Due to the growing obesity rate worldwide, weight loss has become a hot topic over the past several years. Market research from Facts & Factors predicted that the global weight loss and weight management market will reach $405.4 billion by 2030. This is attributed to increased online material helping people reduce weight and improve their food management and exercise habits.
With various weight loss methods available today, following the latest weight loss trends for quick results can be tempting. However, years of research have debunked certain weight loss myths that may harm your body. Below, we’ll discuss five weight loss myths and why they aren’t true:
Myth #1: Dieting Means Sacrificing The Food You Love
Weight loss diets are often associated with not eating foods you enjoy, like your favorite snacks. However, it’s best to consider your food based on the nutrients they offer rather than categorizing “good” and “bad” foods. In fact, doctor-recommended weight loss programs reject restrictive fad weight loss diets, using advanced nutrition science to establish healthier eating habits. Instead of sacrificing your favorite food for weight loss, focus on getting the proper nutrients and portioning your food intake to achieve weight loss while remaining healthy.
If you love to eat junk food, for instance, your main diet should be high in protein and low in fat — with plenty of nutrients and vitamins to ensure your body gets all the essential building blocks it needs to function. This means you don’t have to skip out on the occasional indulgence, but balancing your diet with nutrient-rich food can result in a healthier weight loss journey.
Myth #2: Eating Fat Makes You Fat
A common misconception when starting a diet is to avoid all fats altogether. Actually, some healthy or “good” fats have health benefits. HelpGuide.org’s feature on choosing healthy fats highlights the importance of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These fats help lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, preventing abnormal heart rhythms.
Foods high in monounsaturated fats include olive, sesame oils, peanuts, and avocado. For polyunsaturated fats, include flaxseed, tofu and soybeans, and fatty fish in your meals. Instead of shying away from fats, watch out for foods that contain trans fats, such as commercially baked pastries, cakes, and fried foods.
Myth #3: It’s All About Calories
Eating fewer calories doesn’t necessarily mean faster weight loss. One hundred calories worth of cake is not the same as 100 calories worth of vegetables because our body converts different food into energy at different rates. Harvard Health’s insights associate this misplaced priority in calorie counting as part of the reason people opt for low-fat diets that are unhealthy for the body.
Likewise, The Conversation’s feature on calories warns against empty-calorie foods — foods with minimal or no nutritional value — that don’t provide protein, vitamins, or minerals. To counter empty-calorie foods, nutrient-dense foods such as spinach and apples can provide nutrients while still being relatively low in calories.
Myth #4: Juice Cleanses Help Lose Weigh
While juices are healthier than high-sugar carbonated drinks, a diet that only consists of these juices — a juice cleanse — should not be your go-to weight loss solution. Washington Post’s article on juice cleanses describes these as restrictive, low-calorie diets that help you lose water weight instead of fat. Additionally, our bodies have natural ways of cleansing themselves, such as our liver, kidneys, skin, and lungs.
Fruits and vegetable juices are an excellent way to eat fewer calories, but remember that your body still requires other nutrients to function properly and efficiently. The fruits and vegetables you use in your juice can always be mixed into healthy meal recipes for a more fulfilling diet.
Myth #5: Exercise Is The Best Way To Lose Weight
Finally, while exercise can help you lose weight, it’s most effective when combined with other aspects such as your diet and nutrition. Interestingly, losing weight purely through exercise is challenging. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 250 to 300 minutes of weekly moderate-intensity exercise to achieve weight loss. This is twice the amount of physical activity recommended for good health, which is 30 minutes daily. You should also avoid going overboard with daily exercises like cardio. While many people assume cardio is the best way to reduce body weight, doing it too much can cause you to burn through more muscle than fat — not to mention cardio every day can stress your body and joints.
Instead of making exercise your primary weight loss solution, balance it with other good habits to help you shed pounds sustainably. Experts say over 85% of people who lose weight will likely regain it. Routine exercise, healthy eating, and adequate sleep can help you maintain weight loss. For more articles like this do join our mailing list.