Losing weight is hard work. There’s no denying it. Setting a goal to lose any amount of weight whether it be 5 pounds or 25 pounds takes a level of commitment. You need to set your goal, make a fitness plan, follow a strict diet, and keep track of your food intake.
There are many aspects that go into maintaining the healthy lifestyle you strive for, so when you hear an easy way out, it may be tempting to take it. Unfortunately, there is no magic bean that grows to help us lose weight fast. There are plenty of misconceptions brewing about weight loss and the healthiest way to lose those extra pounds without disrupting the natural flow of your body.
The experts agree that there are many myths and misconceptions that are commonly causing weight gain. So, we put together a list of 10 of the most common myths… debunked.
When dieting, or trying to lose weight, many people will look to nuts as a good source of protein. Dr. Buell explains that while nuts are a healthy fat and do have positive impact on overall health, they are energy dense (or high in calories). “Overeating them is not helpful to a weight loss program. They do contain some protein but are not as high in protein as most people seem to think they are.”
On paper, it may seem that you are keeping calories down by skipping meals, but your body can actually save more fat than if you eat more regularly. “The focus of weight loss should be in losing fat,” Dr. Buell advises, “not just losing weight according to the scale. To lose weight, we need to eat frequently enough to keep the body from turning down metabolism.”
There has always been a misconception about carbohydrates. In moderation, most things are fine, it is overeating that causes weight gain. Dr. Buell explains, “If we can control portion sizes well, most people handle the carbohydrates in the diet just fine. Carbohydrate intolerant individuals need to work hard at learning the diet balance that fit them best.”
Like eliminating carbohydrates from your diet, eliminating other entire food groups, such as dairy, is a common myth for an solution to losing weight. Creating a healthy, balanced diet includes all of the food groups. “But on general, moderation is key!” says Cohen. “Fruits, veggies, lean protein, and whole grain carbs, and all the good stuff, incorporated into a healthy diet, is the key to successful weight loss and maintenance.”
Another common myth is that significant calorie restriction can force your body to burn fat and therefore lose weight. Cohen explains that this is absolutely false, “In fact, when not much food is entering the body, the body's homeostatic mechanisms kick in and alert the body to conserve fat stores that may need to be used to keep the body functioning. This in turn, slows down metabolism and can cause significant weight gain, which is frustrating to the dieter who has worked so hard to eat so little!”
Don’t believe the label lies of “fat-free” or “low sodium”. The myth that healthy foods will tell you that they are healthy are completely false. Marketing a product exists everywhere, especially the grocery store. Kriegler explains, “foods marketed as low fat, low calorie, low sodium and cholesterol free are actually some of the most processed, unhealthy foods out there. The healthiest foods don’t come in packaging and boxes, instead, they’re basic whole foods.”
Exercising as hard as you can will not make you lose weight faster, or even more efficiently. “To effectively lose weight you need a well-rounded fitness plan,” suggests Kriegler, “one that helps you recover and burn fat, one that pushes you to expand your heart rate zones, intervals, and weight training to turn fat into muscle.” Pushing yourself too hard can result in injury and make you hate exercising, over-stress and not burn any fat.
The truth of the matter is that there are a lot of natural fats out there that your body needs. You have to eat fat to lose fat. There is plenty of whole, naturally occurring fats in avocados, eggs, salmon, nuts, and more good foods. When you eat more of the good fats, your body can burn more.
Detoxing and juicing can be dangerous ways to diet. During a detox, it may feel like you are losing weight because you are constantly urinating, but in fact that does not mean that you are losing any stored body fat. Also when it comes to juicing, you are not giving your body all of its essentials. Dr. Sears explains that “without balancing the juicing with protein you are essentially drinking a glorified candy bar, hormonally speaking.”
We’ve heard the promises, even from Dr. Oz, but unfortunately, there is no magic bean that can make us lose weight. It is hard work to maintain a healthy diet and regular exercise. Dr. Sears explains that if you are using supplements instead of dieting, “You need to have a lifetime plan of calorie restriction without hunger or fatigue. That can only be done with an anti-inflammatory diet.”