If you’ve spent any time trying to lose weight, you have probably heard all the common weight loss myths. Maybe you even believe some of them.
If you’re having a hard time deciphering fact from fiction, fear not. We cover some of the basic myths and the truths that are sometimes hidden within.
Weight loss myth #1 – No Snacks for You!
Lately we’ve been told we need to eat frequent, small meals rather than three large ones. But this myth keeps popping up from time to time anyway. The thought is that if you snack between meals, you’ll consume too many calories and kill your goals.
Keep your snacks light and satisfying—think a combination of carbs, protein, and healthy fat.
Some good snacks include ants on a log, apples and nut butter, cheese and whole wheat crackers or grapes, and a small bowl of low-sugar cereal.
Weight loss myth #2 – Carbs are the devil
Repeat after me: carbs are fuel; they are not the enemy. I know they’re a little out of style right now, but trust me—if you go long enough without enough carbohydrates, your body will start to sputter like a car out of gas
The confusion here seems to come from the source of carbs. You know that processed carbohydrates from breads, cookies, and the like can stall your weight loss. But don’t be fooled into thinking you have to cut out high-carb, high fiber things, too.
Foods like fruit, whole wheat or sprouted grain bread, and potatoes are all frequent victims of carb conscious eating patters. But, for most people, they can be included in a healthy eating plan without stalling weight loss. Getting rid of these nutritious, fiber-iffic foods is like throwing the baby out with the bath water…nutritionally speaking.
Weight loss myth #3 – I’ll be happy when I lose ___ pounds.
This seems to be a lesson most of us have to learn the hard way. If you are unhappy now, losing a certain number of pounds isn’t going to make you unhappy. Your worth isn’t tied up in the number on the scale, and neither is your happiness.
When you lose the weight, no one is going to come out waving a magic wand and granting you your dream job, kids who listen to everything you say, a house that cleans itself, or whatever it is that you’re unhappy with now. You have to fight for all that. And you know what? That’s a good thing. It builds character.
Weight loss myth #4 – I exercise, so I can eat whatever I want.
Oh, if only this were true. If only we could eat donuts all day and just sweat them out in the gym.
Here’s the reality:
Let’s say you ate pretty well all day, you fueled your workouts with healthy, nutritious food, but then you sat around and ate a box of Krispy Kremes.
One Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Donut = 160 calories
One mile on the treadmill, for a person weighing 150 pounds = 113 calories, give or take.
So if you ran three miles, you burned about 339 calories. Good for you!
But if you ate 6 glazed donuts, you consumed 960 calories. Even if you only ate 3 donuts, you still scarfed down 141 more calories than you burned.
We don’t want to suggest that you have to burn up every calorie you consume through exercise. Your basal metabolic rate—the calories your body burns just breathing and digesting and doing all the other things it does without you having to think about it—takes care of most of them.
But we do want you to understand that while it’s very easy to consume calories—a Triple Whopper at Burger King has 1,020 of them—it’s a lot of hard work to burn them off.
As many a personal trainer has said: you can’t out-train a bad diet. And you shouldn’t try. There’s more to eating healthy than just staying trim, after all—but the wide range of benefits is a topic for another article.
Stay tuned for another post on more weight loss myths. In the meantime, let us know in the comments if you have ever believed any of these myths and how you found out they were no good.