Have you tried every weight loss tip in the book, only to find that you failed to reach your target weight? What might feel a personal failure is actually more likely the result of following tips that simply don’t work.
There are many myths in the world of weight loss, and it can be challenging to separate fact from fiction. We’re going to give you details on three of the most common weight loss myths, including exactly why they won’t work. Never waste your time on nonsense diets or unscientific fads again.
Truth #1 Diets that focus on changing one key element don’t work.
Plans that encourage you to cut one specific food or food group out of your diet aren’t the best way to lose weight. The key to reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is much more complex than simply avoiding one ‘bad’ food. Diets that promote this attitude often fail, as you’re forced to needlessly give up foods you enjoy, making the plan hard to stick to. A good diet plan is sustainable, and won’t ask you to sacrifice everything you like eating. There’s nothing wrong with the odd dessert or chocolate bar, and knowing that you’re able to enjoy an occasional treat makes you much more likely to stick to a diet long term.
Some diets that focus on cutting out a particular food group, like carbohydrates, can actually do more harm than good. You might miss out on healthy sources of energy, like wholewheat pasta or sweet potatoes. You might also find yourself opting for unhealthy options, simply to avoid the food group that’s been deemed ‘bad’ by your diet plan. Any diet that discourages eating in a balanced way is bound to have negative effects in the long term. These could be unwanted health consequences, failure to lose weight, or a lack of motivation to stick with the diet.
Truth #2 You can’t undo a bad diet with exercise alone.
Ever been for a run and then followed it up with a calorific treat? That’s fine once in a while, but it’s important to realize that exercise can’t replace a healthy diet. Depending on the amount of calories you consume daily, it can be almost impossible to maintain a healthy weight simply by exercising, even if you visit the gym every day. The amount of calories burned during exercise is often overestimated, so you could get caught even if you think you’re tracking everything closely. While exercise is a really important part of staying fit and healthy, it needs to be combined with the right diet for the best results. Working together with a dietician and personal trainer can help you to navigate the complicated world of weight loss without focusing too much on one area.
Truth #3 Eating too few calories won’t lead to sustainable weight loss.
Monitoring your intake of calories and aiming to reduce it can be a helpful weight loss technique, but only up to a certain point. Restricting calories to an extreme level might seem like the fastest way to lose the pounds, but that’s actually not the case. When you dramatically reduce the amount of calories you consume, your body can panic. You might lose plenty of weight at first, but your body will soon start to go into ‘survival mode’, where it hangs on to as many calories as possible. This would be helpful if you were living in a famine situation, but it’s not what you want when trying to lose weight. After the initial dramatic weight loss, you’ll quickly start losing much less, or stop losing altogether. This can be really disheartening, and it’s not a sustainable way to reach a healthy weight. Focus instead on eating a reasonable and consistent number of calories each day.
Avoid being sucked in by weight loss myths, and focus on losing weight in a way that’s healthy and easier to sustain in the long term. Your body will thank you for it.
Featured photo credit: Henrique Félix via unsplash.com