Weight is a serious problem in the United States. Approximately 54% of American adults are currently trying to reduce theirs, although few succeed without extensive support. With so many websites, commercials, and books pushing certain diets and lifestyle changes, it can be hard to tell fact from a gimmick. Let’s take a look at some of the worst myths about weight loss that are going around and (erroneously) gaining popularity.
MYTH: Cutting all fat from your diet helps you lose weight.
Fat is considered a bad word among those trying to lose weight, but there are many healthy foods that contain healthy fats necessary for a healthy life. Avocadoes, extra virgin olive oil, ground flax seeds, walnuts, and wild salmon, for example, all contain “fat” but they can actually contribute to your weight loss because they speed up your metabolism (which, in turn, helps you shed those extra pounds). By getting rid of all fats, you’re actually more likely to gain weight.
MYTH: Losing weight means going hungry.
Most people (dangerously) believe that committing to a weight loss diet means skipping meals and snacks, and feeling hungry all day. Unfortunately, that leads to frustration, irritability, and can encourage you to abandon your diet in the long run. Instead, make sure you have access to healthy snacks or mini-meals every three to four hours (such as nuts, yogurt with berries, or veggies with hummus). You’ll find that sticking to your plan is much easier when you’re in a better mood!
MYTH: You can eat whatever you want as long as you’re counting calories.
What you eat absolutely matters! Counting calories can contribute to an obsession with quantity over quality; you will end up feeling poorly if you ignore a varied, nutrient-rich diet to focus on calories alone. As your health suffers, so too will your mood, and you’ll end up abandoning your diet with remarkable speed.
Most of these myths are absolutes; they brook no room for flexibility, and that is their main problem. Healthy eating can’t be broken down into specific rules of “eat this” and “don’t eat that.” Any nutritionist will tell you that your health journey is specific to your body and your needs.
By Dr. Mark Dedomenico