Seven Common Weight Loss Myths

The weight loss industry is booming, but beware! Not all the weight loss advice you find out there is true. If you have decided to embark on a weight loss journey, then read through the seven common myths below. Understanding these common myths can help you lose weight safely and effectively, enabling you to maintain a healthy weight for good!

A calorie is a calorie! - Calories are not equal. There are whole, real foods that are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other vital nutrients the body needs. These are high quality foods. Then there are low quality foods that contain empty calories with little or no nutritional value like snacks loaded with sugar and processed foods containing refined flour, starches, and hidden added sugars. Opt for whole, real foods that are packed with vital nutrients! Avoid all processed foods that are full of artificial preservatives and flavors. Don’t focus so much on the number of calories, instead focus on the quality of the foods you eat!

Snacking is off limits when you are trying to lose weight! - Nothing could be further from the truth. Eating preemptively will help you to feel full throughout the day and keep you from overeating later. Focus on eating small, healthy snacks between meals so that you never feel extreme hunger pains.

Exercise is more important than the foods that you eat! - Absolutely NOT! The truth is that you burn fewer calories exercising than most people think. Walking briskly for 30 minutes will only burn approximately 200 calories. While one meal from your favorite restaurant can contain over 1000 calories and 2 plain glazed donuts have 380 calories. The most effective way to lose weight is to incorporate healthy food choices with consistent daily exercise. This is a winning combination.

Avoid fat if you want to lose weight! - The truth is many low fat foods contain the same calories or more than full fat foods. Low fat foods often contain high amounts of sugar and artificial flavors. Most healthy full fat foods have many healing benefits. The key is to eat healthy fats like nuts, nut butters, avocados, and seeds. As with all other foods, portion size is important. A whole bag of nuts at one sitting would be too much.

Carbs must be drastically cut in order to lose weight! - Once again, all carbs are not created equal, just as all calories are not equal. Processed foods, foods high in sugar, foods prepared with refined flours (cakes, cookies, crackers, white bread, boxed meals) should be cut from your diet. However, nutrient dense carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables, and healthy grains like quinoa and rice are essential for a healthy body. These foods are beneficial to your health. High quality carbs should be consumed daily.

In order to lose weight I must EAT LESS and EXERCISE MORE! - In theory this seems to make sense and for years this was the advice given by most fitness experts. However, research has proven this to be ineffective in the pursuit of weight loss for most people. If you skip meals or go long periods of time without eating, you can elevate your blood sugar and cause a delayed insulin response. Your body will go into starvation mode. Your metabolism can slow, causing your body to store fat instead of burning it. Over exercising can cause a release of cortisol, which causes the body to store fat as well. Once again, the winning weight loss combination is to eat portion controlled healthy foods every 3-4 hours combined with short, effective workouts.

I just need to find that one perfect diet to lose weight! - There are many fad diets out there and I am sure there will continue to be more. Remember, we are all individuals and our bodies are uniquely created. What works for one person, may not work for another. Research has proven that eating whole, nutrient dense foods is the best way to lose weight and maintain your health. The secret is to become a food detective and discover which healthy foods work best for you! Find healthy recipes that work for your schedule and your family.

Weight loss can be quick and easy...people do it all the time! - Let’s be realistic! You did not gain all your excess weight in one week or even one month; and you will not lose it all in that amount of time either. Most people who lose weight rapidly, re-gain that weight and more. The key to losing weight and keeping it off is to make healthy lifestyle changes! Aim to lose 1-2 pounds of weight each week. Set goals that are attainable and realistic. Yes, you may lose more weight in the first few weeks if you have a lot of excess water to lose. Be patient and stay focused...if you are making healthy food choices and exercising daily, you will become stronger, more energetic, and improve your health. The added bonus is you will lose those extra pounds too!

Losing weight does not have to be hard, but it does take commitment and consistency. Making healthy lifestyle changes like eating whole, real food and incorporating exercise into your daily routine will help you successfully finish your weight loss journey.

Janet Steward