Our guest author today explains some of the more common weight loss myths. I recognize some of them – do you?
Everyone has his or her own take on the best way to lose weight. Over the ages, weight loss has become one of the most socially controversial subjects, with so many opposing views, ideas, opinions and myths that it befuddles the brain. Read our list of the top 10 weight loss myths to know more.
1. The More Weight To Lose, The More Intense The Workout
The word ‘intense’ has a different definition for different people when it comes to weight loss. For a relatively sedentary person, an intense workout might be a 30 minutes brisk walk. For a triathlon expert, an intense workout might be hours of training on different forms of workout equipment. Whatever your form of exercise and the time you allot to it, it will work for you if you keep doing it. You will lose only as much weight as your dieting, workout and genetic makeup allow.
2. Stressed People Tend To Put On More Weight
Sustained stress causes the production of cortisol in the body, which tends to store fat. However, what stress does in normal levels is cause food cravings, which, if not controlled, lead to weight gain. A suitable diet and regular exercise plan can keep stress levels down and help you maintain healthy levels of body weight.
3. Skipping Meals Leads To Weight Loss
Skipping meals can cause an unnaturally high appetite later during the day. If you overindulge at this time, there’s no point in having missed a meal. Missed meals can also cause your stomach acid level to increase, causing acid burns and acid reflux in some people. Eat five moderate meals a day and stick to a workout program to lose weight steadily.
4. I’m Not Socially Acceptable Unless I Am Slim
A person who does not feel socially unacceptable is likely to feel the same whether or not he or she loses weight. It is important to be emotionally and physically fit. If you have low self-esteem issues, consult a good therapist and come to terms with how you feel about yourself. You’ll then be in a happier place and learn to love yourself and your new shape.
5. Cutting Calories Will Speed Up Weight Loss
This is true only if you are consuming more calories than are recommended for a person of your age and size. However, if you are eating the right amounts of food, cutting calories will only slow your metabolism. A slow metabolism remains slow even after you’ve reduced your weight, which means that when you start eating normally, you’ll regain all the weight you lost. Work on increasing your metabolism via exercise instead of reducing your food intake, unless you are directed to do so by a medical professional.
6. Weight Gain Is Only Genetic
We inherit views and beliefs from our parents, to some extent. However, our genes don’t dictate weight gain. Our genes can indicate a tendency to gain weight, and specific places in the body where the weight tends to lodge. However, if you stay on top of the situation and stick to a healthy eating and workout plan, your genetics cannot sway how you look. Even if your parents were obese, and the rest of your family is obese, you can break the pattern and lose that weight if you stick to a disciplined routine. You might need to take the help of a professional trainer and dietician, though.
7. It’s Too Hard To Eat Healthily
Eating healthy is a habit that you have to cultivate and respect for its own sake, and not just because you want to lose weight. Eating healthy is for the purpose of living a healthy life. Our brain sometimes makes us revert to the more comforting patterns of old whenever we try something new. Understanding how the brain corrupts our thinking is a good way to ensure we stay in control of our food consumption, not our minds. Eating healthy is a simple thing if you put in the effort to do it, while understanding that it’s the best gift you can give yourself.
8. Losing Weight Means Giving Up Favorite Foods
Can you imagine how much unhappiness and internal stress is caused when we give up our favorite foods? The very craving for these foods will make us break our diet plans. It’s best to continue to eat our favorite foods, but in moderation so that we can lose weight without the desire, and the guilt coming in the middle. Most dieticians advise that if you love ice cream or chocolate, you should just go ahead and indulge yourself now and then with a small scoop or a small bar, and no more. It’s the quantity that hurts you, not the food item itself. As long as you keep this in mind, you can include your favorite foods, even pizza, into your diet plan.
9. When People Are Very Hungry, They Overeat
Hunger is not responsible for overeating. People overeat due to a number of reasons. They are too hungry to stop and measure the correct portion, or they don’t pay attention when their brain puts up the ‘stop’ signal, or they just eat to feel better. People who are used to overeating tend to train their brains to not feel full until the regular portion of food is consumed. Then the brain starts indicating fullness after the subject has overeaten, adding fuel to the fire. Hunger is seldom the reason; overeating, especially chronic overeating indicates deeper issues that should be resolved with a therapist.
10. Only Drastic Diets Can Help Lose Weight
If this is what you’re thinking, then don’t. Drastic diets such as the cookie diet, the fluid diet and so on can help you lose weight drastically, but what you’ll be losing will be muscle and body fluids. When you get off the diet and revert to normal patterns of eating, you’ll put back on the weight you lost, plus more. Since you’ll lose muscle tone during your drastic diet, you’ll be replacing the muscle with a lot of fat, not muscle.