There are many common weight loss myths that people live by when it comes to their health. It is difficult at times to separate the weight loss myths and fact from what is true. Many sound true while others are just laughable. I once read somewhere that if you drink water at night that you are going to gain weight or that if you scratch your head too often you are going to lose your hair.
1. The more weight that I have to lose the more intense my exercise routine should be.
Weight Loss Truth:
Although having an intense workout routine is great, there are a few things you should consider: the first being that everyone is at a different level when it comes to their fitness and how much intensity they can actually handle. If you have been physically inactive for a number of years, an intense work out for you might be, walking half a mile a day.
After you walk that half mile you notice that you are sweating bullets and that you are tired. However, for someone who has been physically active for many years, walking half a mile can be done without a sweat. Everyone has a different definition of what “intense” is.
If intense for you is working out for an hour a day, but due to life’s busy schedule you only have time for 20 minutes a day, then those 20 minutes will go an extremely long way. It might not necessarily be classified as “intense”, according to your definition, but those little cardio moments will have positive health altering effects.
2. I can lose weight while eating whatever I want
Weight Loss Truth:
Sir Isaac Newton once said, ” What goes up must come down.” There are natural principles that govern our lives. If you throw a ball up in the air, it is going to come back down. You can sit on your couch and imagine and visualize that the ball will stay afloat in the air, but natural principles teach us that it will come down. Same goes when it comes to our weight.
This is one of the most common weight loss myths out there. It is illogical to think that your health and weight are going to be in balance if your nutrition consists mainly of Twinkies, chips, and donuts. Sure you can burn it off by exercising, but most people whose diet consists of mainly junk food are probably not disciplined enough to stick to a workout routine. I do know a few people who, from the outside, look like they are in good shape, because they are not “fat, but who have high cholesterol.
Just because I feel sorry for crushing the hearts of so many twinkie lovers out there, I would say this. You can eat junk food, cookies, chips, ice cream, pizza, burgers… All of those “soul-satisfying foods”, but it should be in moderation. Anything in excess is never good.
3. Skipping meals is a good way to lose weight
Weight Loss Fact: There are numerous studies that show that people who skip breakfast and eat fewer times during the day tend to be a lot heavier than who have a healthy nutritional breakfast and then eat 4-6 small meals during the day.
The reason for this might be the fact that they get hungrier later on in the day, and might have a tendency to overeat during other meals of the day.
4. I will not lose weight while eating at night
Weight Loss Truth: You can overindulge in food during the day and not eat a single thing at night and you WILL gain weight. As is the fact that you can starve yourself during the day and eat all night long and you still will gain weight. The key here is a balance. If your body is telling you that it is hungry then perhaps you should listen to it.
The truth is, that overeating, while not exercising, will cause you to gain weight; no matter what time of the day that you eat. Whenever I am hungry at night, as is my habit with other meals during the day, I try to select something that is natural in nature. Something like fruits, vegetables, or I might even make myself a fruit smoothie.
During those moments that I am craving ice cream or something sweet, I allow myself to get some, and DO NOT feel guilty about it. Many people who are overweight life their life in guilt and shame. I allow myself to get some, however, WITH MODERATION.
5. I’m not acceptable until I lose weight
Weight Loss Fact: The person who doesn’t feel acceptable because they are fat is because they are not acceptable to themselves first. The way that you think others view you is based on your view of yourself. I honestly believe that one must become emotionally fit before becoming physically fit.
I have gone through these self-limiting emotions before. Once I realized that I was ALREADY ENOUGH in the eyes of God and that I had no need to prove myself to anyone or to receive external validation for my self-worth, that made all the difference for me.
Once you accept yourself as who you are RIGHT NOW and realize that you are already enough in the eyes of God, you will not feel like you are not acceptable because of your weight.
6. I need to cut calories to lose weight faster
Weight Loss Truth: Cutting your calories down might be a great thing if you are drastically overeating and stuffing your face. However, if you are eating proportionally then cutting calories might have an aversive effect.
