Stop Wasting Time: 9 Weight Loss Myths Debunked
It is not easy to lose weight. Not only is the process itself difficult, but it is compounded with an ever-increasing wealth of knowledge that can be as suspicious as it is confusing. The large and profitable fitness and health industries take advantage of the conflicting rules, diets, and regimens that proclaim weight loss, muscle gain, and that “perfect” physique. Aside from the so-called “miracle” pills and diets (see our previous posts), there abounds an incredible amount of myths, legends, and fairytales of weight loss “commandments” — and some of them are more than ineffective — they’re counter-effective.
Myth #1: Snacking between meals is a no-no
Dietitians recommend frequent, small meals throughout the day, as opposed to three bulk meals. This prevents you from eating too many calories at once. Frequent meals also prevent cravings for unhealthy foods, especially if snacks are made of more wholesome choices, such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts.
Myth #2: Avoid fast food
While fast food isn’t an ideal choice as a dietary staple, most restaurants offer a selection of healthier options for those who are conscious about their diet. Smaller portions are always available by choosing to eat less of a meal and salads or fruit can be found at nearly every fast food chain.
Myth #3: Carbs are bad
Carbohydrates are essential nutrients that provide energy for the human body. This is extremely important, especially for those who exercise because carbs fuel workouts. All carbs are not created equal — processed carbs are significantly less healthy than natural ones found in whole grains and fruits.
Myth #4: Calorie-torching superfoods
Foods cannot increase the burning of calories because they cannot affect metabolism. Dietitians recommend consuming foods high in fiber and water content instead. They will stay in your system longer, thus reducing hunger.
Myth #5: Constant exercise and dieting deters weight gain
The metabolism slows with age and the body is in a constant state of change. Exercise regimens and diet become stale over time — the body becomes acclimated to routine quickly. The only way to balance acclimation and metabolism changes is with a flexible diet and exercise routine.
Myth #6: Eat less and exercise more
For long-term results, this type of formula isn’t sustainable. While this may work for short-term results, it is much safer and effective to find a balance. Side note: if the goal is to build muscles, caloric intake should increase because building muscles requires more calories.
Myth #7: Realistic weight-loss goals
Research shows that more realistic goals can lead to less achievement. Conversely, when ambitious goals are set, people are more likely to attain them due to their difficulty. Reach for the stars — not the ceiling.
Myth #8: Check with your patient first
There is actually no need to consult with a patient to test readiness before they begin a fitness regimen. Studies show that, measurement of patient readiness has any indicator on weight loss success.
Myth #9: Sex burns a lot of calories
The 100-300 calorie estimate dates back to an old, and very small study. In fact, sex is not the calorie-torcher many would hope it to be. More recent studies estimate that sex burns an average of 14 calories instead.
The sheer volume of information available can make it difficult to decide which “facts” about weight loss are actually myths. While these myths claim to provide fast tips and hard facts to speed up and maintain weight loss, they end up becoming sources of frustration and disappointment when they don’t work as well as they claim — our outright backfire. It is true that some people may have medical/nutritional needs that make some of the above myths viable, but they are in no way the commandments of weight loss.
My passion is to help you live your healthiest and most harmonious life, but in a way that’s realistic and practical for you as a unique individual on this planet. My philosophy is all about “balance,” never a diet since a diet is not sustainable for life, aka Kill The Diet.