Common myths and misconceptions about weight loss
“Healthy weight loss is a long-term process that depends on your eating habits, physical activity, and genes” - David M.
Photo by Fuu J. on Unsplash
Countless myths and misconceptions about weight loss are widespread in today’s online world. There are thousands of online articles on weight loss that might make it difficult to differentiate fact from fiction. From online gurus who swear by eating raw foods to weight-loss coaches who advocate eating one meal a day, even to those who promise that certain foods burn fat. It can be messy and complicated to get the right information on weight loss. Although healthy weight loss is a long-term process that depends on your eating habits, physical activity, and genes, avoiding common myths and misconceptions will improve your weight-loss journey.
Here is the truth regarding the common myths and misconceptions of weight loss:
Myth 1: Weight loss is a myth
Do you find it hard to believe that you can lose weight through a healthy lifestyle? If not, you might be among those who believe that our genetics determine our weight and that there is nothing we can do about it. You probably do not believe in this myth if you are looking to lose weight. The good news is that weight loss is a perfectly realistic goal. Millions of people have shared their transformation through weight loss. There are even television and cable shows with weight loss as the subject. You only need to start your weight loss journey and you will see the results.
Myth 2: All calories are the same
If you count calories to monitor your weight, you probably believe that all calories are equal. You would not mind replacing carbs with carbs as long you do not surpass your daily calorie limit. However, all calories are not equal because different foods go through different metabolic pathways that reflect your weight. For example, proteins boost metabolism while regulating hormones that reduce appetite. Calories from whole foods are digested slowly allowing you to remain satiated for a long time. Instead, processed carbs are easily metabolized increasing cravings and appetite making it hard for weight loss.
Myth 3: Avoid Carbohydrates if you want to lose weight
Carbohydrates have unfortunately become the punching bag of many weight loss coaches. What these coaches ignore are the nutritious benefits of carbohydrates. Carbs are a vital source of important vitamins and nutrients that are good for optimal health. A weight loss regimen that asks to avoid carbs not only puts you at a loss of these nutrients but also deprives you of energy. Maintaining a healthy diet with all nutrients, i.e., carbs, proteins, and fats, is the best bet when working to lose weight.
Myth 4: You can only lose weight by dieting
Fad diets have emerged as common myths and misconceptions in the fitness and loss weight world. Fad diets range from eating one meal every day to vegetarian diets that avoid some or all animal products. Unfortunately, evidence shows that fad diets are not good ways to lose and maintain a healthy weight. Some diets might work in the first days but evidence shows that they are hard to maintain. Most people get tired and resort to their accustomed dietary habits and they quickly regain the weight they had initially lost.
Myth 5: Certain foods burn fat
This is a common myth that eating certain foods can burn fat because they burn other foods. Some online entrepreneurs have gone ahead to sell recipes that contain what they call ‘fat-burning foods.’ All foods go through the metabolism processes to provide energy for the body. The fact is that no food can burn fat that is stored in the body. To lose weight, you must consume fewer calories than those you eat and create the necessary calorie deficit.
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Myth 6: You must skip meals to lose weight
Many people believe that skipping meals leads to weight loss. But evidence shows that people who skip meals are heavier than those who eat regular meals throughout the day. Skipping meals might raise your weight if you eat more calories to compensate for the skipped meal. Often, many people who skip meals do not deal with hunger and cravings and they often overeat when the next meal arrives.
Myth 7: Eating healthy food is expensive
You probably think that eating healthy food is expensive owing to the costs of sourcing and supplying fresh food. However, eating healthy does not have to make a dent in your wallet. The trick is to make sure that your diet contains all the nutrients. For example, you could substitute fresh vegetables with frozen ones that have as many benefits.
Myth 8: You can only lose weight from intensive physical activity
Everyone knows that physical activity is absolutely necessary for weight loss. But many people overemphasize the importance of intensity in physical exercises. You do not need to run 10 km daily to lose weight. Instead, plan short and intense sessions, such as HIIT sessions, when you can maximize weight loss. For example, a 10-minute aerobic exercise goes a long way in weight loss.
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Myth 9: Fat is fattening
Many people believe in the myth that fat makes people fat. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Although fat provides more calories than carbs or proteins, it does not make you fat as long as your calorie intake is within a healthy range. Like carbs, avoiding fats might deny the body macronutrients that are important for healthy functioning.
Myth 10: Eating times influence weight loss
You might have heard the common myth that eating food after 8 p.m. causes weight gain. People who peddle this myth advise you to eat several hours before bedtime. But evidence shows there is no relationship between weight loss/gain and the time of the day when one eats. What matters is the number of calories you eat and the levels of physical activity throughout the day.
Myth 11: Obesity is about willpower
Ever heard weight-loss coaches say obesity is about willpower? This perspective says that you will only be strong if you are mentally strong to overcome hunger and craving, eat healthy foods, and engage in physical activity. Unfortunately, this argument neglects the role of biological mechanisms in weight loss. For example, it is easy for some people to lose weight because of a faster metabolism. Others find it difficult to achieve the same owing to disorders of the mechanisms that regulate body weight.
You must be careful of these common myths and misconceptions if you are trying to lose weight. You might believe some of the common cultural beliefs about the relationship between food, dieting, and lifestyle on weight loss. Fortunately, most of these myths are false. Believing them will only derail your weight loss plan. Focusing on scientifically-proven weight-loss strategies while considering your genetic makeup, lifestyle, and health needs is the best way to lose and maintain a healthy weight.