eating out, and just adding stress to your life will be part of the equation – which makes no wonder why most people can’t seem to keep their weight off.

So in the end, everything (and I mean that) in your diet is based on calories in vs. calories out.

It doesn’t matter how you see it or how you do it, but all you need is to create a negative energy balance (meaning, burn more from what you consume) and you’ll lose weight.

Don’t think CICO is a miracle diet, a different approach, or a school of thought… 

it’s the building block of all diets.

That’s why I give daily tips like this so that you can see how everything in reality works and how to make the next diet you make the last one you’ll need…

A bold promise, but by knowing the science of fat loss (not all this BS you hear out there), you can get there.

If that’s something you want, then you’re gonna want to sign up below to get more daily email tips like this:


Ivan @ Fitnessthetic

The food you should avoid when losing fat

The moment you start cutting out some food from your diet, a lot of things start to happen.

Both good and bad.

The good things are that if you cut rice, pizza, ice cream or any other food… you can be pretty much confident you’ll lose weight.

But not because there is anything inherently bad in these foods.

Rather, you’re going to lose weight because you are creating a deficit by eliminating some food.

And that leads us to the bad news…

Not only you are making this process way harder because you’re getting cravings from the food you have eliminated (especially if you say “No” to your favorite food)… but, you don’t really have to avoid any specific food to lose fat.

Plus, if you’re only relying on willpower to get over those cravings, you will end up binge eating in some way or another.

That is way worse than avoiding any type of food.


Because you start creating a vicious cycle.

This might sound familiar.

You start a diet and restrict yourself from certain food (let’s say desserts, to keep it somewhat general) and you manage to eat 3-4 weeks without cravings…

but at one point, you just want to taste one cookie.

Maybe you’re able to avoid them and resist the temptation for a little while until you can’t rely on willpower anymore.

So what happens next?

Well, you go out and find a way to eat every single cookie you want…

You stopped counting at the first 5 how many you ate (maybe you ate a doze, who knows…).

But as you realize that you probably have eating not only one cookie but way more than what you would have been “allowed” anyway, that feeling of shame and guilt kicks in.

And there, you have 2 options:

  1. Go into fuckery mode and say “well, I already screwed up my diet. I will eat what I want today and tomorrow I will resume my progress.”
  2. Stop right there, feeling you’re a failure or there’s something wrong with you because you couldn’t resist the temptation… and go the next day to the gym to try and “burn all the extra calories” you took the day before.

Who knows, and you end up choosing something between these 2 options.

The point is…

You don’t need to rely on willpower (as you can’t really control it) or motivation to avoid cravings and binge eat.

What you can do is not limit yourself in food availability, which will give you peace of mind knowing you can eat your favorite food while still getting your desired physique.

No need to avoid any type of food when trying to lose weight.

Because as you can see, that sometimes only can lead you to make the progress an infinite feedback loop you don’t want to be in.

And if you want some daily tips like this delivered to your inbox, sign up below so you get the first (and I can answer your questions as well):


You also get “The Fat Loss Multiplier” for free when you sign up.

Either way, make sure you’re not making the fat loss progress harder than what it can be in some cases (although it doesn’t have to be).

Ivan @ Fitnessthetic

What if this is the myth that’s stopping you from losing fat for good?

Out of all the myths about dieting, there’s one that always catches my attention.

The reason is simple.

It’s based on wrong assumptions, inaccurate experience, or a lack of understanding of the science of fat loss.

What myth I’m talking about?

The fact that people who have tried cutting calories and didn’t lose weight say… “all calories are not equal.”

The thing is that they are right (and wrong) at the same time.

Let me explain.

Yes, the idea behind calories being all the same is somewhat good… 

but the way it’s said (and believed) isn’t the case.

When you think that eating 150kcal of popcorn vs 150kcal of rice will give you two different outcomes isn’t really how the body works.

A calorie is a calorie… just like a centimetre is a centimetre.

Both are a way of measuring the thing, not the thing itself.

So saying they are not the same is wrong.


What we can say and it’s true is that not all sources of calories are the same.

That’s something totally different.

If you were to eat 150kcal of popcorn instead of rice, you will be much fuller after the popcorn because the density of these two is different.

The point is…

You can change the way calories impact your satiety and fat loss rate by choosing food that makes you feel fuller, but not by avoiding certain food or thinking that one is better or worse than the other.

There isn’t such a thing as good/bad foods.

So if you’re planning to lose weight or you’re on a diet right now, keep this in mind.

