You’ve probably heard and read a lot of myths about how to lose weight. We’re constantly bombarded by ads for weight loss supplements, doctors hawking their special diets, and other misinformation.
You need to know a few nutrition basics and some details about how the body processes what you eat if you want to lose weight. When you’re armed with this knowledge, you’ll be able to avoid some of the shady weight loss practices out there.
Here are seven weight loss myths debunked.
1. All Carbohydrates are Bad
Refined carbohydrates hasten the chance of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Store-bought bagels and waffles, baked goods and crackers are examples of refined carbs, These carbohydrates are stripped of fiber and nutrients, giving you empty calories and making you gain more weight, especially around your midsection.
Eat natural, healthy carbohydrates instead. Good carbs include whole grains, such as barley, oats, quinoa, and millet.
A banana contains 23% carbohydrates from either sugar or starches. High in potassium Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C, bananas help lower blood pressure and protect against heart disease. Antioxidant-rich sweet potatoes are full of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and fiber.
We don’t normally associate fruits with carbohydrates, but blueberries, oranges, apples, and grapefruit are excellent healthy carb sources. They contain fiber, Vitamin C and disease-preventing antioxidants. Blueberries protect against inflammation and oxidative stress.
2. Snacking Will Make You Gain Weight
Eating between meals is good for you, provided you eat healthy foods. Many experts recommend that you eat five small meals a day instead of three large ones, so you can even turn a snack into a mini-meal. Eating several times a day prevents you from bingeing or overeating at mealtime.
As long as you snack on fruit, whole grains, nuts or seeds, you won’t gain weight, and you’ll get much-needed nutrients while quelling hunger pangs. Traditionally, snacking means chomping on potato chips, candy or other high-calorie foods. The trend of snacking on junk food has changed as people become more health-conscious.
3. Good-tasting Food is Always Unhealthy
Many people put off dieting or approach it with trepidation because they think “diet” foods” are bland and tough to eat.
Losing weight requires eating fresh, whole foods and cooking at home. There’s no way around this fact unless you want to spend big bucks on a diet food delivery service that prepares meals for you.
Learn how to cook simple dishes if you’ve gained weight because you eat lots of takeout and processed food, Visit the produce section of the grocery store instead of the refrigerated food aisle, and learn how to buy the leanest cuts of meat.
Snack on tasty treats like Peach Homemade Greek Yogurt (only 100 calories) or Ham and Egg Sweet Potato Toast. These snacks don’t take much effort to make, and it won’t take long to get used to their fresh, wholesome taste.
4. Cut Fat from Your Diet to Lose Weight
Contrary to popular belief, low-fat diets won’t help you lose weight. Foods containing Omega 3 fatty acids and other healthy fats can increase your metabolism and help you lose weight. Choose avocados, walnuts, olive oil, salmon and other fatty fish to increase healthy fats in your diet, or look into the low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet.
Cutting fat and replacing it with sugar and carbohydrates will spike insulin and increase belly fat. Eating extra sugars and refined grains will increase cravings and make overeating more likely.
5. As Long as You Stick to Your Calorie Limit, It Doesn’t Matter What You Eat
Avoiding excess calories is only one part of a healthy diet. The foods you eat to arrive at your daily calorie total matter, too and can make the difference between a slim figure and weight gain.
You need to eat enough protein, fat, and carbohydrate each day to stay healthy and energetic. The foods you eat must supply you with enough calcium, B vitamins, magnesium and other nutrients.
Concentrate on eating the right balance of different food types each door instead of merely counting calories. After all, what’s healthy 1,200 calories worth of doughnuts or 1,200 calories from five small meals of lean meat, vegetables, fruits, and nuts? The doughnuts, with all their sugar and detrimental carbs, will make you gain weight. The small meals consisting of nutritious food will make you slimmer and healthier in the long run.
6. Surgery, Crash Diets, and Diet Pills Will Help You Lose Weight Fast
Losing weight and keeping it off is a lifelong pursuit. Going on a restricted calorie diet may result in short-term weight loss, but you’ll gain the weight right back unless you eat healthy foods to maintain your weight.
Starving yourself to lose weight fast will lead to nutritional deficiencies and make you feel weak and listless. Extreme calorie cutting causes you to lose muscle mass, not fat.
Instead of going on a crash diet or taking weight-loss pills, eat a balanced diet full of lean protein, fresh fruits, vegetables and healthy carbohydrates. (It’s even okay to cheat once in a while and eat sugary, or junk food – 90% healthy food to 10% splurge food is admissible per week.)
Stomach stapling, liposuction and other surgical or cosmetic procedures are a short-term solution as well. Eating healthy foods, moderate to vigorous physical activity, and stress reduction (too much stress causes emotional eating) are the only ways to keep fit long-term.
7. Weight Loss Programs Work in a Linear Way
Don’t expect to lose all the weight you want by next week or even next month. You may lose a few pounds, only to stay at the same weight the next week or even gain a pound.
It’s normal for your weight to fluctuate when you change your lifestyle and the food you eat. As your body becomes more accustomed to eating better foods (and you exercise more), you’ll begin to see a steady drop in your weight, although it may not be an immediate, dramatic change.
As long as you are losing a bit of weight consistently, (even if it’s a half-pound a week), you have an excellent chance of achieving your goal.
Our team at The Fitness Tribe often collaborates together to produce content. When you see “TFT Team” this is because the content was not written by a single author, but rather a team effort.