Weight loss myths; facts and fiction

Weight loss myths; facts and fiction
  • PublishedMay 25, 2020

When it comes to weight loss, there are so many misconceptions, half-baked advice, and websites claiming to provide helpful weight loss tips. Not only does believing these weight loss myths derail your weight loss efforts, but also makes a mess of our health.       

With a lot of information about weight loss in play, it becomes tough for us to separate the fact s from mere fictionWe made some research and consultations with experts to identify the most common weight loss myths you might ignorantly believe. We also got you the right information about safety, health, and smart weight loss.

Before we proceed, what is a myth?

A myth is a popularly held but false belief or idea. For example “the belief that coronavirus was as a result of the installation of 5G network around the world” is a myth. (According to scientists. This is for explanation purposes only as we don’t major in issues like Corona Virus and the like).

In the same vein, weight loss myths are widely held but false belief or ideas about weight loss for example “the belief that Obesity is unhealthy and thin people are healthy”

What are some of the common weight loss myths regarding food?

1. Weight loss always means fat loss

If you realize a sudden decrease on the scale, don’t be excited that you are losing weight fast. This drop does not necessarily mean fat loss. It could be water weight. Our tissues, joints, and body cavities normally hold water.

This kind of weight is totally different from body fat and neither is it connected to calories consumed or burnt. Water weight normally is a result of eating too much salt (sodium) or hormonal changes.

2. Ditching carbs will help you slim fast

Most people think that quitting carbs will quicken their weight loss journey. But this is not right. Cutting out carbs altogether can actually make you gain weight by either overcompensating carbs with high-protein and high-fat foods or by feeling hungry and eventually overeating. 

High-protein and high-fat foods tend to be very calorie-dense, so you may actually gain weight if you end up eating larger quantities of these foods

We have an interesting article about foods that are high in protein but low in carbs. This article will guide you on the low carb foods that you should pick on and the impact of low carbs on your body. See the article here.

3. Fat makes you fat

Despite the fact that fats are calorie-dense, it is not always true that eating fats will make you gain weight. When your calorie intake is within the healthy range, fat does not make you fat. Various studies have indicated that diets that are low in carbs and high in fat aid weight loss.

4. Do not eat at night

Most dieticians advise you not to eat at night, claiming that night diets widen your waistlines. But some studies have come out to dispute this. For example, a study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that weight loss snacking was linked to weight loss. This is because, during convenient times, one is more likely to eat healthy foods. 

5. All calories are equal

A calorie is a measure of energy. Even though calories have the same energy content, not all calorie sources have the same impact on your weight. Different foods affect hunger and hormones that regulate weight differently. That said, a carb calorie is totally different from a protein-calorie.

Research shows that when we eat proteins instead of fats and carbs, we can reduce appetite and cravings leading to weight loss.

6. Skipping meals will help you lose weight

Although skipping breakfast, lunch or dinner may reduce your calorie intake at a particular time, You are most likely to make wrong food choices when you are ravenous later in the day. This can lead to weight gain. According to a 2012 study, it was established that women who missed meals lost eight fewer pounds over the course of a year than those who ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day.

7. Obesity is unhealthy and thin people are healthy

Image by Anja🤗#helpinghands #solidarity#stays healthy🙏 from Pixabay

Some people believe that thin people are healthy and free of diseases, and obese people are unhealthy. However, this is not true. What is true is that; obesity can increase the risk of chronic diseases like cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart diseases.

However, there are many people who are obese but metabolically healthy and many that are thin but with the same chronic illnesses. 

8. To lose weight you have to eat less and exercise more

While studies insist that you should burn more calories than what you consume in order to lose weight; this is not the whole story. When it comes to weight management, so many factors like genetics, environment, emotional state, and the types of food a person eats come into play. This means that weight is dependent on so many factors other than body activity and food intake. 

9. Eating breakfast is necessary for weight loss

Eating a heavy breakfast does not automatically lead to weight loss. Although eating in the morning may curb your appetite and reduce your food intake later in the day, it still comes down to the number and type of calories eaten vs the total calories burned over that same time period. 

See our article on weight loss breakfast here. This article has everything you need to learn about having a healthy weight loss breakfast.

