5 Myths About Weight Loss

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Can you remember the last time someone told you about a great weight loss plan and how they dropped 10 or 20 pounds in 4 weeks or less? Do you ever wonder how the stars do it? How they lose 30 pounds in 30 days? Is it even true? Can it be done? And why this obsession with extreme weight loss in a very short amount of time? Has anyone ever admitted it took them 12 months to lose 40 pounds? Probably not because that story isn’t quite as sexy and we love immediate results and satisfaction. But what happens when someone loses 10 or 20 pounds that quickly? Does that weight actually stay off? Most of those diets (South Beach, Atkins, Cabbage Soup, Grapefruit diets etc) may not be sustainable long term. And by long term I do mean as a lifestyle and not a quick fix. What happens when the weight comes back on and you are are back at square one? Do you end up with a mish-mash of advice and half-baked theories that have you yo-yoing up and down the scale? Do you feel confused or mislead by the million ideas and promises out there? Here are 5 myths that I am calling out and throwing down.

The most popular and worst dieting tips (according to me).

1. Carbs are bad for you. One of the most destructive myths out there. The low carb - no carb frenzy was made wildly popular by the Atkins Diet and is still misleading people today. Carbohydrates fuel your body! Without carbs your body can’t function properly. You can’t exercise at a high intensity or in some cases – at all, you’ll tire easily, you may feel nauseous or dizzy and it’s much harder to keep your thoughts organized. Longterm effects of a low-carb diet include kidney failure, kidney stones, and gout. If you stop consuming the carbs you need then your body will find energy elsewhere by breaking down muscle mass and fat stores. It’s great to lose fat but this is the most inefficient and damaging way to do it. The truth is NOT eating carbohydrates is BAD for you.

2. All calories are the same -- it's just calories in, calories out. This myth is a little less nefarious because we know that calories in a donut and calories in an apple really aren’t the same. The actual number might be the same but you know that the quality of the food is very different. Yes, you actually could lose weight by only eating donuts but you won’t feel very good and you probably wouldn’t look very good either. The truth is high quality calories are important to losing weight successfully. The cleaner your diet is, the better you will feel inside and out.

3. Fats, fruits, and milk myths. It goes without saying that everything has its limits. And just because it’s good for you doesn’t mean you should go hogwild and eat avocados everyday. Don’t get me wrong, avocados are a great, healthy fat but should be consumed in limited quantities like other healthy fats. You should also take care in choosing dairy products. Cheese is delicious but should you really eat a lot of it? What role should low-fat and fat-free dairy play in your diet? Should you really eat 6 servings of fruit everyday? It’s loaded with sugar and sugar converts to fat. There are many different nutrients that our body needs and not every nutrient is appropriate for everyone. Maybe you are lactose intolerant? You may have diabetes or high cholesterol. These are important considerations to understand. The truth is, as long as you can tolerate it, everything in moderation. If you are unsure, you should see a registered dietician or your doctor.

4. Eat multiple meals per day to lose weight. You’ve probably heard that you need to eat every 4 hours or 5-6 small meals per day. And it’s true. But it will become a problem if you don’t properly apply a few rules to the program. Eating 5-6 small meals a day is a great idea. Eating big portion sizes and full meals is not a great idea. Snacks mean a small amount of food like an apple or a handful of almonds. It shouldn’t mean a bag of chips, a 36 ounce soda and a power bar. Another way to do this is to divide your allotted calories per day into each meal. If I eat 1800 calories per day and have 5 meals then that’s 360 calories per meal. I, personally, eat more calories with breakfast to kick start my metabolism in the morning and keep me going strong throughout the day. I also like a good lunch and a light dinner so I distribute my calories accordingly. The truth is you must have a plan to be successful and you must follow that plan 90% of the time.

5. You can get into shape without exercising if you just watch your diet. It’s true you can lose weight by dieting but you certainly cannot get into shape by dieting. That’s like saying you could run a marathon by only doing yoga. It’s not going to happen and if it does – it’s not going to be pretty. You might know someone who is thin and never exercises but he or she is probably skinny fat. Not a lick of muscle tone, couldn’t lift a heavy bag of groceries to save their life and certainly couldn’t run very far to catch the bus. The truth is if you want to lose weight and maintain that weight loss you need to exercise. You need muscles to help burn calories and to keep you healthy and strong so you can do all of thing things you want to do.

Now you have few basic guidelines to follow. It’s confusing out there so do your best to get your information from reputable sources. I know, that’s hard too, but use common sense and your instincts. If it sounds to good to be true – it probably is. If it took you 5 years to gain 40 pounds then it’s going to take you more than 4 weeks to get it off. Quick fixes generally don’t stick. You need to put the time and the work in to get the long term rewards.

If you are ready to kick start your weight loss and fitness program try out my program Body Revolution class today.