Archive for April, 2012
Did you ever hear your mother tell you, “Don’t screw up your face that way, or it will stay like that forever?” Certain childhood tales are easy to dismiss as fallacy, but when it comes to weight loss myths, we seem to have a hard time distinguishing truth from fiction. Here are seven of the most popular weight loss myths to make navigating the truth easier:
1. If you eat only ________ (fill in the blank) you will lose weight and keep it off. The reason the Atkins diet or the grapefruit diet, or any other single food diet doesn’t work long term is because your body is a complex amalgamation of cells, fluids, hormones and proteins that require a whole host of nutrients. Skip one of them and you can develop a disease like Scurvy (caused by a lack of vitamin C), which is deadly. Don’t play this type of Russian roulette with your diet.
Related; 9 Diet Lies and How to Spot Them
2. You can ignore calories. While it’s true that you need not obsess about calories, you will not lose weight or maintain a healthy body weight if you consume more calories than your body can burn. It doesn’t matter if they come from sprouted grains or pizza. It takes approximately 3500 calories to burn one pound of body fat.
3. “Eat the same time every day” is a myth. While it is better if you eat breakfast sometime in the morning and at least a few hours before lunch to keep your insulin levels from spiking due to a lack of glucose in the blood, it doesn’t matter when you eat. If you sleep late on the weekend and don’t feel like eating breakfast until its time for brunch, that is fine. You were sleeping anyway so your body didn’t need energy (i.e. glucose) to burn as readily.
4. Another weight loss myth is that you shouldn’t snack. This is pure bunk. While it does matter what you snack on and how many overall calories you consume in a day, eating healthy, small meals several times a day rather than three large ones will actually stoke the fires of your metabolism and help you to lose weight.
5. Carbohydrates make you fat is yet another myth. While processed carbs, i.e., white bread, pasta, pastry, etc. aren’t good for you because they have little dietary fiber and lots of refined sugar, carbohydrates are an important part of a healthy diet because they allow you to break down proteins with greater ease, and help you to feel full. If you only eat carbs, then you are suffering from a belief in myth number one. They are part of a healthy diet, not the primary source. Eat them in moderation.
Related: All carbs are bad
6. Fat is bad. This is also wrong! Only saturated fats should be avoided. Unsaturated fats like those in olive oil and avocados, for example, are extremely good for the body and necessary for everything from keeping your skin and hair beautiful to reducing your chance of cardiovascular disease.
7. Stop eating dessert. Okay yes, refined sugars are not good for you, but if you could never eat a piece of chocolate cake again, would you really stick to a diet like that? The trick, again, is moderation. Finding pleasure in food also helps you combat depression and enjoy life. Every once in a while you can have your cake and eat it too. It is part of a balanced approach to a healthy lifestyle that results in a healthier you. (But just in case you were curious, Angel food cake has one of the lowest calorie-counts of all the dessert out there.)
Know any other weight loss myths? Share in the comments below.