Any attempt at losing weight should be paired with a good amount of information. A lot of weight loss falsehoods can derail your health regime, so here are 10 of the major myths when it comes to body weight, to help differentiate between health fact and fiction.
- Short term “diets” = long term gain: the title of this myth actually threw me because it is true that if yo-yoing diets and starting dieting too young has been linked to weight gain in the long run. What this point means is that the word “diet” refers to what you eat. There is no end point, so realistic and attainable healthy eating is the diet that you should be on for your whole life.
- Some people can eat whatever they want: it may seem that people can eat as poorly as they like and won’t gain a pound, the analogy this article uses is that your body is like a furnace; the better quality calories (fuel) you use, the more efficiently you’ll run.
- Starvation = weight loss: obviously starving yourself is unhealthy, BUT even worse than that, starving yourself puts your body in survival mode, making your body hold on to your fat in preparation of a food shortage.
4. Carbs make you gain weight: there are a zillion different kinds of carbs, so obtaining highly refined carbs from processed foods is unhealthy, eating complex carbs like fruits, brown rice, whole grain, and vegetables are necessary fuel for your body.
5. Eating healthy is too expensive: you know what else is expensive? Health care. Also, fresh foods are often the same price or even cheaper than packaged foods, and you can get some great deals at farmer’s markets.
6. Miracle pills: sorry, but there is no such thing as a miracle pill, powder, or shake, and any health supplement should be taken in addition to a clean diet and fitness regime.
7. Skip meals, save calories: it doesn’t work like a piggy bank, you can’t bank your calories for a rainy day, if you skip meals and splurge later it won’t even out, and you’ll also be far more likely to overeat.
8. No pain, no gain: a very over simplified sentiment. Go hard and push your limits, but listen to your body. If you are in genuine pain you should stop what you’re doing, adjust your intensity, or take a break.
9. You can’t snack and stay thin: having a yogurt a half hour before you hit the gym is very different from eating Cheetos because you’re bored. Healthy snacks are great ways to control your appetite and prevent eating junk food.
10. Going vegetarian guarantees weight loss: as a vegetarian I completely agree. I happened to lose weight when I went vegetarian but I was also 12 at the time, so that probably would have happened anyway. I’m a pretty healthy vegetarian with a well balanced diet, but you can be a vegetarian and live on pizza, which is not exactly a recommended weight loss route.