Today I’m going to reveal the top 10 weight loss MYTHS that could be holding you back from getting the body you really want.
Top 10 Weight Loss Myths Debunked, #1: Weight loss is linear.
When people start dieting, they often believe that they are going to be able to lose 2 pounds per week, every week, on the dot. And their weight loss will look like a straight line.
The truth is that it almost never works that way.
It’s normal for your bodyweight to fluctuate, and that makes it hard sometimes to measure your progress.
For instance, if you had a high-sodium dinner last night, your body might be bloated in the morning, holding on to more water, which could increase your weight by a pound or two temporarily.
Or some days you may just have more food in your digest system than normal. And if you’re a woman, it’s normal for your bodyweight to fluctuate during menstrual cycles.
This is important to know because you can’t let yourself get discouraged if it’s been 3 days and your bodyweight hasn’t changed.
Now if it’s been 10-14 days and your weight hasn’t decreased at all, then that might be a sign that you need to look at your diet and see where you can cut some calories.
But what’s really important is that your overall trend is going downward.
And what often happens is that weight loss comes in sort of a cycle. Sort of a wave.
So you might go a week or two without losing any weight…but you keep at it, you stick to your diet…
And then over the next two weeks you’ll lose 5, 6, 7 pounds.
So when you’re trying to lose weight, don’t get completely focused on the past couple days. Take a longer view and see what’s happened with your weight over the past 2 months.
Look at your overall weight loss trend, and that’s going to be much more useful for you.
Top 10 Weight Loss Myths Debunked, #2: One diet is better than another.
Now this is half-myth, half-truth.
On one hand, some diets will work better for you just because they’re a better fit for your lifestyle.
But that doesn’t mean that diet is, strictly speaking, better than another diet. Diet #1 might work better for you, but diet #2 might work better for somebody else.
The thing that causes a diet to work is its ability to create a calorie deficit. And that is the ONLY thing that makes a diet WORK to help you lose weight.
So a low-carb diet doesn’t work because carbs are evil…it works because by eliminating carbs, it automatically reduces your calorie intake.
And there are many different ways to reduce your calorie intake.
Hence: many different diets that can be effective.
Finally, as a disclaimer, let me just say that I’m only talking about smart, effective, nutritionally complete diets here.
If you’re comparing a real diet, like a Mediterranean-style diet, against the Doritos and Skittles Diet, well…that’s obviously does not apply here.
Top 10 Weight Loss Myths Debunked, #3: You should graze all day to “stoke your metabolism.”
It used to be a popular thing to try to eat 6 small meals a day, because people thought that would increase your metabolism.
We now know that that is not true. They’ve studied it, and basically what happens is this:
Eating a small meal does give you a small metabolism boost… But eating a bigger meal causes a bigger metabolism boost.
So eating 6 small meals gives you the SAME metabolism boost as 3 meals that are twice as big.
The net change in metabolism is zero.
And this is true because the metabolism boost you get…comes from your body actually digesting the food. And the more food you eat, the more digestion your body has to do.
Top 10 Weight Loss Myths Debunked, #4: All calories are created equal.
This is another half-myth, half-truth.
Technically speaking, you could eat nothing but ice cream every day and still lose weight. As long as you’re in a calorie deficit.
But if you look at the big picture, some calories are far more useful in terms of weight loss.
For example, eating 100 calories of broccoli is going to be more satisfying—you’re going to feel fuller—than 100 calories of ice cream (which is like 2 bites.)
The broccoli also has more nutrients, so your body will be healthier, you’ll feel better, have more energy, and so on.
Another example here is protein. If you eat 100 calories of protein, your body is going to burn about 30 calories just to digest it. That’s not true of fat or carbohydrates.
Also protein keeps you feeling full, and helps preserve your lean muscle so that the weight you do lose is body fat.
You will definitely NOT get those benefits on a Ben and Jerry’s diet.
Top 10 Weight Loss Myths Debunked, #5: Fat burners will help you.
People throw millions of dollars down the toilet by buying fat burners.