It’s not uncommon to see many “experts” saying this myth as a truth and then telling you to focus on hormones, keto or “clean eating” (whatever that means).

Make sure you eat plenty of calories from food that has a good nutritional value,…

but no one says that 20% of your daily calories can come from ice cream, pizza… or the food you love.

There’s no need to trust myths that the only thing they are doing is make you wonder what’s true and what’s pseudoscience, which one stops you from losing fat and keeping it off.

That’s why when you sign up below to my list, I give you daily email tips that help you make the next diet you make the last one you’ll need to lose those pounds you want.


Ivan @ Fitnessthetic

Why the Glycemic Index and spike in insulin are irrelevant for weight loss

If you think that the Glycemic Index (GI) and spikes in insulin caused by certain foods are important to losing weight, then here’s why that’s not the case.

But first, let’s understand where this myth is coming from.

It just happens that whenever we eat carbs, our body needs to break them down to their basic form (have you heard of glucose?).

And no, that’s not a bad thing…

because the preferred energy source of our bodies is glucose (and if carbs would be bad for our bodies, why would our bodies decide to use them?…).

Once digestion takes care of it and has turned it into its basic forms, then the liver decides what to do, to which it has 3 options:

  1. Store it as glycogen
  2. Turn it into fat 
  3. Release it into the bloodstream as glucose

But, why is this important?

Because there’s this common belief that those refined carbs (which are known for “fast absorption”) will be turned into fat as the energy from these wasn’t used right away.

Meanwhile, those carbs that are “slow” doesn’t necessarily have to be used after you eat them.

And that’s why this is a myth (and GI gets totally irrelevant).

Not only studies show that when you combine any carbohydrate (fast or slow absorption) with protein and fats in the same meal, they give you a much slower absorption, but…

the way the body uses energy is not something as instant as the GI portrays it.

The body is constantly fluctuating (on a daily basis), but it will be the total amount of energy (AKA, calories) you eat that will determine whether you’re using that excess of energy as fat or not.

If you’re not eating more than what you should and you’re eating all your macronutrients in every meal, there’s nothing to worry about.

You’ll lose weight regardless of the GI and any spikes in insulin you can have.

But as I said before, that’s why adding protein, fats (and fiber) to your meals will get rid of any idea that these spikes in insulin are not the reason why you can’t lose weight and keep it off.

Focus on what matters (which is eating a diversity of food rich in nutrients while making sure you’re on a deficit), and you’ll lose weight.

There’s just no other way to go about it.

Sadly, the fitness industry loves to complicate things and make you doubt whether the food you’re eating is good or bad.

That’s why if you want to get more daily tips like this delivered to your inbox, all you have to do is sign up below… so you don’t have to worry about what’s true and what’s completely BS.


Ivan @ Fitnessthetic

The truth behind protein powder

There’s this misconception about protein powder out there.

Many think it’s somehow magical while others think they can’t see results if they don’t take it on a daily basis.

In fact, some people still think there’s this 30-minute anabolic window where if they don’t take it after their workout, they are not maximizing protein synthesis and all the progress they tried will be wasted.

Well, here’s something to consider.

Protein powder is helpful, but at the same time, it can be useless.

Here’s what I mean.

There’s nothing special about protein powder and it will never be.


The answer is in what protein powder is… a supplement.

That means that it’s no way any better (or special) than 120g of chicken, a can of tuna, or any other protein you like.

Protein powder is helpful when you take it knowing that you may not hit your protein macros on a specific day for any reason.

Maybe you went outside and didn’t have anything cooked when you went back home.

Or maybe you simply couldn’t cook enough protein.

That’s where protein powder is very helpful.

But if you think it’s special and that it will somehow get insane results when you take it (or even lose progress if you don’t),…

then it becomes useless.

The good thing is…

out of all the supplements out there, protein powder is one of the 3 that can actually make some difference in your progress.

But according to the pyramid of fat loss,…

supplements are the least important factor to help you lose fat (or gain muscle).

If you’d like to know in greater detail not only what’s the most important factor (it’s not calories or macros), then you’re going to want to sign up below to know about it:


In that way, you’ll also make sure that the next diet you make is the last one you’ll need to lose that weight you want… and that’s why I give you The Fat Loss Multiplier guide for Free when you sign up as well.

Whatever the case…

Don’t think that supplements in general (not only protein) are anything special.

And if you see someone who’s drinking their protein shake after they workout “to not lose their gainzzz”, run away.

Ivan @ Fitnessthetic

Carbs or fats? Which one is ideal for fat loss

Raise your hand if you’ve heard at least once that you should eat fewer carbs to lose weight?

