Weight loss myths busted

As people are becoming more and more health conscious by the minute, there is a growing demand for content that addresses fitness and healthy living. And yet, the world wide web does not disappoint, in this time and age you can Google just about anything, including a wide range of topics surrounding the hot topic of Health.

In the midst of all these articles, then, who can tell fact versus fiction?

Listed are six of some of the most common weight loss myths, coupled with the facts that debunk them; may it guide you to adjust your weight management regimen accordingly.

 

Myth: As long as you exercise you will lose weight, so you can eat whatever you want when you work out.

The fact is exercise does burn calories, however, if you eat more than you burn, you will end up gaining weight rather than losing it. This is because in order to lose weight, your body has to burn more calories than it consumes.

If you keep at an unhealthy diet even though you’re already working out – say you jogged for an hour which burns roughly 300 calories, but you ate a cheeseburger afterwards which is approximately a whopping 400 calories – then you’ve ended up ingesting 100 more calories than you lost. Consuming more calories than the body burns causes weight gain.

At the end of the day, what you eat is more crucial when it comes to effective weight loss.

 

Myth: All calories are created equal.

Although all calories have the same amount of energy, calories from varying sources yield different kinds of effects on the body – more specifically when it comes to hunger, hormones and health. For instance, foods rich in protein take more effort to eat and digest, thus burning more calories. In addition, it also makes you satisfied for a longer time, thus significantly reducing your appetite.

Meanwhile, processed foods often cause significant spikes and drops to your blood sugar level. This causes you to crave for more food in a shorter period of time, thus increasing the possibility of you eating more frequently.

 

It’s not all about counting calories but rather, carefully choosing the sources of calories that you consume that matters more in planning your meals.

 

Myth: Eating fat makes you fat.

A common misconception about fat is that all kinds of it are unhealthy. Although, it is important to understand that fat comes in two kinds: the good kind and the bad kind.

The good kind of fat is essential as it supports bodily functions such as providing energy and improving one’s appetite, to name a few. The body sources this from consuming healthy fats, as it cannot produce them. This can be found in avocados, fish, olive oil and nuts.

It is the unhealthy fats found in fried foods and baked goods that cause health problems, and therefore should be avoided.

 

Myth: Cutting out carbohydrates is optimal for weight loss.

Carbohydrates are a main source of energy, and yet it is widely encouraged to eliminate carbohydrates in one’s diet. The issue here is that its full elimination might lead to tiredness, crankiness and hunger. The key, therefore, is to eat the right kind of carbohydrates.

There are two kinds of carbs – simple and complex. Simple carbs, for example, are candy, cookies, and other baked goods. Eliminating them is essential in a healthy diet regimen as they are high in calories and offer few to no nutritional value.

On the other hand, complex carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grain foods are packed in vitamins and minerals. These combat health risks and contribute to one’s overall health and well-being, and are thus essential to the body.

 

Myth: The more frequently you eat in a day, the better chances you have of losing weight.

Eating more frequent meals might control your hunger levels and can prevent excessive eating, however, weight control has more to do with one’s overall caloric intake over the day. So, it does not really matter how you portion your calories throughout your meals.

This means that it is upon your preference and what eating patterns suit you the most - whether you’d take them in the form of three moderately sized meals, or five to six smaller ones, would then be your choice.

 

Myth: Becoming a vegetarian is the best way to lose weight.

While eating fruits and vegetables are generally great sources of water and fiber and therefore boosts weight loss, dieting on them alone could lead to nutritional deficiencies and can make you fat.

Studies show that vegetarians lack nutrients such as calcium, protein, zinc and other vitamins, which can increase proneness to health risks. Further, some fruits and vegetables, which are rather starchy and high in sugar, are high in calories and therefore, if eaten in excess, can even contribute to weight gain.

 

Sources:

Ace Fitness. Diet Myths Debunked.

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. "Weight-loss and Nutrition Myths." Turning Discovery into Health (2014): 1-8.

Seay, Mandy. Weight loss myths debunked. Austin.

Nichols, Helen. 31 weight loss myths scientifically debunked.

Kurtz, Amy. 5 weight loss myths debunked. 11 April 2016.

Santi, Michael de. Is the lack of fat making you sick? Verona, 2014.