If you’ve done any research into weight loss, you’re bound to have read conflicting reports. The world is rife with myths about losing weight and it’s often mixed in with the good advice. If you’re having difficulty discerning between the good and the bad, here are 12 myths about losing weight and why they aren’t true.
1. Counting Calories is All that Matters
Calories are a measurement of energy. Technically, they represent the amount of energy required to increase one gram of water by one degree Celsius. The number of calories you ingest each day is important, but it isn’t the only measurement of a healthy diet. Calories are part of a larger equation. What you eat and where those calories are coming from is more important.
2. All Fat is Bad
We often talk about burning fat and purging the fat from your cells, but the fat in your body is stored fat. It has been metabolized by your body and deliberately saved as energy. The fat in your diet isn’t the same. We need fats to live, but it’s healthier to get our calories from foods that don’t store the bulk of them in fat. Some fat is worse than others. Saturated and Trans fats can raise cholesterol levels and cause weight gain, so avoid them as much as possible in your diet.
3. You’re Doing it Right if You’re Hungry
This is one of the most detrimental myths about losing weight. When you stay hungry all day, you are telling your body that food has become scarce. It goes into starvation mode. It starts storing as much energy as possible as a survival mechanism. Staying hungry isn’t healthy and it can inhibit your ability to stay focused during the day. You don’t have to be hungry to lose weight; you just have to adjust your diet and your lifestyle.
4. You Have to Eat Food that Tastes Bad
If you’ve eaten a lot of processed foods, you may have gotten used to the way their high levels of sugar and fat taste. By comparison, healthier food may seem less flavorful. If you eat more healthy food, you can reprogram your taste buds to appreciate their flavors. Believe it or not, most of the healthiest meals you can eat are also the most delicious. Often, it’s just a matter of cooking your own food more often. Don’t trust these types of myths about losing weight. Even broccoli can be delicious!
5. You Have to Stop Eating Meat
You can still eat many of the foods you love and lose weight; you just have to eat them more responsibly. Fish, eggs, and meat are high in protein, which is necessary for muscle growth and repairing body tissue. Getting enough protein satisfies your appetite and makes you less likely to consume processed foods.
6. You Shouldn’t Lose Weight Too Quickly
Although crash diets can be detrimental to your long-term health, there is no evidence to suggest you shouldn’t lose weight quickly. The most difficult part of losing weight is often keeping the weight off. Treatments are available that support fast weight loss. Choosing a healthier diet and including some regular light exercise is the best way to keep it off over time.
7. You Should Skip Meals
This is one of the most dangerous myths about weight loss. Some dieters decide to skip meals to avoid the calories, but this leads to hunger, tiredness, and a drop in your metabolism. Skipping meals may also trigger your body’s starvation response and lead to other medical problems. It’s better to eat meals regularly and snack on healthy food throughout the day to keep your metabolism going.
8. You Should Take Weight Loss Drugs
Weight loss pills were originally sold as an easy “fix” to people’s weight problems. They inhibit one’s appetite and can burn fat, but they often come with side effects. Thankfully, this is one of the myths about weight loss that most people now know is false. Natural nutritional supplements, detoxification therapies, and a healthy diet is usually the best answer.
9. Genetics is Everything
Genetics plays a bigger part in our lives than we once realized. They matter to your weight because they influence your metabolism and your susceptibility to weight gain. They are not the final convincer, however. Even if you are genetically predisposed to weight gain, you can use treatments and make positive lifestyle changes to lose weight.
10. Genetics Doesn’t Matter
Everyone is unique and genetics do matter. Due to genetics, weight loss can be more difficult for some people than others, but that doesn’t make it impossible. Using special treatments, supplements, and healthy diet choices, you can lose weight regardless of your genetics.
11. All “Fast” Food is Bad
We all lead busy lives. Sometimes, there just isn’t enough time in the day to make our own meals, so we turn to fast food. You don’t have to give up your hamburgers entirely, but you may not want it to be a regular fixture in your weekly diet. Thankfully, more and more fast food restaurants are available that serve healthy foods. If you need a quick lunch, look for one of these restaurants.
12. You Need a Stressful Exercise Routine
Exercise is an important component of weight loss, but you don’t need a rigorous routine. In fact, you may not even need a gym membership. Diet plays a larger role in weight loss than exercise because your diet is your fuel supply. You need about 1,000 calories minimum for the body just to function. You need more to be active and build muscle. Getting a little bit of exercise during the week will help with your heart health, your circulation, and your well-being. Try a regular yoga routine, long walks, or living room aerobics. You don’t need to join an extreme fitness club to lose weight.
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