Check this out: Americans spend a whopping $33 billion on weight-loss products every single year. But here’s the thing- there are so many fat burning facts on the web that it can be hard to know which ones are true or false.
Are you interested in getting your dieting, nutrition, and hydration back on track this season?
Luckily for you, we’re here to help you out. Learn how to separate fact from fiction with these myths about dieting and weight loss below!
Every Calorie Is Equal
Here’s the deal. Calories are an easy way to measure the amount of energy in the food you consume. Basically, every calorie has the same content when it comes to energy.
But here’s the catch – not all sources of calories will have the same impact on your body. As a matter of fact, different food sources go through different “metabolic pathways,” meaning that they’ll have a different effect on everything from your:
For instance, a fat calorie or a carb calorie isn’t the same as a protein-calorie.
However, swapping out fat and carbs for proteins can increase your natural metabolism and decrease your cravings and appetite. Not to mention that this simple switch can optimize the functioning of your weight-loss hormones too. Plus, whole-food calories from fruits are more filling than empty calories from sugary foods too.
Weight Loss Is Linear
Despite what you may already think, weight loss is not a “linear process.” While it may be easy to lose weight some weeks, others may end up in a few extra pounds at the end of the day. Why is that, you ask?
Because it’s extremely normal for your body to fluctuate by a couple of pounds every once in a while. This is especially true for females since water weight fluctuates significantly during their menstrual cycles. But as long as your weight is going down on a steady basis, your long-term weight loss goals are still a success no matter how much your size fluctuates.
Supplements = Weight Loss
Believe it or not, the industry for weight loss supplements is bigger than ever. In fact, several companies constantly claim that their weight loss products will work instantly when there’s often very little scientific evidence that this is true.
To tell you the truth, some weight loss fanatics may feel like their supplements really work due to the placebo effect. Once you fall for the marketing schemes that supplement companies try to sell you to lose weight, you’ll automatically become more of what you’re eating.
That being said, very few supplemental vitamins have a noticeable effect on the weight loss process. On the bright side, the best supplements might help you lose a small number of pounds over a handful of months.
Willpower Beats Biology
Whether you’re new to the weight loss game or have been on the keto diet for years, it’s definitely a myth to assume that your weight loss journey is all about the amount of willpower you put into it.
In case you didn’t know, obesity is a very common disorder with hundreds of factors behind it, including:
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome
As you may already know, your system has numerous biological pathways and hormones to help you regulate your bodyweight. However, these are often dysfunctional in people who are struggling with obesity, making it even more difficult to lose pounds and keep them off for good.
Not only that, but one of the biggest contributors to obesity is hormonal resistance to leptin.
When the “leptin signal” isn’t functioning, your brain doesn’t know if it has enough fat storage. The result is this – your body will feel like it is starving when it’s really not. So even if you have enough willpower to control your diet, all it takes is a hormonal imbalance to make you feel like binge eating again.
Move More, Eat Less
If you’re sick and tired of sorting through fitness do’s and don’ts, then we’ve got you covered. First of all, the amount of body fat that you have is simply a way for your system to store energy. If you want to lose it, you’ve got to burn more energy than you consume.
As a result, it may only seem logical that eating less than normal and moving more than usual will lead to weight loss. Although this works as a theory, it doesn’t if you don’t make permanent lifestyle changes. That means that the phrase “move more, eat less” is a particularly bad piece of advice for people with serious weight problems.
Consequently, those who follow this tip often regain any weight that they’ve already lost thanks to biochemical and physiological factors. Clearly, having a sustained and major change in behavior and perspective is needed to shed pounds of exercise and diet. So getting more physical activity and restricting food intake isn’t necessarily enough on its own.
All Carbs Are Bad to Consume
No matter if you’ve been on the low carb diet for decades or not, you probably already know that restricting the number of carbs in your diet can help weight loss. Sometimes, this can happen on its own, even without consciously cutting calories. Surprisingly enough, keeping your protein intake high and your carb count low can help you lose pounds in no time.
But here’s the kicker: This doesn’t exactly mean that all carbs are bad.
Incredibly, whole foods with high carb counts are exceptionally healthy. At the same time, eating too many refined grains, sugar, or carbs can cause weight gain like no other.
Eating Fat Is Evil
Everyone knows that junk foods are packed with fat, but not all fat calories are created equal. Even better, as long as you can keep your caloric intake within a reasonable range, eating fat doesn’t exactly make you fatter. In addition to this, eating foods that are lower in carbs but higher in fat can actually cause weight loss.
