The most persistent weight loss myths.
Lots of people want to lose weight. It is not surprising that many myths and false beliefs have formed around this process. Here are examples of the most common myths that anyone who has ever tried to lose weight must face.
Myth 1: Weight loss is good for your health.
The end result of any weight loss program is weight loss. In the US, 2/3 of people are obese or overweight, and it would seem obvious that they need to lose weight in order to improve their health. But overweight people really need “weight loss”.
Fact: Losing weight does not necessarily translate into better health. “Healthy” is fat loss, and weight loss can be the result of water loss or muscle loss, which clearly does not lead to anything good. All “right” diets are designed to maintain muscle mass and burn fat.
Myth 2: “Negative” calories
Certain fruits and vegetables, such as celery, lettuce, broccoli, and grapefruit, are said to be fat burners. The reason is that they supposedly produce less energy than is required for their digestion, and this energy is taken from fats. It is argued that you can eat as many of these foods as you want without gaining a single gram of weight.
Fact: None of the known foods have negative calories. Certain foods, such as hot peppers, tea and coffee, can increase resting metabolism (the rate at which the body expends energy at rest), but it has been proven that there is no food that burns calories when digested.
Myth 3: “natural” foods are safe for weight loss
Natural supplements (mostly herbal) have always been popular because they are claimed to be free of harmful substances (preservatives, artificial additives, etc.) and the side effects associated with conventional drugs. When someone reads “All Natural” on the label, they always think that the supplement should be completely safe and free of side effects. But is it.
Fact: Natural supplements do not require FDA approval. Thus, they have not undergone the same research as medicines. Some herbal supplements contain biologically active substances that have powerful effects on the body, especially when taken in combination with prescribed medications. For example, ephedrine, used for many years in dietary supplements, is currently banned due to its many potentially dangerous side effects.
Myth 4: Avoiding favorite foods
No chocolate, no fast food, no white bread, sugary sodas, etc. You need to avoid your favorite foods in order to lose weight.
Fact: Weight loss depends solely on how many calories are consumed and how much spent. If you burn more calories than you consume, it doesn’t matter where those calories come from – weight will decrease with any food you eat. While cutting out processed foods and fats is good for your health, it won’t help you lose weight any faster.
Myth 5: low fat food
There are many foods that are low in fat or completely fat free. Fat is known to contain many high-calorie macronutrients. One gram of fat provides 9 calories to the body, compared to 4 calories in one gram of protein or carbohydrates.
Fact: What matters is the total number of calories in a food, not the amount of fat in it. If there are a lot of calories in food, then the absence of fat in it does not matter. There are many low fat foods that are high in sugar.
Fat cannot be avoided entirely, as research shows that fat makes you feel full. Fat delays the digestion of food and makes you feel fuller longer.
Myth 6: you need to avoid fast food.
Eating fast food increases the risk of obesity, as fast food is usually full of sugar, fat and calories. However, not all people who typically eat at fast food restaurants are overweight.
Fact: Weight loss depends only on whether a person burns more calories than they consume. So an extra workout and a hamburger won’t hurt.
Myth 7: skipping meals can help you lose weight faster.
People who want to lose weight often state that eating less food throughout the day is a good idea. They mistakenly believe that skipping meals will end up eating less throughout the day.
Fact: if you eat less than 3 times a day, then the feeling of hunger increases. Studies show that skipping meals (especially breakfast) will eat more on subsequent meals. Moreover, not only does a person eat more, he also eats foods high in fat. As a result, he will consume more calories throughout the day.
Myth 8: eating at night causes weight gain.
According to this misconception, the food that a person eats before going to bed leads to the accumulation of fat, since very little energy is expended during sleep.
Fact: Studies have shown that the time of day does not in any way affect weight gain from food intake. You can only eat at night and still lose weight if you burn more calories during the day.
Myth 9: bread and starchy foods cause weight gain.
Bread and other starchy foods like potatoes and rice contain carbohydrates. Some people argue that carbohydrates should be avoided when trying to lose weight.
Fact: A balanced diet requires carbohydrates. None of the 3 macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, proteins) will make a person obese. Only an excess of calories can lead to weight gain. You can consume as many carbohydrates as you like.
Myth 10: fasting is a great way to lose weight.
Quite often you can hear the phrase “If you want to lose weight, stop eating.” Obviously, many believe that they will lose weight dramatically if they cut down on their calorie intake.
Fact: Fasting is never good for weight loss. It would seem that the fewer calories you consume, the faster you will lose weight. However, there are two nuances. First, there is a minimum calorie requirement. Typically, consuming less than 1000 calories per day for an extended period of time leads to health problems. Fasting lowers metabolism – the rate at which a person burns energy. Surely, at first, the weight will quickly decrease, but after the end of fasting, the weight will begin to gain again. Secondly, strict calorie restriction creates the basis for nutritional imbalances. Calorie restriction should be moderate and carefully planned to ensure nutrient balance.