Here are some common weight loss myths.
How many did you think were facts?
1. You won’t lose weight if you don’t eat breakfast.
A lot of people don’t like to eat first thing in the morning. You might be one of those people, but since you want to lose weight you’ve been forcing yourself to choke down breakfast. Don’t do it anymore! You can lose weight without eating breakfast, and you might even progress faster when you stop! If you don’t like to eat in the morning, it’s probably just contributing calories to your day that would be better if you didn’t.
2. You got to cut the carbs.
Carbs are your body’s preferred source of energy. There is no reason to cut out carbs, but there are good reasons to eat them. The important consideration is the kind of carbs you’re eating. Carbs coming from whole grains, such as oat, barley, wheat, quinoa, and rye are broken down by the body slowly. This helps control blood sugar levels and that can help you feel full longer. Carbs are good sources of fiber, plant-based protein, vitamins, minerals, and a variety of phytochemicals that can help prevent cell damage. Fruit is another source of carbs and although there is fructose (sugar) in fruit, it’s okay to enjoy fruit everyday. Fruit, like whole grains are a good source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Refined carbs – cookies, crackers, white bread, candy and the like – don’t offer the same healthy benefits to your body and can quickly add a lot of calories to your day without any significant contribution to nutrients. Enjoy the whole grains and limit (not cut) the refined carbs for best weight loss progress.
3. Never eat after 8pm.
This is almost so silly I don’t know how rational people could ever buy this myth, but they do. Repeat something often enough and it starts to sound credible. Eating after 8pm will not impede weight loss progress. If you create a calorie deficit, you will lose weight. The best way to maintain a calorie deficit is to eat a variety of nutritious foods that taste good and keep you from feeling hungry. The hour of the day or night that you eat isn’t important. It’s what you eat that matters.
4. No eating before bedtime.
From a weight loss perspective see #3 above. If you have trouble with heartburn or hiatal hernia, then it’s a good idea not to eat before bedtime.
5. Skipping snacks is a smart weight loss strategy.
Says who? Snacking can help keep blood sugar levels steady helping you to maintain energy and focus. It can also help you eat less at meals because you won’t be so hungry that you’re likely to eat more than you really needed to be satisfied. Fruit and vegetables make good snacks. They boost nutrition without adding a lot of calories.
This may be a fact for some and a myth for others. It’s not a daily weigh-in that’s counterproductive, it’s how you react to the number you see. If you think the scale gives today instant and accurate feedback on how well you did yesterday, then daily weighing can be counterproductive. There is nothing wrong with wanting to see the number every day as long as you don’t do silly things based on what you see. If you have a sensible plan and you’re sticking with it, and judging progress on average weight loss over the course of three or four weeks, step on the scale as often as you like.
7. You must choose a realistic goal.
What is a realistic goal? If you’re 40 is it crazy to think you can weigh what you weighed when you were 18? If you believe you’re more than 100 pounds overweight, it is unrealistic to want to lose 100 pounds? The truth is pick any goal you want and don’t worry about whether it’s unrealistic or realistic. That won’t stop you from losing weight. On the other hand, if you look good, feel good, are happy with what you see in the mirror, and are eating enough food to be well-nourished and satisfied, does it make sense to start depriving yourself by eating even less and exercising more just to try to get to the number you originally identified as your goal weight?
8. You can’t lose weight without exercising.
Yes, you can lose weight without exercising. You can! Does that mean you will want to? That depends on you. There are some good reasons to exercise including firming and toning to enhance your appearance and preserve muscle while you lose fat. Exercise may also allow you to eat a little more food while maintaining an essential weight loss calorie deficit. That little bit of extra food you get to eat may be what you need to stick to your plan. If your weight loss goals include becoming stronger and more fit as well as lose weight, exercise is highly recommended. If you are going to exercise pick activities that are so much fun you don’t even realize it’s exercise.