Even though filling your stomach with high calorie, unhealthy junk food can make you gain weight, fat micronutrients aren’t necessarily the only culprit. Crazily enough, you need to get enough healthy fat for your body to function correctly.
Eating Breakfast = Weight Loss
This may sound wild, but people who skip breakfast tend to weigh even more than people who eat breakfast regularly. On the flip side, this is most likely due to breakfast eaters having an overall healthier lifestyle than breakfast skippers.
It gets better. There may not even be much of a difference between those who skip or eat breakfast when it comes to overall weight loss. Another popular myth is that eating breakfast boosts your metabolism and eating several small meals a day will help you burn more fat in the long run.
To put it simply, eating when your stomach feels hungry and stopping when your stomach feels full is the way to go. Of course, you should eat breakfast if you’re feeling like it, but it probably won’t lead to instant weight loss either.
Fast Food Is Fattening to Eat
Let’s get this straight: Not every fast food joint is unhealthy. Thanks to the public’s increased consciousness over its health, most fast-food restaurants have started to sell more healthy options. For example, even chipotle is exclusively focusing on offering healthier food to its customers.
Besides this, getting something that is relatively healthy is extremely doable at most eateries and restaurants. It’s also incredibly cheap to get a healthier alternative at a fast-food restaurant as well. Although these fast-food friendly meals might not be good enough for every health nut, they may still be a good alternative if you don’t have enough energy or time to cook a meal at home.
All Diets Work All the Time
Naturally, the weight loss market wants you to think that all diets work all of the time. Of course, long term diets really have long-term effects. In fact, most people end up gaining back the way that they lose within about a year.
In addition to this, you will most likely gain weight in the future if you are currently dieting as well. Oddly enough, one of the biggest predictors of future weight gain is dieting. Even having a “dieting mindset” can be enough to throw off your weight loss plans.
Pro tip: Making a consistent goal of becoming healthier and changing your lifestyle permanently can help you to become a fitter, happier, and healthier person.
By managing to sleep better, eat cleaner, and boost activity levels, weight loss will be a healthy side effect. However, dieting will probably do more harm than good in the long run.
Obesity Is Unhealthy, Thin Is Healthy
Although this may seem shocking, obesity can raise the risk of developing several chronic diseases, which include:
- Type II diabetes
- Heart disease
- Certain cancers
Yet, just because you’re overweight doesn’t mean that you are metabolically unhealthy. Even naturally thin people can still have the same chronic illnesses.
The problem isn’t exactly being fat – it is where you store your fat and your body. In a nutshell, storing a lot of fat around your midsection puts you at the highest risk of developing metabolic diseases.
Diet Foods Equal Weight Loss
To be quite honest with you, most junk food products are marketed as being healthier than they really are. Some of the most common examples include:
- Low-fat foods
- Fat-free foods
- Processed gluten-free foods
- High sugar beverages
Being skeptical of health claims on food packages is the key to eating nutritiously, particularly when it comes to picking processed food items. Don’t be surprised if the label is more deceptive than informative when you finally take a look at it.
That’s because many food marketers are paid to make you buy more of their fatty junk food. Our general rule of thumb is this – the healthier a package of food claims to be, the more likely that it’s exactly the opposite.
High Fructose Corn Syrup Is Worse Than Sugar
Another myth is the high fructose corn syrup is way worse for you to consume than sugar is. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth, especially since their composition is nearly scientifically identical. In terms of calories, both sugar and high fructose corn syrup have about the same amount.
They also have a pretty similar impact on blood levels of:
- Satiety hormones
Simply put, high fructose syrup is no better or worse than consuming table sugar.
Mystified by Myths About Dieting?
If you’re still mystified by myths about dieting, then you’re not alone. From calories and fats to sugars and carbs, there are so many nutrition misconceptions on the market.
Fortunately for you, though, our handy guide will help you find the weight loss facts that you need to meet your own personal goals.
Whether or not you want to lose weight or simply stay the same shape, moderating your calories, fat, and proteins is the key to finding overall better health. If you manage to keep this under control, then it shouldn’t completely throw your body overboard if you have some fries or burgers now and then.
The ticket is to balance your diet and nutrition in a way that works best for you. By working out and eating in a way that feels right, you’re almost guaranteed to lose pounds the natural way.
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