There is a lot of misinformation about fat loss. You may be limiting your potential weight loss by following one of these fat loss myths.
18 Debunked Fat-loss Myths From Dietitians From Business Insider
The first 18 fat-loss myths debunked by dietitians in an interviews with Business Insider. Here is the video if you would prefer or continue reading. There are another 5 from other dietitians after this.
Myth 1. You Must Skip Meals to Lose Weight
Even though reducing your meals can reduce your calorie intake it can also have the opposite effect. When you skip a meal you may tend to over eat on your next meal and you net calorie intake could be even higher. The real goal of skipping meals is to reduce your calorie intake, so do that just eat less.
Myth 2. All Calories Are Created Equally
So you can’t just eat less if you are eating unhealthy food. The issue with believing that all you need to do is count calories may lead to making unhealthy choices. You may choose to skip some healthy food to eat dessert and even though you are consuming the same number of calories. You are likely choosing simple carbs instead of complex carbs, which can lead to a blood sugar spike. Simple carbs are also easier for your body to convert and store as fat.
Myth 3. You Have to Starve Yourself to Loses Weight
The problem with starving yourself is that it can lead to over eating again. Also if you are eating to few calories your body will also breakdown your muscles. So even though you will lose some weight it will not all be fat. You should plan on reducing your calories slowly, first you have to stop over eating though. To know how much you are over eating you need to start a food log and count the calories that you are consuming. Then you can compare to how many calories you need. Here is a simple calculator to determine how many calories you burn a day.
Myth 4. Eating at Night Makes You Fat
This is a fat-loss myth that can also lead to over eating. Your daily rhythm may require your body to eat in the evening. You can eat at night, but many people eat unhealthy things at night and your body will act hungry when you are tired. Many times people who do not get enough sleep will gain weight. So if you find that you are overeating at night it is likely because you are not getting enough sleep.
Myth 5. Skipping Breakfast Will Help You Lose Weight
Skipping breakfast or any meal can lead to overeating. Additionally, many people believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast is very important if you are trying to maintain your muscle while losing weight. You need to ensure that your body has enough protein to not break down your muscles. Specifically, you should consume some protein with the first meal you eat. Now if you are someone who doesn’t like to eat breakfast, and doesn’t like to break there sleeping fast too early don’t worry about it. Because you can just ensure that you add some protein to that first meal, whenever it is.
Here Is An Easy and Healthy Breakfast Option
Myth 6. You Must Cut Out Fat From Your Diet
The low fat and reduced fat loss myths came out based on FDA guidelines for food labeling. Now the term “Low Fat” and “Reduced Fat” are just marketing gimmicks. Unfortunately, people get caught up in the lie that fat is bad and the truth is that our body needs fat. Most importantly our brain needs fat, and if you brain is not functioning properly you are going to make bad decision on what you are eating. Additionally, if you are eating these things label “Low Fat” and “Reduced Fat” and believing they are healthy, you are falling victim to the lyes. Check out this article on how to understand the truth behind a food label.
Myth 7. Carbs Are The Enemy of Weight-loss
You can lose weight by cutting out carbs, but the reason this is a myth is that it is difficult to sustain. Additionally, many of the healthiest foods you should be eating have carbs in them, like all of the nutritious fruits and vegetables. So the reason for cutting your carbs is usually to trigger your body to burn fat instead of burning carbs. This can lead to yo-yo dieting and if you really want to lose weight and keep it off you need to change your habits in a way that you can sustain. Obviously, you want eating to be enjoyable as well, so that you can maintian your ideal weight with no chance of relaps.
Myth 8. Cut Out Gluten
If you have an intolerance to gluten or have celiac disease then you must keep gluten out of your diet. Although, cutting gluten is not an effective weight-loss diet. So if you do not have celiac disease you may be cutting gluten out for no reason. Most importantly what you eat should nourish your body and you should be able to enjoy eating the food, but not overindulge. In other words, if you enjoy foods that have gluten in them and they do not make you feel bad, they can be part of a healthy diet in which you can lose weight.
