Anyone trying to lose weight has received bad advice at one time or another. Whether they come from a family member, a friend, a television show or the internet, there are a great deal of weight loss myths and misconceptions out there.
Don’t get caught up in the hype of the next weight loss gimmick. Arm yourself with the truth about weight loss to maximize your success.
Myth: All calories are equal.
Fact: While all calories do have the same energy content, each calorie you consume can affect your weight differently depending on its source. Carbs and fat are metabolized by your body differently than protein, for example. Whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, are more filling than a processed food with the same (or even fewer) calories.
By increasing your protein intake and reducing carbohydrates and fat, you can increase your metabolism, decrease hunger and help the hormones in your body better regulate your weight.
Myth: Cut all fat from your diet to lose weight.
Fact: Every cell in your body actually requires some fat to function properly. It’s the type and amount of fat you consume that matters. Fat provides energy for your body without stimulating the production of insulin the way that eating sugar and carbs does. Fat also helps your body absorb vitamins like vitamins A, D, E and K.
Eating healthy amounts of good fats can help you achieve your weight loss goals. Foods and oils that contain omega-3 and omega-9 fatty acids are good for you, while saturated and trans fats should be limited or avoided. Some sources of healthy fats include olive oil, fatty fish, grass-fed beef, walnuts, almonds, flax seeds, avocados, hazelnuts and macadamia nuts.
Myth: Eating at night causes weight gain.
Fact: It’s commonly said that eating after a certain time in the evening can hinder your weight loss, but what matters more than what time you eat is how much you eat on a day-to-day basis. There is nothing magical about not eating after 7:00 p.m. But if “closing” your kitchen after a certain time in the evening helps you stay at or under your daily recommended calorie intake, that strategy may help you keep the weight off.
Another consideration is why you might be eating later in the evening or at night. People who eat late often don’t do so because they are hungry, but because they are bored or stressed. Mindless eating — no matter the time of day — will only make it harder for you to achieve your weight loss goals.
Myth: To lose weight, you need to eat less and move more.
Fact: While weight loss is essentially about creating a calorie deficit (burning more calories than you consume), simply eating less and moving more is rarely a ticket to long-term success. Many people who struggle with a serious weight problem often end up regaining the weight or getting caught in a cycle of weight loss and regain.
Sustained weight loss occurs when you’re armed with the tools you need to lose weight and keep it off. This includes physical tools such as diet, exercise and perhaps even weight loss surgery, plus psychological tools to address feelings of stress, depression and anxiety.
Myth: Obesity is the result of lack of willpower and poor habits.
Fact: While many people may fall into obesity because they struggle with healthy lifestyle habits, obesity is a disease with numerous contributing factors. Genetics, hormonal factors and medical conditions such as hypothyroidism, PCOS and depression can all contribute to weight gain.
If you suffer from a hormone imbalance or medical condition, simply relying on willpower will likely leave you feeling frustrated and defeated. Getting personalized help from your healthcare providers can give you the tools you need to succeed in your weight loss journey.
Are you ready to stop spinning your wheels and lose the excess weight for good? Contact your Nobilis Health physician today to discuss the personalized options available to help you succeed.