If you are cutting calories and are starving your body, then that will lower your metabolism, or in other words, slow it down, which may result in you actually not losing any weight at all, even if you are “cutting calories”
7. Skipping meals will help me lose weight
Weight Loss Fact: Skipping meals may actually cause you to gain weight! You will become too hungry and will eventually have to eat. This will knock your metabolism off track and will eventually slow it down. Think of a car running low on gas (food), if you do not fill it up, it will eventually stop working. Same goes for our body, we need to keep it fueled constantly.
8. I think I have genetic weight gain, it runs in my family!
Weight Loss Truth: Can someone say E-X-C-U-S-E-S? I will not deny that there might be tendencies for heavy parents to raise heavy children who will remain heavy their whole lives, but I don’t believe that there is actually a “fat” gene or DNA out there.
What we do inherit from our family, primarily those who directly raised us, are our views and beliefs. Your views about food, money, religion, politics, education, etc. are based upon how you were raised.
If you were raised in a home where the primary meals cooked where fried foods, then you might have a tendency to continue cooking and eating fried foods throughout your life. If that is the case then you might be a little heavy around the waist. The easy thing to do is to blame it on those who were in charge of your upbringing, however, you ALWAYS have a choice to change.
9. Eating healthy is too hard
Weight Loss Fact: Eating healthy is the simplest thing in the world…..once you have trained yourself to do it. How many times have you placed a goal to lose weight or to “eat better”? The first few days you are doing great, eating all kinds of foods which you normally wouldn’t eat.
Then something funny started to happen, you went back to your old habits and behaviors. This has happened to you in other areas outside of your health. It could be with making money, looking for a new job, or in your relationships. Creating a new habit takes time because our brain’s do not like change.
Change to the brain is dangerous. Anyways, if you would like to learn more about how our brain attempts to sabotage us from creating new habits then please download my free E-book, “Psychology of Releasing Weight”
10. You have to give up your favorite foods to lose weight
Weight Loss Truth: What would a world without chocolate and without pepperoni pizza be like??? I think it would be a torturous world to live in!! lol, now on a real note I completely disagree with this myth. You are definitely able to eat your favorite foods.
Depriving yourself of this kind of pleasure is not fun, and quite frankly you probably WILL eat it anyways. As has been mentioned before, the real key is moderation. If you are a steak lover, then perhaps it might not be the best things to eat it every single day, but perhaps once or twice a week.
Those who know me personally know that I LOOOOOOOOVE chicken wings with pizza. In a perfect world where I wouldn’t gain any weight and my arteries were clog-less, I would love to eat it several times per week, well more like every day.
However, I know that those aren’t the healthiest of food choices so I have it about 2-3 times per month. I am not giving up my favorite foods, I am just eating it in moderation so that it doesn’t catch up to me in the form of excess weight.
11. Overeating is caused by hunger
Weight Loss Fact: Nice try there. If only we could blame “hunger” for it. In fact, this person we call hunger has nothing to do with you OVEREATING. It might have something to do your body telling you that it is time to “fuel up” and that it needs food, but that is not an indication that one should overeat.
What causes many people to overeat are different reasons. One of the main ones is the feeling of stress, depression, loneliness, anxiety, fear, and other downgrading emotions of that nature. Many times food can be a means of satisfying your needs.
You might be actually getting your needs met through your foods. For example, if you live a lonely life, and aren’t very happy, then food could perhaps be a means of you feeling happy and comforted. There are other articles that I have written on this subject but suffice it to say that overeating is NOT caused by being hungry.
12. Only drastic diets work
Weight Loss Truth: There goes that word again…DIEt….those “drastic diets” are only good for quick weight loss and rapid weight gain once you get of it. These drastic diets range from the “cookie diet”, lol… All that way to “the water only diet”….. I am sure you can lose weight while on these DIEts, however, the weight will be gained right back and usually with some added weight as a bonus.