Myth 9. You Should Drink Diet Soda if You Want to Lose Weight
The reason drinking diet soda will help you lose weight is a fat-loss myth is because for most people it doesn’t work. Have you ever met someone who lost weight from switching to diet soda? Now it is possible that the calorie excess someone has in there diet is strickly from soda and switching to diet soda could reduce the calorie excess to a calorie deficit to allow for weight loss. However, the artificial or non-sugar sweeteners have an effect on the body that makes most of us crave more energy and therefore eat more. In short switching to artificial sweeteners can make you eat more and gain weight.
See How This Diet Soda Doen’t Make This a Healthy Choice
Myth 10. Juice Cleanses Help You Lose Weight
When you juice fruits and vegetables you are breaking down the much-needed fiber. Not having the fiber reduces the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables. Although, you will get a cleansing effect from eating too much fructose. Specifically, your GI tract can spasm from consuming too much fructose and this simulates a cleansing effect. Unfortunately, what it can really do is give you the runs. Additionally, since you broke down all the fiber it is no actually cleansing your GI tract.
Myth 11. You Should Fast intermittently to Lose Weight
Intermittent fasting is diet that can help people lose weight and can be sustainable, but it is very challenging. The reason it can work is that you can have a calorie deficit sufficient to lose weight. You may have more energy during the time that your digestive system is dormant. Unfortunately, the problem for most people is that it is not sustainable, or they don’t feel better while fasting.
Myth 12. The Keto Diet is the Solution To Fat Loss
Another fat-loss myth is the keto diet. There is a lot of scientific evidence on how and why the keto diet will help you burn fat. Although it is a very challenging diet, it is hard to get all the essential nutrients you need while on it. Additionally, it is not very sustainable and it is expensive. The biggest problem with the keto diet is that even if you lose weight while on it you will likely gain more of it back when you get off Keto. Some side effects of keto are higher cholesterol and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Myth 13. You Can Hack Your Body to Lose Weight
So you may be lead to believe that you can bio-hack your body into losing weight. The truth is that the science is just not there yet.
Myth 14. To Burn Fat You Must Go On a Diet
Your diet is what you eat, so regardless of if you think you are on a diet or not you are. Now you might not believe that you have any rules for your diet but you would be wrong or lying to yourself as well. On of the most common rules for people who have a diet of over eating is “I will eat what I want.” They let taste or how food makes them feel drive there dietary choices. You might be on a diet of “I will eat what I can afford” and a lot of cheap food is very unhealthy. If your only rules to your diet was, “I am going to eat healthy and not over eat,” you would be working towards your ideal weight.
Myth 15. Cheat Days Help You Lose Weight
The concept of cheat days works on the assumption that you are on a diet with rules and you can break them occasionally. There are some physiological benefits and issues with cheating. First the benefit is that it may help you stick to your rules for a longer time knowing that you can cheat occasionally. Although, similarly you may overindulge and feel guilty, which can lead to throwing your rules out the window. Instead of cheating, you can indulge your tastebuds a little, but don’t over indulge. Make sure you have a small portion and that you know it will not have the phycological effect of giving you license to go unrestrained and return to your old eating habits.
Myth 16. You Must Cut Out Alcohol to Lose Weight
Now Alcohol has a lot of calories in it. Alcohol itself is 7 calories per gram and carbohydrates and protein are only 4 calories per gram. Where fat is 9 calories per gram. Although you don’t need to cut out alcohol, you do need to consider it as part of your energy intake. You can drink a lot of calories as alcohol and it is not healthy for you. Alcohol also has no essential nutrients, so drinking is empty calories from your diet prospective. The bottom line is that you don’t have to remove alcohol from your diet to lose weight, but you also can’t go on an alcohol only diet and be healthy.
Myth 17. Your Health is Determined by Your Weight
Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is not your health index. Strictly from a BMI perspective, body builders would be consider over weight and unhealthy. Obviously, muscle weighs more than fat and a competition body builder is in peak aesthetic physical condition, but very obese if measured on the BMI scale. Accordingly, you can use your weight as a tool to help you track you progress, but if you want to know how much fat you have that is a totally different measurement.
