There are countless weight loss myths out there which need to be debunked if you are to be successful in your weight reduction efforts. In this article we look at many of the fat burning myths that have done the rounds over the years, and the truth about how to reduce weight successfully.
Myth# 1: Fad Diets Are a Good Way to Lose Weight
It is tempting to follow a fad diet because they promise fast removal of excessive weight in a very short time frame. However, fad dieting is not the best way for weight reduction, and you never hear of people who have lost weight with a fad diet and managed to keep it off permanently.
Some examples of fad diets that have been popular over the years include the cabbage soup diet, the grapefruit diet and the three-day diet.
While you probably will lose a few pounds on one of these diets, calories and foods are very limited and like just about every other person who has tried to get rid of excessive weight with such a diet plan you will soon become tired and regain any weight you lost. In the vast majority of cases people usually end up putting on an extra pound or two on top, as they overeat when they come off the diet to compensate for the failings of deprivation they have recently experienced.
Myth# 2: Cutting Out Carbs Almost Completely From Your Diet Will Result in Weight Loss
Low carb diets advocate cutting out carbohydrate foods in order to lose weight. Low carb dieting became popular in the 70s and 80s thanks to Dr. Atkins. Although people have lost weight on a low carb diet, in order to follow it correctly you must cut out all healthy fruits and vegetables and restrict yourself to small portions of salad greens for nutrients, while eating large amounts of red meat, nuts, dairy food and eggs. Needless to say, you will be eating far too much fat and your cholesterol levels will probably rise dangerously. This increases your risk of heart attack.
Lack of dietary fiber on a low carb diet will soon lead to constipation and other digestive problems. Low carb dieters also often note an unhealthy pallor of the skin, and find they have bad body odor and breath due to ketosis, which occurs when the body is burning fat stores for energy.
Low carb, dieting will also leave you feeling weak and probably nauseous. Needless to say, losing weight this way is not a good long-term solution and it can be quite risky in some cases. Low carb dieting should never be undertaken without consulting your physician, as you may have an existing health problem that could be made much worse by following such an unhealthy eating plan.
Myth# 3: To Lose Weight You Have to Cut Out Fat
This myth is only partially false. There are four types of dietary fats, which are monounsaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, trans fat and saturated fat. Only the last two types of those fats are detrimental to weight reduction, and recent studies have found that eating the first two types do not only promote good health but they may also help you shed unwanted pounds.
The good types of fats are found in avocados, olives, flaxseed oil and even dark chocolate. Salmon, nuts and seeds should also be eaten in small amounts when you want to burn fat. Dairy foods and red meat contain saturated fat and these should be restricted when you want to lose weight to around two portions a week.
Trans fats should be eliminated from your diet completely; not only when you want to get rid of extra pounds but always if you wish to be healthy. Some states in America have even banned trans fats from restaurants, as they have been proven to be a contributing factor to heart disease and some types of cancer. Read food labels carefully to make sure they do not contain trans fats. Another name for trans fats is “partially hydrogenated oil,” so look out for this on labels also.
Myth# 4: The Only Way You Can Really Lose Weight Is To Start an Extreme Exercise Routine
This myth is not true because although exercise will most definitely help with your weight loss efforts you need to make small modifications slowly; that you can stick to permanently. Most busy adults simply do not have time to spend hours at the gym and do not have the motivation to join in with group sports, or they simply do not like exercising.
It is far better to incorporate regular physical activity into your daily life by simply moving more.
“Taking the stairs instead of the elevator, cleaning the house yourself instead of hiring somebody else, and playing games with the children are small changes that will not only lead to burning more calories but will also add to your quality-of-life.”
Fun activities such as Zumba dancing or aerobic classes are also something you could try if you feel inclined.
Myth# 5: You Should Always Choose Low-Fat and Reduced Fat Foods
Foods labelled as low-fat and reduced fat are not necessarily the same thing. In order for a food to have a low-fat label it has to meet a certain criteria on the amount of fat grams it has, but a reduced fat label simply means there are less fat grams in this version than the regular type.
A reduced fat snack is not automatically healthy, as it could contain lots of sodium or sugar. It is far better to eat low-fat foods such as fruit and fresh vegetables when you feel like a snack, as you know for a fact that these are indeed low in fat and also high in vitamins and minerals without containing any harmful ingredients at all.
These are just a few of the diet and weight loss myths that are commonly repeated among those trying to work out the best way to lose weight. Learning more about what causes weight gain and what results in weight loss is a great way to improve your chances of long-term success, but do be sure that the information comes from a reliable and educated source before you accept it as fact!
The Slim Donkey – “Hee-Haw”
Albert, S. (2012). “Weight Loss and Diet Plans: 5 Weight Loss Myths”. Reviewed by Chang, L. Published by WebMD.com. (Online). Available at: http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/5-weight-loss-myths
Steer, T. & Jebb, S. (2007). “BBC Health: Myths About Metabolism”. Published by BBC – British Broadcasting Corporation. (Online). Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/treatments/healthy_living/your_weight/medical_myths.shtml
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2009). “Weight-Loss and Nutrition Myths: How Much Do You Really Know?”. Published by National Institutes of Health. (Online). Available at: http://wellness.unl.edu/wellness_documents/weight_loss_and_nutrition_myths.pdf