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The 10 Most Common Weight Loss Myths We Refuse to Believe In

Michael Garrico
Published by Michael Garrico
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: September 30, 2022

As a personal fitness trainer, I’ve heard my clients saying many absurd things about weight loss.

My word alone isn’t always convincing enough, which is why I dived into scientific research and talked to my dietician to bust those silly myths once and for all.

Here’s everything you need to know to distinguish some common misconceptions from reality.

Quick Summary

  • If you're looking for a quick way to lose weight, don't rely on surgery.
  • Maintain hunger at bay if you want to achieve long-term progress.
  • Healthy foods are only one of the factors that contribute to fat loss.

10 Absurd Weight Loss Myths

Top view of weighing scale with vegetables

Weight loss is difficult under any conditions, but it may be extremely difficult when you're bombarded with "do this" or "do that" advice all the time.

It may be difficult to discern reality from fiction when searching the internet or chatting with friends, especially when weight reduction is so reliant on individual requirements and objectives.

I've heard a lot of things about weight loss, but these 10 are the most ridiculous.

1. Don't Eat Carbs If You Want To Lose Weight

Fact: Carbohydrates, like fats, are an essential component of a nutritious diet. When carbs are consumed in moderation, they offer the system its major energy supply and help regulate the gastrointestinal tract [1].

It's crucial to understand that carbohydrates come in two varieties: complex and simple.

Simple carbohydrates are found in processed meals that can elevate your blood sugar levels and cause you to gain weight when consumed in excess [2].

On the other hand, complex carbohydrates may help manage blood glucose levels and are present in certain foods such as whole grain toast, beans and lentils, oats, and some vegetables [3].

"Carbohydrate-rich foods, such as vegetables (including beans and peas), fruits and whole grains, are the foundation of every healthy eating pattern."

- Andrea Dunn, RD

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2. You Should Go Hungry If You Desire To Lose Weight

A man holding his stomach from being hungry

Fact: You may assume that reducing weight entails missing snacks and meals and being hungry throughout the day.

But this just results in irritation, dissatisfaction, and, eventually, breaking your regimen and causing rapid weight gain.

I always tell my clients that the very first rule of dieting is not to skip meals.

This simply causes your system to attempt to hang onto what it’s got more effectively by lowering your metabolism rate, which frequently leads to binging later during the day.

Rather, you should eat a nutritious snack and mini-meal every 3 to 4 hours throughout the day.

Concentrate on healthy protein and vegetables known for their many health benefits. Maintain hunger at bay if you want to achieve long-term progress.

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3. You Can Lose Pounds Solely Through Exercise

Fact: If you've put all your weight loss efforts into toiling away on the elliptical machine for hours and taking back-to-back spin sessions, you're wasting your own time overexerting your body for no cause.

While exercising is a great way to lose weight, studies have shown that nutrition is the most important factor in losing weight.

Workout accounts for only a small portion of your overall energy outlay; therefore, it is difficult to get more calories burned through exercising [4].

Working out provides several health advantages that are unrelated to weight reduction, so keep going to the gym, but don't overdo it.

4. Diet Pills Or Surgery Help to Lose Weight Quickly

Pouring diet pills on hand

Fact: In search of a "fast fix," some individuals turn to harmful diet medications or surgical intervention.

The fact is that these approaches are risky and often do not provide results.

Diet medications are ineffective at best and harmful to your health at worst.

Stimulants such as phentermine are linked to health risks, including changing your heartbeat, increasing your blood pressure, or even convulsions [5], that's why some doctors are recommending phentermine alternatives.

Weight-loss surgery, such as bypass surgery and sleeves, can be highly effective for obese patients, though not everybody is a suitable candidate.

Furthermore, because they are still surgical operations, these treatments have substantial health risks such as infectious disease, blood clots, or lung and breathing issues [6].

On top of that, the majority of applicants who undergo bariatric surgery regain their weight [7].

5. Consuming Fat Makes You Fat

Fact: Fat provides extra calories per serving than carbohydrates and protein, which could be where such a myth originated from.

Fat makes you feel fuller for extended periods, thus reducing your food cravings.

When you consume low-fat food as part of a balanced diet or snack that meets your calorie requirements, it may actually support rapid weight loss as well as weight control.

Avocado, olive oil, or nuts are examples of healthful, unsaturated low fats [8].

Of course, consuming excess fat will inevitably lead to weight gain.

However, fat is a crucial element of a balanced diet, and appropriate levels of fat consumption are required to grow cells, keep the person warm, and supply energy.

"Make sure that healthy fats like nut butter and avocados are part of your daily diet. Low-fat foods are great for brain and skin health, anti-inflammatory, boost satiety, and aid weight loss."

- Isabel Smith, MS, RD

6. People Require Increased Willpower To Lose Weight

A man with ready to fight

Fact: The ultimate outcome of an individual's weight loss effort is not a measure of personal willpower levels.

Many variables—genetic, environmental, and otherwise—influence a person's stature.

An increasing amount of research reveals that genetic influences come into action as people lose weight, making it more difficult for them to maintain weight loss [9].

