It’s always the most popular topics that accrue the most misunderstandings. With weight loss being a subject relevant to so many people, it’s only natural that many misconceptions have appeared over the years.
Some of these myths and misconceptions are stubborn enough to persist even in the face of science and they can make weight loss a confusing, distressing subject.
We’re here to keep things simple. Here are the top seven biggest myths about weight loss.
1. There’s a Silver Bullet
We all like a quick fix. With losing weight being such a hot topic, there are plenty of people out there selling silver bullet solutions, promising weight loss without the hard work.
Although there are natural fat burner supplements, none of these solutions can help you lose weight in a healthy way without the addition of a diet plan and exercise regime. At most, they can supplement a healthy weight loss routine.
2. I Just Need to Diet
Modern life is sedentary by nature. Many of us go from sleeping to driving a car to work, to sitting down at a job, sitting on the sofa in the evening, and so on.
The human body simply didn’t evolve in an environment where it could get away with doing nothing. So it’s hardly a surprise that so many people struggle to lose weight by dieting alone when our bodies are built for frequent exercise.
The body’s basic approach is to use what it needs right now and store what it doesn’t for when we next need it. Without that “next”, the calories simply sit there in fat form as extra weight. That’s why a good weight loss routine incorporates other ways of healthy living, like spending less time on sedentary tasks and engaging in active exercise.
Scientists recommend spending at least a few hours per week doing moderate exercise. Without this, it’s hard to stay physically fit and maintain a healthy weight.
3. Skipping Meals Leads to Weight Loss
Unfortunately, some people turn to drastic measures to achieve weight loss. Yet those drastic methods are far from guaranteed and could make things worse in the long run.
Skipping meals or even starving yourself is unlikely to lead to long-term weight loss. Instead, it often leads to binge-eating to make up for the calorie deficit, and further leads to an emotional state that promotes comfort eating.
Even worse, attempting to lose weight in this way can lead to the development of eating disorders, which can be far more damaging to long-term health than some excess weight.
Be sure you’re dieting the right way by thinking about how you can stay healthy while losing weight.
4. Losing Weight is a Sprint
We get it: there’s often a social aspect to losing weight, whether you’re aiming for that beach bod or slimming down for your wedding.
Yet healthy, long-term weight loss is about the marathon, not the sprint. If you can make steady, permanent changes to your diet and lifestyle, you’ll achieve better results over time than a short-term diet followed by falling back into old habits.
If you’re losing a lot of weight in a short period of time, it’s also more likely you’re indulging in unhealthy habits to do, like the problem of skipping meals that we mentioned above.
5. More Weight is Bad Weight
One common weight loss myth is the conflation between weight and fat. Heavier doesn’t always mean unhealthier.
Taking a look at athletes makes this pretty obvious. As muscle is denser than fat, it’s possible to be healthier at a heavier weight.
That’s why you may struggle to lose weight if you’ve switched to a new exercise routine. While you might be getting fitter, you’re also building dense muscle, which can keep your weight even overall.
It’s worth considering this as you plan your overall weight loss goals, as your slow progress might lead to disappointment if weight is your only metric.
6. Older is Fatter
Many of us have sat around with friends, lamenting ever-expanding waistlines as a consequence of growing older. So, what if we told you that gaining weight isn’t an inevitable part of growing old?
It’s true that our metabolisms slow down as we age. Yet defeatism is a far greater enemy than age when it comes to weight loss, according to science.
Slower metabolisms only account for a fraction of the weight we gain as we age. In truth, most of it comes from an ever more sedentary lifestyle. Many people simply stop exercising as they get older, giving up active hobbies and succumbing to the pressure of aches and pains.
The key to losing weight as you get older is to adapt, not to give in. By finding new activities that suit your lifestyle, you can stay healthy as you age. Low-impact activities like swimming are perfect for those who want to stay active as they get older.
7. I Should Drink More Juices and Smoothies
If you asked the general public to list healthy drinks, there’s a good chance that fruit juices and smoothies would feature in the list. Which is exactly what makes them a real Trojan Horse of the dieting world.
The truth is that fruit juices and smoothies are desserts in a glass. It’s true that fruit makes for a healthier snack than most, but think about this: how much juice do you get if you squeeze an orange?
A single glass of orange juice contains three or more oranges worth of juice (and therefore sugar). On top of that, orange juice is no longer bound to the fibrous material of the fruit, making it easier to absorb, and our bodies don’t rate liquids as highly when it comes to satiating an appetite. All this adds up to make fruit juices and smoothies an insidious threat to your weight loss plan.
Instead of relying on them as a healthy solution, you should enjoy them as part of your overall balanced diet.
The 7 Biggest Myths About Weight Loss Busted
So, there you go: the seven biggest myths about weight loss blown wide open. Keep these in mind as you plan your weight loss routine to avoid some obvious pitfalls and achieve more consistent results.
Looking for more weight loss guides? Be sure to check back often for more hints and tips.