If you take a peek at the calendar you’ll probably realize that summer time is only a few short weeks away. You know what that means? Sitting by the pool, hitting the beach, and likely wearing less clothing. For some it may not be a big deal, but others it can be overwhelming if you aren’t happy with the way you look.
The good news is that if you want to drop a few pounds it’s likely simpler than you think. While many people focus on crash diets and extreme workout programs, these typically tend to only be short-term weight loss solutions.
In fact, did you know that over 95% of diets FAIL and people end up gaining more weight than originally lost? (1)
The problem with the internet and social media generation is that there tends to be a lot of weight loss myths surrounding diet culture. The vast multitude of information available means that there’s inevitably misinformation circulating through people’s psyche.
We’re here to help breakdown some of the most common myths associated with dieting and how you can avoid these misconceptions by taking an alternative approach to weight loss. Let’s dive into how you can avoid each of these myths by providing you with cold hard facts.
Carbs Make You Fat
Recent years have seen an abundance of misinformation surrounding the effects of carbohydrates on overall weight loss and health. While Keto and low-carb diets can definitely help with weight loss, it’s not necessarily required or even conducive to the weight loss of many people.
The simple fact of the matter is that weight loss comes down to overall energy expenditure. If you want to lose weight you have to expend more energy than you consume. There are two ways of doing this—consume less calories in your diet and/or moving more through exercise and working out.
Furthermore, many nutritious whole foods such as sweet potatoes and rice are high in carbohydrates. These nutrient dense foods should not necessarily be restricted from your diet. Even more true is the fact that “healthy carbs” cause more weight gain than “unhealthy carbs” coming from processed foods (2).
Other studies suggest that low-carb diets may even cause weight gain as opposed to assisting in weight loss (3). It simply comes down to reaching your overall daily caloric intake goals and being sure not to exceed them. If you keep this simple fact in mind, chances are you will experience a higher degree of weight loss success.
Fat Makes You Fat
During the 1970’s and 1980’s there was an overwhelming stream of misinformation being presented from health food companies. A misconception was fed to the public stating that “fat makes you fat.” The truth of the matter is that many of these substitute “healthy foods” were simply publicity stunts force fed to the public as weight loss foods.
Unfortunately, many of these “healthy foods” simply took out some of the fatty contents and replaced the calories in the form of alternative carbohydrates. The end result was products with a similar amount of calories as the original product.
Studies performed on subjects participating in weight loss studies found that high-fat diets were not linked to weight gain nor were they necessarily linked to cardiovascular disease and other health issues (4). Simply focus on overall caloric intake and try to reach your intake goals by consuming a majority of healthy whole foods.
You Can’t Eat Fast Food on a Diet
You may have heard the common saying that a calorie isn’t just a calorie. While this may be true from a micronutrient perspective, it is not necessarily the case when it comes to weight loss. In fact, consuming 200 calories from a sweet potato is likely to impact your weight in the same manner as eating a 200 calorie candy bar.
While some foods may be more nutritionally dense than others and satiating—the same is not true when it comes to weight loss. Tracking your calories is the number one driver in weight loss (5).
We aren’t recommending that you consume all of your calories from fast food in order to expedite weight loss. There’s certainly a number of benefits when it comes to consuming whole foods instead of junk food such as satiation and micronutrient ratings. As we stated earlier, calories count when it comes to weight loss to a higher degree than the types of food being consumed.
Diet Foods Help You Lose Weight
Many diet foods are improperly marketed as weight loss products. Protein cookies, whole grain snacks and low carb alternatives are often seen as healthy snacks in the eyes of many consumers. However, when you take a deeper look at a protein cookie as compared to a standard cookie found on shelves, the truth of the matter is that calories are likely very similar.
While some of these products may have a slightly higher protein content and a lower carbohydrate rating, it won’t likely impact your overall weight loss. Of course, keeping track of macronutrients matters when it comes down to building muscle and optimizing body composition. However, don’t always fall under the misconception that eating lots of these health products will necessarily help you lose weight (6).
Weight Loss is a Linear Process
If you’ve ever gone on some type of diet or weight loss program, you’ve likely become frustrated when the scale isn’t constantly moving down every single day. Weight can fluctuate to a high degree every single day.
The reasons for why weight loss tends to fluctuate include:
- Increased sodium intake
- More carbs consumed
- Fluctuating water intake
- Sleep patterns
These are just a few of the reasons as to why weight loss can fluctuate day by day. In order to get a more accurate idea of your weight loss goals, you should weigh yourself at the same time every single day (preferably first thing in the morning after using the bathroom). Then average the weekly weight and compare week by week. This will help provide you with a more accurate representation of whether or not your weight loss strategy is going according to plan.
If you’ve been struggling to lose weight, don’t fall victim to a number of common misconceptions surrounding weight loss. Avoid each of these common myths and focus instead on being in an overall caloric deficit along with a regimented exercise program that keeps your body moving.
It’s never too late to reach your weight loss goals. If you want to get in shape in time for summer, we’re here to help you each and every step of the way. If you would like to learn more information about how we can help you reach your weight loss goals, reach out to us.
Taking the next step towards getting the summer body of your dreams is simply one step away.