Myth 18. Losing Weight Just Takes Willpower
Not everyone will lose weight at the same rate. Your physiology is unique to you and not everyone will react the same way to every style of diet. It is important that you eat food that you enjoy eating, but you want nutritious food that will also make you feel good in the long run, not in the moment.
19 – 23 of the Fat-loss Myths We Get From The Mayo Clinic
This video has 6 debunked fat-loss myths, but number 5 is about diet soda and that is the same as above. So here are 5 more fat-loss myths.
Myth 19. Loosing Fat Means You’ll Regain
You are not predisposition to regain fat if you lose it. Although if you return to the same habits that made your body store the fat in the first place, it will again store the fat.
We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created themAlbert Einstein
Similarly, you can’t lose weight with the same lifestyle that made you gain weight.
Myth 20. Snacking Will Make You Gain Weight
Not all snacks will make you gain weight and not snacking can make you gain weight as well. Eating unhealthy snacks can make you gain weight. Additionally, not eating when your body is hungry and needs energy can lead to over eating later and you body storing energy as fat. Because your body thinks that it might be hungry later it might start storing fat again. Overall healthy, snacking a little is better than not stacking or eating unhealthy snacks.
Myth 21. Adding Muscle is an Effective Weight-Loss Strategy
Building muscle may actually make you weigh more. Remember that muscle weighs more than fat. Besides when you are building muscle you are turning protein in to muscle and not fat into muscle. You could be burning that fat if you are eating appropriately to not store additional fat. That is why the key to weight loss is diet and exercise.
Myth 22. It’s Tough to Keep Weight Off Because Losing Slows Metabolism
Your metabolism will change as your body adjust to a new energy source and your daily routine. If you are losing a lot of weight, your body will not need to expend as much energy to perform everyday tasks as it did before. In essence, as you lose weight your body will need fewer calories, so you will need to eat less to maintain your weight.
Myth 23. You Can Loose Weight With Exercise Alone
Firstly, you can create a calorie deficit with exercise alone and lose weight. But, the problem is that exercising will make you want to eat differently. Secondly, it takes a lot more exercise to create the calorie deficit than you would think. Let assume that you can run a 10 minute mile and will run 30 minutes a day to lose weight. You will burn and additional 300 calories a day with this 3 mile run, everyday. Although, this could be a very healthy choice. Unfortunately, if you don’t change your diet it will take you almost 2 weeks to lose 1 lb of fat. This is why you see a lot of people above their ideal weight out running every day. It is a lot easier to eat 300 excess calories in one day as it is to burn 300 extra calories in a day.
How To Get Started With Fat-loss
So now that we have all those fat-loss myths behind us what should you do if you want to lose weight.
1. Start a Food Log
If you are over your ideal weight you have been consuming more calories than you need. Start by finding out what you are eating daily, and decide if that is what you should be eating. Many of our eating habits are base on convenience, you need to make it convenient to eat healthily.
2. Find Healthy Foods You Like
After you go a little while with your food log you will be surprised at how much of the food you eat repeats itself. If you simply replace some of the unhealthy choices with healthy choices you like, you will be on a good start. Sometimes finding healthy food can be a challenge and everyone has different tastes. On the other hand maybe what you are eating is healthy, then you just need to reduce the portions a little.
3. Use a Calorie Calculator a Set Some Boundries
If you are really trying to lose weight you need to be in a calorie intake deficit. Namely, you need to consume fewer calories daily than you are burning. You will be surprised at how many calories you need to burn daily. You can use this calculator to determine how many calories you are using a day. Then set your calorie intake to slightly less than this. You shouldn’t go less than 70% of this or you will likely be burning muscle as well as fat.
You Are Ready To Beat The Fat-loss Myths
It seems like it is time to change your diet to get to your ideal weight and stay there. I hope this helps you make those choices you need to make to get the physic that you want to have. Don’t become victim to these fat-loss myths and stay focused on your goals.