Maintaining weight loss can be challenging, with so many contradictory information available to us all. To help sort through what’s factual from what’s fiction–we asked experts to debunk 10 weight loss myths.
Eating a diet rich in healthy fats and proteins is crucial to successful weight loss, helping keep you feeling satiated longer and helping prevent food cravings.
1. All calories are the same
Common wisdom holds that all calories are created equal and that weight loss and maintenance depend solely on reducing caloric intake to caloric expenditure. While this generalization holds true, each body is unique with different needs, hormones and food preferences having an effect on weight loss or maintenance.
One calorie is equivalent in energy terms, but when it comes to health and wellbeing, quality matters. For instance, one gram of glucose provides the same energy output as fructose; however, their chemical composition allows your body to process them differently.
Therefore, it is crucial that you place emphasis on the quality and variety of nutrient-dense foods you eat. Eating high-quality food will keep your metabolism active, reduce cravings and support healthy weight management – as well as benefit your overall health by making maintaining an active lifestyle simpler.
2. You can’t lose weight after a certain age
As we age, physical and mental changes occur that lead to weight gain. This could be caused by multiple factors including slower metabolisms or losing muscle that helps burn calories more effectively.
These factors may make weight loss harder, but it remains possible with a balanced diet and regular physical activity. Although it may take longer than when one was younger, the long-term health benefits make the journey worthwhile.
As with any weight-loss plan, it’s essential to avoid products labeled “diet,” which often contain hidden sugar and unhealthy fats. Instead, focus on eating whole foods, limiting alcohol and managing stress effectively. Speaking to your physician if you are having difficulty losing weight or seem to be gaining too much is also advised as this will help find an individualized plan tailored specifically to you. Also remember that no two people are the same, so what works for others may not necessarily work for you!
3. You’ll gain all the weight back once you stop dieting
Due to all of the various tips, tricks, and fad diets that exist today, it may be hard to distinguish what’s real from what’s not. But, it is essential to remember that weight loss is a process and won’t happen overnight.
Dieters often worry that once they stop dieting, all their weight will come rushing back on. But this is far from reality! Once your body and brain work to maintain weight loss, their mind and bodies work to help keep it off! Your brain sends signals to your body when your fat stores drop below certain thresholds, prompting it to slow down and store calories more easily. Thus, once you have reached your ideal weight it is essential that you maintain healthy habits even once weight has been achieved. Consume a range of healthy foods while limiting high-caloric beverages; for more information, check out MyHSN’s 10 weight loss facts article. While carbohydrates don’t pose as the enemy in this scenario, processed “diet-foods” lacking necessary vitamins and minerals like cookies or candy should be avoided to achieve weight loss.
4. Fad diets are the best way to lose weight
No matter how popular a diet may be, there’s no guarantee it will help you achieve weight loss or enhance your health. Many fad diets lack evidence and nutritionally unbalanced, while setting unrealistic goals and encouraging competition between dieters can create unhealthy relationships between food and eating.
Fad diets can leave you hungry, exhausted and weak; they may even lead to nutritional deficiencies that undermine overall health and make long-term weight loss more challenging.
Instead of diving head first into a fad diet, consider making small incremental changes to your eating habits each day. Swapping soda for water or adding one vegetable per lunch are simple yet impactful ways of building healthy eating habits and building self-confidence around food choices. It may also be wise to consult a registered dietitian prior to initiating any new regimen; they can provide recommendations tailored specifically to you based on cultural norms as well as any unique health needs or concerns you have.