Despite the growing number of diets and health programs that are popping up everywhere, obesity remains one of the most pressing health problems in the United States and other areas of the world.
This may be due in part to the abundance of misinformation about how to successfully lose weight.
Here are seven common weight loss myths and how to avoid them.
You have to work out to lose weight.
While physical activity is very important for both physical and mental health, exercise isn’t even among the top five factors that promote weight loss.
There are a number of other factors, such what you eat, when you eat, how you sleep, and more that affect weight loss far more than does whether you exercise or not.
You must reduce portion sizes to lose weight.
Reducing portion sizes is one of the best ways to fail at losing weight. Our bodies were made to eat. Our bodies need to eat. And the portion sizes in most diet programs are far too small for the average person. One can survive on tiny portions for only so long.
Try to stick with these small portion sizes and pretty soon the appetite hormones are going to kick in and the desire to eat something – to eat anything! – will become very strong. Biological needs trump willpower, and we find ourselves downing the entire bag of cookies.
If you want to lose weight, don’t restrict portion sizes. Instead build your diet on healthy, delicious food that will help shift your metabolism from fat storage mode to fat disposal mode. If you eat the right foods, you can be slim and healthy without going hungry.
Too much fruit will make you gain weight.
This is one of the most ridiculous of all weight loss myths.
Many healthy foods, such as fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and even vegetables contain natural sugars. And these natural sugars are tremendously beneficial – even essential – for our health.
Because this naturally-occurring sugar is perfectly incorporated and integrated with the fiber, phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in these healthy foods, the human body can use that naturally-packaged sugar for proper nourishment. And they don’t cause weight gain!
The sugar in fruit is not the problem. It’s the sugar in ice cream, cookies, cake, and snack bars that is the problem. (Find out how to get rid of the cravings for the unhealthy sugar in my 30-day weight loss program.)
It’s all about using more calories than you take in.
“Eat less. Exercise more.” That’s basically what most weight loss programs boil down to. The problem is that this approach doesn’t work.
All calories are not equal. 400 calories of chocolate cake does not have the same effect on your body as does 400 calories of cream of potato soup. Your body does not respond equally to 400 calories of cookies as it does to 400 calories of waffles and fruit.
Researchers have found that, in most cases, overweight individuals actually consume approximately the same number of calories as their slim counterparts. The difference is not in how many calories they consume, but in what type of calories they consume.
Another problem with calorie restriction is that is causes the metabolism to slow down, which inevitably leads to a higher rate of fat storage.
There are many other factors (such as hormones, sleep habits, when you eat, and more) that affect weight gain and weight loss more than calorie intake. Losing weight is more than a simple math problem. Our bodies are complex creations, and the only way to lose weight healthfully and successfully (and keep it off!) is to cooperate with the natural functioning of our bodies.
Potatoes and bread (and other starchy foods) are fattening.
Who comes up with this stuff? Some of the thinnest people of the world practically live on potatoes. Many starchy foods actually increase the metabolism and help the body lose weight.
These foods are also very satisfying (which means you’ll eat less), they boost serotonin levels (which helps regulate mood and emotions), they reduce cravings, they give you energy, and they are needed for proper functioning of central nervous system.
There’s no need to avoid potatoes, bread, and other healthy foods. It’s the refined foods that should be avoided. Refined foods – foods that have the fiber or other nutrients removed – are very good at causing weight gain.
So, avoid the cookies, cake, and white bread, but enjoy whole grain bread, whole-grain pasta, potatoes, and other starchy foods to your heart’s content.
High-protein/low-carbohydrate diets are a safe and effective way to lose weight.
High-protein/low-carb diets are not only dangerous for your health, but they are also ineffective in the long-term.
High-protein/low-carb diets increase the risk of constipation, headache, insomnia, fatigue, diabetes, heart disease, bone loss, gout, kidney stones, and other health issues.
And the risk of gaining all the weight back (and more!) is higher among those who use a high-protein/low carb diet than for those who use other healthier methods of weight loss.
If it tastes good it’s probably bad for you.
Often learning to eat healthfully is simply a matter of learning how to prepare healthy foods in delicious ways.
Lose weight healthfully
Your body was created to be slim and healthy. When you cooperate with how your body was designed to function, those extra pounds will fall right off and you’ll never have to worry about weight gain again.
Leave the weight loss myths behind and lose the weight you want to lose with my 30-day weight loss program.
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