Now raise your hand if you’ve heard it for fats?

Ok, interesting.

Well, I got some bad news to share.

Whether you’ve tried to cut carbs or fasts out of your diet, it doesn’t really matter.


Because research has shown that when protein and calories are equated, fats and carbs come more to a matter of personal preference.

So answering which one is better (or worse) for fat loss doesn’t make sense, as there’s no macronutrient in general that’s responsible for it.

Just pick more of what you want to eat and can follow through.

Can’t get over some pizza, ice cream, or donuts?… Then keep a high-carb diet.

Do you love to eat eggs, avocado, and bacon every day?… Then fats will be the main macronutrient compared to carbs.

The point is…

You don’t need to think there’s a specific ratio that will magically help you.

In fact, these studies show you that what really matters is the calories you’re in (and whether you’re in a real deficit or not) and the amount of protein you consume.

But let’s get practical.

Let’s say you’re a man who’s weighing 200 lbs and wants to get down to 160 lbs.

After you calculated your TDEE and know how many calories you need to eat per day, you find out that you have to eat (theoretically, at least) 1,700kcal… out of which 165g will be of protein.

Since every gram of protein has 4kcal, we’d multiply it by the total amount of protein to know the calories that will come from protein.

So 165 x 4 = 660kcal from protein.

If we subtract that from the 1,700kcal, we get 1,040kcal left… which we need to now distribute between fats and carbs.

Since it doesn’t really seem to make any difference when losing fat, you can go with ranges that work best for you.

You can use a 40/60 fat:carb ratio… or maybe a 70/30 carb:fat ratio.

The goal is that you should have enough of both fats and carbs to make sure you don’t get hungry throughout the day or starve yourself with cravings.

One thing to consider…

Whenever you’re going to set the ratio between fats and carbs, don’t forget that you’re not looking to choose the lowest range… you’re looking to set a manageable range that allows you to not feel like you’re starving yourself, but more importantly…..

that’s something you enjoy and can stick to it.

If you cannot stick to the range you choose, then you’re only going to end up not making any progress and wondering where is the mistake.

Never go below the 80/20 ratio on either of the macros, and you should never try to pick the 80/20 on either side.

But I get it, sometimes this can get a little bit tricky and we can even overthink this.

So if you’re somewhat confused about how this works and how to calculate how much you should be eating, then you’re gonna want to get the Cheatsheet I give as a Bonus when people sign up to the link below:


You’ll find everything I covered in here in a 2-page Cheatsheet you can use to know in detail how much you should be eating to start your fat loss phase.

Ivan @ Fitnessthetic

Why eating clean is the worst advice when losing weight

If you’ve been trying to lose weight for any amount of time, you’ve heard that a common “advice” is eating clean.

The basics are simple.

Eliminate all the processed food and just eat vegetables and some lean meat, but…

here’s why eating clean is the worst advice to lose weight.

Let’s say you manage to lose about 5 pounds of fat when you make this change (don’t focus on the number, it’s just an example), but then you start plateauing and not seeing any progress.

What are you going to do then?

Eat… clean(er)?

Don’t think that will work.

And look, I made this mistake when I started out.

I went on from what I now calculate were 2,200kcal to less than 1,300kcal… all because I stopped eating bread, rice, sugar… and went my days just be eating salads with chicken.

This resulted in one of the worst mistakes I’ve made.

Especially when I was starting, I know I could have built more muscle from the beginning while getting leaner at the same time, yet…

this type of advice actually made me gain more weight in the long-term.

But, what’s the alternative?


Go and find a diet that’s going to work for you (both short-term to give you the results, and long-term to get you to keep those results).

There are no good or bad diets out there (science has been pretty clear about that in the last 20 years), but the diet you choose can be the right one or the wrong one for you.

Find something you can stick to it and you won’t even feel like dieting at all.

If you don’t want to give up your favorite food (like pizza, donuts, cookies… anything), then you don’t have to do it to lose those pounds.

Just know how much you should be eating right now and create a caloric deficit.

That’s the only way to lose weight… regardless of the diet you follow.

And if you want to know what approach you should take to lose weight and keep it off, then you’re gonna want to sign up below to find out how:


You’ll get a Cheatsheet (delivered as a Bonus) that helps you know how much you should be eating to lose fat and what to do when you plateau.

Even if you don’t subscribe (that’s fine), just know that following the “I will eat clean to lose weight” advice isn’t a really helpful way to keep the weight off.

Ivan @ Fitnessthetic

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