10 Lies you’ve been told about weight loss
Weight loss is probably one of the most profitable industries today, along with moviemaking and pharmaceuticals. Many of us want to lose some weight and then keep things that way, and the more desperate we are, the more likely we are to trust suggestions of those whose success is, to put it mildly, questionable. Here are ten myths about losing weight that perhaps all of us have heard but didn’t know they were myths:
Weight loss myth 1: Eat in small portions
“Small” is a relative term and chances are that everyone who’s heard this advice will adjust it to their liking. In other words, even if you think you’re eating small portions, you could actually be absorbing more calories than you need. And don’t forget that it matters what you eat in small portions. A quarter pounder is not big but it’s not exactly as healthy as, say, an apple.
Weight loss myth 2: ‘Bedroom fun’ is the best exercise
It’s depressing to have to debunk this myth but studies have shown that ‘bedroom exercise’ does not actually burn as many calories, as we want to believe. Of course, this doesn’t mean shunning physical intimacy for the gym, you understand. It may not burn calories, but it does induce a feeling of happiness.
Weight loss myth 3: Calories differ
While it’s a fact that a calorie is just a measure of energy, different types of foods are processed differently by the body. Calories from proteins are better for weight loss for the simple reason that their processing accelerates the overall metabolism of the body and because protein increases muscle mass. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn, because muscles eat more calories than fat deposits.
Weight loss myth 4: Breakfast is bad for your diet
Many weight loss regimen suggest things like a quarter of a grapefruit or a slice of banana for breakfast. That’s wrong as research has shown: people who eat breakfast weigh less. Yes, of course it depends what you eat for breakfast but make sure you do eat something beyond that quarter of a grapefruit.
Weight loss myth 5: Eggs are the enemy
Yes, eggs are packed with cholesterol but the tiny detail here is that this is good cholesterol, the sort your body needs, not the bad one that increases your risk of a heart attack. Besides, eggs don’t make you fat, they make you healthier because along with the cholesterol, they are full of things like vitamin A (very good for the skin) and minerals (good for the whole body).
Weight loss myth 6: Less food, more exercise
This is not entirely a myth but it could still be misleading. Things are not so straightforward, that’s the truth. You could reduce your calorie intake and lose some weight but gradually you’ll start losing less and less weight until you reach a point when you’re not losing any weight no matter how much you exercise. That’s because your body adapts to the lower calorie intake. See number 3 for why this is.
Weight loss myth 7: Supplements are meant to help the diet
No, they are not. Every quality supplement carries a warning on its packaging that it is no substitute for a healthy diet. The reason is that supplements are actually meant for people with diagnosed vitamin deficiencies, not for you. Living on spinach and supplements is not the best way to lose weight. You need protein.
Weight loss myth 8: Reading labels helps calorie counting
This may break someone’s heart but food producers can absolutely legally state their product has less calories than it actually does. The variance is formidable, by the way – in the States, it’s between 20% and… almost 70%. And that’s for food considered “diet”.
Weight loss myth 9: You should eat only when you’re hungry
Ah, yes, but hungry for what? According to dietitians, people oftentimes lie to themselves that they are hungry, so they can have a snack. But in fact it’s not hunger but an emotional issue that’s making them anxious, and they just try to drown the anxiety out by eating. Next time you reach for a snack, think about that.
Weight loss myth 10: You can trust all scientific researches
We know we’ve cited scientific research here, but you should take every breaking news about a study on weight loss with a pinch of salt. Or a couple. Some scientific research is sponsored by drug or sports equipment producers, which automatically means that it may not be fully objective. Other studies only include selective data to get to the desired result (scientists are no saints, you know). And that’s without even mentioning the way media crop and tweak actual scientific research to get a screaming headline.
Stay happy and healthy!