Trying to lose weight is one of the hardest endeavours in the world. It’s a lifelong effort of exercising and conscious eating. To make matters worse, a lot of incorrect information about weight loss is floating around the internet, which compounds the problem for people who want to lose weight and keep it off. I hope to bust some of these myths. Here are 8 weight loss myths you shouldn’t believe anymore.
A calorie is the measure of energy used by the body for its metabolic activities. While all calories produce the same amount of energy, the role played by calories in the body depends on the source of food. This is because the body processes different classes of food through different pathways, and this creates differences in how they affect hunger and hormonal changes in the body. Take, for example, a carb calorie is different from a protein calorie. Protein is more effective at keeping us feel fuller for longer by slowing down digestion but its primary role is to maintain and build new cells. In addition, not all calories from carbs are the same as there are different types, such as fibre, starch and sugar and the body uses them in very different ways. I recommend consuming the majority of your calories from unprocessed whole foods. Remember that the quality of what we eat determines the quantity of calories we consume, which impacts not only our weight but also our overall health and well-being.
If you want to keep your sanity, then you should stop weighing yourself every day. Weighing yourself every day may be the best way to track your progress on the road to weight loss, but you might get depressed and frustrated if you do it the wrong way. This is because it is natural for your body weight to fluctuate every day.
Your body is not a bundle of fat and muscles only. It also contains bones, a large amount of water, oxygen, glycogen, and many other things that cause daily weight fluctuations.
Food and physical activity can also affect your weight. If you want to weigh yourself every day, the best way of doing it is to record your weight for a week, then take the average of the readings. That will give you a more accurate estimate of your weight loss or gain. However, making decisions on daily weigh-ins will cause you much trouble because you don’t know the composition of the weight. Muscle gain rather than fat loss is what is more important in weight loss. Instead of stepping on the scales every day, you should use the mirror, compare pictures, and observe how your pants fit to get an accurate picture of your weight loss. Find more on how to measure progress here.
If you are looking for a magical supplement to help you lose weight, you are in for a disappointment. I have been there, tried and tested most of the supplements on the market just to be left with a hole in my pocket and the same, if not more, fat on my hips! Most of these supplements that claim to help people lose weight are ineffective, and there is no substantial evidence to prove their efficacy. Some of them may even be harmful to your health. Instead of wasting your time and money and risking your health over a product that most probably will not work, it is better to make the necessary lifestyle changes that will bring about the results you want. Remember if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
Some experts have preached the “born to be fit” philosophy for quite some time. This advice is dangerous as it may prevent some people from taking the necessary steps toward achieving an optimal body weight. There is no luck or chance to weight loss, likewise weight gain. We gain fat as a result of diet and lifestyle choices that predisposed your body to store fat. Losing that fat will not happen by luck. You will have to adjust your lifestyle and eating habits to shed the extra pounds.
If you continue eating junk food and you don’t exercise, you may never be free of obesity. It’s not about willpower or chance or luck, losing fat is a complex biological process that requires you to change your habits and lifestyle, for the long haul, not 21 days or 12 weeks.
This advice has fooled many people. The logic behind this reasoning is that since fat is made up of calories, eating less and moving more will reduce the calories in the body drastically. However, this advice is, simply put, rubbish. Studies have shown that people who diet often eat their way back into more weight. If you truly want to lose weight and keep it off forever, you need to do more than eating less and exercising. You must take up healthy, sustainable changes that you can keep at in the long term. Change your eating habits, get more active, and completely alter your mindset.
Anything can make you fat if consumed in high quantities. Not all carbs will make you obese, but studies have shown that refined carbs increase body weight. Carbs from whole foods such as vegetables and fruits are good for weight loss, even though they may have a high number of carbs. To naturally cut down your weight consume more natural carbohydrates such as fruit and vegetables, lower the amount of refined carbs such as cakes and bread, and consume alongside protein-rich foods.
Many people have been sold on the myth that fat is bad for you. Not really. Fat is an important class of food required by the body for energy and hormonal balance. Over the years, fat has been the culprit for the obesity epidemic ravaging developed countries. Fat makes food taste better and is digested slowly, makes us full faster and provides more energy to the body. You should also know that there are different types of fat. There is the bad fat and the good fat. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids are healthy fats that should be included in our diets.
While yes, technically when starting a new plan you are “dieting.” When you use the term “diet,” it technically means you are restricting yourself, which isn’t the way forward as someday that diet will end and you will gain the weight back as it isn’t sustainable in the long term. Instead, make healthy lifestyle changes. If you love junk food, try cutting it back, and if you lead a sedentary lifestyle, increase your engagement in physical activities. Weight gain is the result of unhealthy eating behaviours and a lifestyle that encourages the building up of fat. If you are going to lose weight and keep it off permanently, dieting will not work because it is a quick-fix solution to a long-term problem.
Weight loss is a long process of painstaking hard work and discipline. You don’t need any misguiding myths to derail your progress. The only way to achieve an ideal body weight is by making healthy sustainable changes in your lifestyle and eating behaviour.