7 Weight Loss Myths and the Surprising Truth

Don’t be duped by popular belief about weight loss. Read the surprising truth about 7 popular weight loss myths — and find out the truth about taking step to slimming down.

Myth 1: Lifting weights is not a good activity for weight loss because it will make you “bulk up.”

Truth: Weight training actually helps you lose weight and/or maintain weight loss. Because weight training helps you build muscle and muscle burns more energy (calories) than fat, by building muscle you will burn more calories throughout the day — even when you are sedentary.

Myth 2: Dieting is the best way to lose weight.

Truth: A “diet” is not the best way to lose weight and maintain your weight loss. Fad diets may promise quick weight loss by directing you to cut entire food groups out of your diet. With a fad diet, you might lose weight at first, but the likelihood is high that you will get tired of it and return to your previous eating habits.

Fad diets can also be unhealthy. Extreme calorie-cutting may deprive your body of the nutrients it needs to fuel your workouts or daily activities. Also, losing more than 3 pounds per week after the first few weeks may increase your risk for health ailments such as gallstones. Diets that restrict your caloric intake to less than 800 calories per day may also contribute to heart rhythm abnormalities.

Myth 3: Certain foods, like cabbage soup or grapefruit, burn fat.

Truth: No foods burn fat. Some foods may speed up your metabolism (such as caffeine) for a short period of time, but they even these foods do not burn fat. The best way to lose weight is to restrict your caloric intake to a reasonable amount and be physically active.

Myth 4: Natural or herbal weight-loss products are safe and effective.

Truth: Just because a weight loss product claims to be “herbal” or “natural” does not mean that it is “safe.” For example, herbal products that contain ephedra have been banned by the U.S. Government because they were found to cause serious health issues. Furthermore, just because the product is “ephedra-free” does not necessarily mean it is “danger-free.” It could contain ingredients that are comparable to ephedra. You should always discuss taking weight loss supplements with a health care professional before use.

Myth 5: I can lose weight eating whatever I want.

Truth: In order to lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume. While you can eat all types of food and still lose weight, you must limit the number of calories you consume daily – or increase your physical activity – in order to lose weight.

Myth 6: Low-fat or fat-free means you won’t gain weight if you eat it.

Truth: While fat-free or low-fat foods are often less calorie-laden than their full-fat counterparts, this is not always so. Many fat-free foods are conversely high in sugar, flour or starchy thickeners to improve their texture or flavor, which adds calories to it. Best practice is to read the Nutrition Facts on food packaging. Find out how many calories there are in a serving and try to limit your sugar intake as well.

Myth 7: Skipping meals is a good way to lose weight.

Truth: Studies have shown that people who skip meals throughout the day, especially breakfast, tend to be heavier than people who eat healthy breakfasts and four to five meals daily. Eating small, healthy, low-fat, low-calorie meals throughout the day can help you curb your cravings later in the day and control your appetite.

Do you live in Medford or the surrounding area? We can help you lose weight.

At Hallmark Health System’s Center for Weight Loss Management and Weight Loss Surgery, our focus is on helping you reach your weight loss goals. There are many ways that you can reach those goals; our health care professionals and surgeons are experienced in working with patients with a wide range of needs. Call (781) 306-6166 to find out more about our free weight loss surgery informational seminars, or visit our website for more information about our services.

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