Now it’s true that some of these supplements can help you burn fat…like a TINY bit better…just a little bit…
But unless you are trying to diet down to like 5% body fat, it’s really not even going to make a noticeable difference.
Skip the fat burners, save your money, and spend it on healthy food instead.
Top 10 Weight Loss Myths Debunked, #6: Carbs make you fat.
I talked about this just a minute ago.
Yes, it is true that refined carbohydrates like sugar and white bread, etc., and not good food choices for weight loss.
But nevertheless: carbs are not evil, and eliminating them will not magically cause you to lose weight. You still have to be in a calorie deficit.
That said, low-carb diets do work…because they encourage a calorie deficit.
I have another article on this topic, which you can read here:
Top 10 Weight Loss Myths Debunked, #7: Fat makes you fat.
Everything I just said about carbs also applies to fat.
There are poor choices, like trans fat, that you definitely want to avoid.
But that said, you absolutely NEED to eat some healthy fats in your diet. They have a lot of health benefits, they help you feel full, and they’re really important in keeping your hormone levels healthy.
And keep in mind that fat is more calorically dense than other macronutrients. One gram of protein or carbohydrates has 4 calories, whereas one gram of fat has 9 calories.
So you have to be careful not to overdo it with the fat.
Just like with carbs, in the end it all comes down to the calories.
Top 10 Weight Loss Myths Debunked, #8: You have to eat breakfast to lose weight.
“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Right?
I have heard this so many times it makes me sick.
The truth is you can absolutely skip breakfast if you want to. Once again, what really matters is the calories.
People tend to think that eating breakfast will increase your metabolism—well, we already busted that, that was myth #3—and they also think that eating breakfast will help you avoid overeating later in the day.
But frankly, that’s just not true.
You can absolutely skip breakfast and still eat in moderation throughout the day. Lots of people do it.
In fact, there’s a whole diet movement called intermittent fasting which is all about NOT eating breakfast.
I have a 3-part series on the topic of intermittent fasting, which you can check out here:
Part 1: What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Top 10 Weight Loss Myths Debunked, #9: You don’t need to diet as long as you exercise.
The truth is, people, that you cannot out-train a bad diet.
You could work out for 2 hours a day, every day, and still not lose weight if you eat too much.
And trust me: we are all, all of us, able to EAT more than calories than we can burn.
So exercise is great, but if you want to lose weight you have to make your diet the priority.
I have another post on this topic, which you can read here:
Top 10 Weight Loss Myths Debunked, #10: The leaner or thinner you are, the healthier you are.
Now, yes: it’s true that obesity is linked with all kinds of chronic diseases, like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
BUT: that does not mean that leaner is always healthier.
There’s a line that separates being overweight and obese from being a healthy weight. Generally we consider that line to be around a BMI of 25. BMI isn’t a perfect measurement by any means, but that’s another topic.
So as long as you’re under that line, as long as you are at a healthy weight, then there’s no real HEALTH benefit to be gained from losing more weight.
There are other benefits: you look better, you might perform better athletically, you might feel more confident…but you won’t be healthier.
And in fact if you get TOO lean…like really lean, then you could start to go in the other direction. You could start to become malnourished because you’re not eating enough.
The real difference between overweight and healthy weight has to do with WHERE your body is storing your fat.
If you have a lot of visceral fat, which is body fat in between your organs, THAT is the really bad, unhealthy kind with all sorts of health risks.
But if you just have subcutaneous fat, the kind of fat that builds up under your skin, that’s more of a cosmetic problem.
I’m not saying you SHOULDN’T try to get leaner, if you want to…
…but it’s important to know that you don’t HAVE to (to be healthy, which is really—in the end—the MOST important thing).
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Remember, sometimes all it takes is one little change to start losing weight much faster and more effectively than before.
So don’t underestimate the power of busting these weight loss myths!
They say “The Truth Shall Set You Free,” and that’s true of your body fat as well.
Stop wasting your time with these 10 counterproductive weight-loss beliefs, and start following a PROVEN system to lose weight and get in the best shape of your life.
I promise you’ll be glad you did.