It’s the issue that’s weighing heavily on our national conscious – Australia is putting on weight at an alarming rate. In fact research from the 2011–12 Australian Bureau of Statistics Australian Health Survey found that two thirds of Australians are classified as overweight or obese. So it’s time to stop sugar coating, we have a problem that requires a solution. The only issue is when it comes to finding the truth in the great weight debate, sometimes there’s too much noise and not enough information.
If you’re on a mission to shed the kilos but aren’t looking to fall victim to false theories, then read on for the five biggest misconceptions about weight loss. And you may even discover some top tips to get you healthy in a hurry!
Here are five misconceptions about weight loss, for those looking to lose it fast.
Misconception #1: The quick fix exists
Anyone who has battled the bulge is no stranger to the quick fix. We’re talking juice cleanses, miracle shakes, lemon juice detox. But do they work? Not at all, according to weight loss experts.
“These diets may make you feel lighter in the short term but it’s simply due to fluid loss,” says Pip Reed, founder of The Health Clinic.
The reality is there is no such thing as a quick fix. One increasingly common method of weight loss is surgery, but even keyhole – a popular procedure in Australia – isn’t a shortcut.
“People think weight loss surgery is a quick fix but it requires commitment,” explains Dr James Chau, a bariatric surgeon at the Weightloss and Keyhole surgery centre. “You need to stick to an exercise and nutrition plan, weight loss doesn’t just stop after the surgery!”
Misconception #2: I go to the gym, therefore I should be thin
Exercise is often seen as the crucial element in reaching and maintaining a healthy body weight. However, with so many external factors that contribute to weight loss, if you’re failing to see results, exercise could be having the opposite effect.
“You may be putting on weight as you increase exercise intensity in a bid to lose the weight,” Pip says. “This can cause more damage, inflammation and weight gain.”
Misconception #3: The weight is gone and so too are my worries!
Once you’ve dropped the necessary kilos it’s tempting to think that the hard work is over, unfortunately, keeping weight off is harder than losing it!
“Keeping weight off is definitely harder,” says naturopath Lisa Guy. “The only true way to keep it off is if you make healthy dietary and lifestyle changes for life, not just for 2 weeks.”
Seems that most experts agree maintenance is the key.
“Even with surgery, the maintenance is crucial,” explains Dr Chau. “The period following any substantial weight loss is when the true test begins; you have to form healthy habits.”
Misconception #4: I’m overweight, therefore unhealthy
Being overweight doesn’t necessarily equate to being unhealthy, which can be frustrating for those piling on the pounds.
“Excess weight can be a sign of a hidden factor and it’s addressing that factor that can best assist weight loss goals,” nutritionist, Chef and Author Zoe Bingley Pullin explains.
Misconception #5: Tasty foods are off the menu
Most people tend to associate weight loss with bland, tasteless meals but the two are not mutually exclusive:
“Tasty foods are off the menu – healthy does not mean tasteless and everything in moderation can be enjoyed as part of a weight loss plan,” says Zoe. And just because you’re looking to lose weight it doesn’t mean you can’t eat out with friends: “it’s possible to adapt meals by reducing portion of meat or carbs in replace of extra vegetables”.