10. Going gluten-free is the solution to weight loss

This is not always true. Going gluten-free does not equal weight loss. Cutting out processed foods such as sugary cereal and having more vegetables can aid weight loss more effectively than going gluten-free. Therefore eat gluten and add more vegetables rich in fiber.

11. Supplements can make you lose weight

Although many people opt for supplements for weight loss, there is no data to back their effectiveness and consistency for weight loss. And to make matters worse, supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.

What are some of the weight loss myths regarding exercise?

weight loss myths

1. You can spot reduce weight.

This is not true. You cannot target weight loss from specific parts of your body.  An exercise regimen fights fat in the entire body. Therefore, eating the right foods and some regular exercise is the best way to go. Body exercise can tone muscles which can make specific body parts slimmer.  

2. Daily physical activities don’t make a difference

The other common myth is that the physical activities we do in our daily routine such as taking the stairs, standing, and walking don’t make a difference.

The fact is that these physical activities don’t improve aerobic fitness but still burn more calories than watching TV or sitting on the computer.

3. With weight loss, you have to do vigorous exercises.

This is not true. Vigorous-intensity physical activity burns more calories in a shorter time, but doing moderate-intensity physical activities for more repetitions or for longer periods can burn the same number of calories. Any aerobic exercise such as brisk walking, badminton, or leisure cycling can help you shed pounds.

4. Women who do weight lifting or muscle strengthening exercises will get big muscles.

This is not true because women don’t have enough hormones required to create big muscles. Strength training helps women to get rid of belly fat.

5. You need special exercise attire in order to exercise effectively.

Although some activities like soccer and cycling need protective gear like helmets and shin guards, you can exercise safely and effectively with lose-fitting, everyday clothing, and shoes.  

6. Cut back on the amount of physical activity after reaching the ideal weight.

This is not realistic. In order to maintain a healthy weight, one should have at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise every week. Some people may even need more than 250 minutes of aerobic exercise a week. 

7. Short periods of exercise do not work.

This is not true. Small bursts of exercise throughout the day are just as effective as one longer session and uses energy from both fats and carbohydrates. 

Other weight loss myths

1. It is impossible to lose weight 

Some people have it that weight loss is one of the hardest things. But I am here to say that weight loss is very possible. The national weight control registry has kept records of people who have lost weight and have succeeded at keeping it off since 1994. The registry features more than 10000 Americans with an average weight loss of 66 pounds who have kept it off for over 5yrs. 

2. Weight loss is a linear process

This is not true. Weight loss is not a linear process like most people purport. It involves losing and gaining weight on particular days or weeks along the way. It is normal for your weight to fluctuate by a given number of pounds.

3. You can’t fight fat genes

Although genes play a big role when it comes to overweight and obesity, the good news is that we can still overcome genetic influences with regular exercise and healthy eating. 

As a matter of fact, behaviors are also passed on from parents to children. This can make some families be overweight while others aren’t. Children can learn poor eating habits from their parents but not genetically. 

4. Labels don’t lie

Image by fancycrave1 from Pixabay

Some people think that the % fat and calorie content indicated on product labels is always accurate. This is not true. In fact, FDA guidelines indicate that caloric and fat content on labeled products can vary up to 20%, from what is indicated on the labels.

Therefore, if you’re counting calories based on packaged foods, you may be heading in the wrong direction. But this does not necessarily mean that we should ignore product labels. Because according to research, people whole are normally conscious of product labels on packages lose more weight

5. The same weight loss tactics will work for everyone

With weight loss, so many aspects go into play. It is, therefore, wrong to believe that a certain exercise regimen or food habit can work for you and your friend. In fact, you can do the same exercise, eat the same type of food, and sleep the same number of hours but your friend fails to lose weight.

It is always better to work with an experienced personal trainer or coach who can help tailor a workout that can work for you.

6. You will see results immediately

This is a misconception. Weight loss requires patience, consistency, and commitment. You may start your weight loss journey and take a couple of months without losing a single pound. Even then, you don’t have to quit but continue pressing on.

Bottom line

There are so many beliefs or ideas regarding weight loss that sound true yet in actual sense, they are mere myths, lack evidence, and therefore false.  Therefore, before you start your weight loss journey, carry out quality research on various regimens, and adopt diet and lifestyle changes that are evidence-based. 


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