Many myths are circulating; some are just going to be simply unhelpful, while others may actually be harmful in some way. Finding out the truths behind the myths is important if you want to experience success with your weight loss efforts. Let’s go over a few of the most common myths and discuss the pros and cons of following these ideas.
Myth 1: Some Foods Cause Weight Loss
Some believe that certain foods may actually “help” you lose weight by burning fat. This is actually a very common myth, and one that is often incorporated into many diet plans. The truth is, weight loss is related to nutrition—closely—and certain foods are going to be more nutritious than others. Food is never going to “burn fat” or “make you lose weight.”
But, certainly, eating foods, especially fruits and vegetables that are low in fat and calories and high in fibre, will be more advantageous for your weight loss goals. High fiber and nutritious foods will often make you feel full and help to curb your appetite for other, less healthy choices. But they do not “cause” weight loss themselves.
Myth 2: Snacking is Bad for Your Diet
Some people believe that all snacking is bad. This is completely untrue. In fact, when trying to lose weight, it is often best to consume more frequent, smaller meals throughout the day. Healthy snacks, such as fruits, yogurt, whole grain crackers, etc., are known to help fill you up, boost your intake of essential nutrients, and keep your metabolism going strong and burning calories.
Be cautious about calories and fat, and keep your daily intake within the specific guidelines that are recommended for your weight and weight loss goals.
Myth 3: Vegetarian Diets are Healthier and Better for Weight Loss
Not all vegetarian choices are healthy. Plenty of high-fat, high calorie, high sugar or high sodium foods can be found in the diets of vegetarians. Whether vegetarian or not, making healthy food choices is critical for weight loss. Simply cutting out meat or meat products is not going to be enough to have a healthy diet.
Myth 4: Eating at Night Will Make You Gain Weight
This is another very false idea in the weight loss world. Ultimately, it is the calories that you consume (compared to the calories that you burn) that affect your weight loss, not what part of the day you are consuming them in.
Some argue that fewer calories are burned at night, so calories you take in right before bed are less likely to be quickly burned; however, a balanced diet, with the right amount of calories per day is going to be best.
Myth 5: Skipping Meals Can Help to Control Calories
In general, most people who skip meals are not consuming fewer calories because they will usually make up those lost calories in other ways, such as unhealthy snacks. Our bodies need regular fuel to run properly, and skipping meals can upset a healthy metabolism and cause your body to be “confused” about the fuel. Smaller, frequent meals are known to be more effective for weight loss than skipping meals.
Myth 6: Meal Replacements Are a Good Substitute for Regular Food
Again, there is no true substitute for healthy, nutritious foods. Meal replacements might be okay in a pinch, when finding healthy choices is a challenge, but they should not be considered to be a regular part of a healthy diet.
There are definitely times when meal replacements are recommended by a physician, and these recommendations should be followed. But, for the regular person trying to lose weight, the focus should be on a well-balanced diet filled with nutritious foods.
Myth 7: Desserts Are the Enemy
If we have only one thing from many years of weight loss research and science, it should be that moderation is the key. Desserts are not always the healthiest choice, but that does not mean that they should never be enjoyed.
The key is to choose wisely, and make sweet treats just that—a treat, not a regular part of your diet. Smaller portions of the treats you most enjoy are occasionally acceptable, even in healthy diets, and will not cause a huge setback.
In fact, allowing yourself the occasional treat is known to help curb cravings and keep you more on track with making healthy choices—knowing that your favourite indulgences are not completely off-limits forever.
Losing weight is not impossible, but it does require commitment as well as education about healthy habits. Don’t believe everything you read—find out the truths about weight loss and don’t get caught up in myths that will slow your progress or even cause setbacks!
biggest_weight_loss_myths.html;http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/5-weight-loss-myths;http://www.rd.com/health/diet-weight-loss/easy-ways-to-lose-weight-50-ideas/; Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net