Kevin Hall, a National Institutes of Health scientist, discovered that when an individual loses a significant amount of pounds, their metabolism is thrown off and their hunger increases accordingly, leading to around 100 more calories consumed for every 2 pounds lost [10].

While this does not indicate that losing weight is unachievable in the long run, it does suggest that striving to do so is not a measure of work ethic, willpower, or motivation.

7. Keeping Track Of Your Weight Loss Requires A Fitness Tracker

Fact: Trackers are fashionable additions for those who desire to check their activities and rest, but studies so far indicate that they have not been particularly effective at helping individuals reduce weight.

Researchers monitored 470 participants aiming to reduce weight for 2 years in a 2016 survey.

People were divided into different groups and were urged to either adopt a low-calorie healthy food, improve their physical exercise, and undergo group therapy for 6 months, or to practice the same routine but add wearables [11].

People who used wearables dropped an estimated 7.7 pounds, while those who did not drop an estimated 13 pounds. 

Fitness trackers may become increasingly effective for weight reduction as technology advances; however, if you're over the edge about purchasing one, you should definitely wait.

8. To Drop Weight, You Must Consume More Protein

Top view of protein filled foods

Fact: To be clear, this isn't entirely false. Proteins are essential nutrients that keep us full, aid us in creating lean muscle, and repair tissues.

Some studies have suggested that raising the quantity of protein intake might contribute to weight reduction. However, there is a lot of uncertainty these days about how much protein you truly need [12].

While 0.8 g of protein per kg of body mass a day is a good starting point, don't get your calculator out quite yet.

The quantity of protein you require depends on your degree of physical exertion, age, gender, and whether you are pregnant or nursing [13].

Rather than concentrating on grams or percentages, opt for nutrient-dense, lean sources of protein such as eggs, lentils, tofu, seafood, and poultry in your snacks and meals.

9. Small Changes In Physical Activity Result In Long-term Fat Loss

Fact: This misconception is sometimes expressed as "Go into the routine of parking far distant from a retail entrance" or "Climb the stairs rather than the elevators."

Although this is not bad advice, it will not result in considerable weight reduction.

According to the myth, an individual who enhances their exercise by walking 1 more mile a day will lose an extra 101 calories every day.

If the person consumes exactly 3,500 calories each day, adding 1 mile of walking each day should result in a 50-pound losing weight over the course of 5 years.

Nevertheless, research suggests that those who follow this path lose roughly 10 pounds over the course of five years [14].

Smaller changes are significantly easier to implement than large-scale ones. The best approach is not to lose 2 pounds and then gain 3 pounds.

10. It's all or nothing

A woman holding exercise equipments

Fact: Many of my clients assume that to remain effective with weight reduction, they must go "all in" or exclude all processed foods and work out 7 days per week.

An all-or-nothing mindset promotes burnout and might make you feel like you are lethargic, a failure, or lack motivation (not true, by the way).

So, what truly works in terms of mindset? When someone tells me they want to lose weight, one of the first questions I ask is, "What is your' why?'"

Why would you like to lose weight? Could it be to feel stronger in your body, have much more power, or play with your children?

Whatever the cause, the motivation and drive will have you returning to your objective(s).

Finally, it's not just about a lack of determination or being lethargic; it is all about knowing your "why" as well as how to make real adjustments to your everyday routines and habits to live within your "why."

FAQs

Is There A Trick To Losing Weight?

Yes, there is a trick to losing weight. Consuming fewer calories, cutting refined carbohydrates, eating more proteins, vegetables, and fats, and moving your body will aid in losing weight fast.

What Is The Biggest Key To Weight Loss?

The biggest key to weight loss is cutting on calorie intake. It will aid in weight loss and keeping it off.

Why Is Weight Loss So Hard?

Weight loss is hard because intricate connections between hormones and neurons in your hypothalamus govern how much you weigh and how you lose fat.

Why Is My Weight Loss So Slow?

Your weight loss is slow because you consume more calories than you think. Calorie-counting diets can be challenging to maintain.

Does Weight Loss Show Immediately?

Weight loss does not show immediately but happens within the first 4-6 weeks.

Stop Paying Attention to Weight Loss Myths

Diet fads occur because we are looking for a quick fix. However, success necessitates change, typically substantial change.

To drop pounds, you must abandon a bad diet and consider introducing weight loss supplements to assist you along the way.

Our team reviewed dozens of these supplements over the past year and compiled the list of those that tick off all the boxes:

Keep in mind that these are not magic pills but more of a helpful tool to assist you on your weight loss journey.


References:

  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/161547 
  2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/why-refined-carbs-are-bad
  3. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/carbohydrates-and-blood-sugar/ 
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3771367/ 
  5. https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-4151/phentermine-oral/details 
  6. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/bariatric-surgery/about/pac-20394258 
  7. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11695-022-05908-1 
  8. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-super-healthy-high-fat-foods
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5764193/ 
  10. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/oby.21653
  11. https://time.com/4501018/wearable-weight-loss/
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6179508/ 
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK56068/table/summarytables.t4/?report=objectonly 
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4035446/

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