Weight loss can be super confusing at times with different information presented to you on every website or magazine that you may read, and leaves you to believe there are certain rules to follow. These rules are not always factually backed up by science, and so you want to make sure that you know how to avoid these traps. You want to be educated and informed to make the best, safest and most healthy options for your weight loss journey. Here are some myths that you may have heard:
1. You shouldn’t eat carbs to lose weight
Carbs are needed for essential functioning of the vital cells and organs of your body, and are needed for muscle, energy, and metabolism. If you completely avoid carbs, then you will probably experience weight loss. This process for losing weight can also lower your metabolic rate so that it becomes even harder in the future to lose weight. Avoiding carbs also will cause a rebound weight gain when you re-introduce carbs into your diet. Normally, someone would not be able to avoid carbs for the rest of their life so it is essential to reduce carbs in a moderate, realistic, and efficient manner to conserve metabolism and muscle.
2. You should eat tons of fruit and veggies.
On the opposite side of the pendulum, carbs should be moderated. I have seen crazy weight loss detox 3 day programs where you eat 17 bananas all day, and that’s all you eat. That would mean that you intake approximately 510g carbohydrates, and no protein. This makes no sense for weight loss, and you probably would not even feel satisfied or full. You should realize that a balance of fats, carbs and proteins is essential for all the different functions of the body as well as weight loss, and that you should moderately eat all there.
3. Starving yourself will get you results faster
Starving yourself is a common misconception of the way that you should lose weight. First, starving yourself is not smart because again this can lower your metabolic rate making it harder and harder in the future to lose weight. I feel as if this is not taken seriously enough and many women end up in their fifties saying that they have to eat 800 calories just to lose one pound. This is from years of crash dieting. Keep your metabolism strong by dieting appropriately and your body will thank you for the rest of your life. Not to mention, if you starve yourself for a diet, you are going to be miserable, weak and your body will most likely start producing more cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone that can lead to water retention and prevents the body from letting go of those fat cells as well, so you could end up causing yourself to not lose any weight at all just by starving yourself.
4. Low fat and low sugar is healthier.
If you see something that is low fat or low sugar, then this does not mean that it is the healthier option. The same thing goes from any product that is a processed meal. Most of the time, there is going to be some chemical alteration and preservatives added to be able to keep this product sustained to be edible. This also doesn’t mean that the calories are necessarily lower either. You want to make sure to check the label on these products. Make sure that there isn’t an excessive amount of ingredients added, and compare to the regular fat or regular sugar products. I know that many times, you want to save time so you grab a microwave “healthy” cuisine, but you would be better off to make this meal yourself and save yourself the calories and chemicals.
5. You should stop eating 3 hours before bed.
I think that maybe this rule was created to help individuals that are trying to lose weight to have a rule to help them to stop snacking at night. However, there is nothing that our bodies do physiologically that mandates that three hours before bedtime, you should stop eating. Your weight loss is going to be an overarching caloric intake deficit that is created over time. Therefore, if you are eating within these requirements every single day over a period of time no matter if this is all in the morning or all at night, you will still continue to lose weight.
6. You should always avoid fat.
Fat is another macronutrient that is needed in a large quantity that is essential for brain function, and membrane protection. Many products contain exorbitant amounts of fat, and so this should be taken into account however avoiding fat altogether is the wrong choice. You need it for survival.
7. The more cardio that you do, the more weight that you will lose.
Low impact steady state cardio (just simply jogging or riding the elliptical) is going to be counterintuitive for your long-term weight loss goals. In the beginning, you will see changes based on this amount of cardio however your body will become accustomed to this as a baseline requirement and you will have to do this amount of cardio to stay at the desired weight. If you are not dieting correctly and also lifting weights, then you also run the chance of decreasing muscle mass by doing excessive amounts of cardio. Decreasing your muscle mass can cause a decrease in metabolism which is the last thing that anyone on a weight loss plan wants.
8. Supplements are good for weight loss goals (fat burners, carb blockers, fat blockers, etc)
Many times supplements are a money gimmick and have absolutely no science or regulations and should be taken with precaution. If you are thinking about taking some sort of supplementation for weight loss purposes, then you should check with your doctor and check the literature to make sure that this supplement does in fact do anything. Many times, the supplements are not going to help and will only hurt you and are not worth your time.
9. Genetics are the reason that you can’t lose weight
It would not be correct to say that genetics do not matter in weight loss. They absolutely matter, and it will be the predisposition of what your metabolic rate may be. However, this is not an excuse to not try. Losing weight works the same way in every person with bioindividuality in caloric intake needed and metabolic needs. Therefore, if you begin a weight loss journey and are not seeing results, then you should adjust some things and not just assume that it’s not possible for you just because your mother or father never tried to lose weight.
10. Eating breakfast will help you lose weight.
Many articles will tell you that eating breakfast helps to increase your metabolism. Eating breakfast has been shown to jump start your day, and also to help to curb your appetite for the rest of the day. However, eating breakfast alone will not be the reason that you will lose weight if you don’t make other changes to your diet and exercise. If you continue to eat the same amount of food for the remainder of the day, then you will not see results. However, if this is one positive change that you make then it would be a good one.
Again, there is going to be information all over to guide you in different directions and telling you different rules to follow. It’s important that you realize what works for you will not work for everyone, and that it’s important that you realize that not everything that you read will lead you in the right direction.