- Many weight loss myths come from social media platforms and the ever-changing science of nutrition.
- One of the most persistent weight loss myths is that you need to exercise more to lose weight.
- If a diet seems too easy and too good to be true, it probably is.
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From extreme juice cures to miracle-working supplements to the only accurate times to eat. To lose weight, many people would try just about anything. However, experts warn that flash diets, in particular, are often based on myths. Because weight loss is fundamentally only the result of a constant calorie deficit over a more extended period. For example, Arthur Viana, clinic director of the Yale School of Medicine’s Health and Weight Loss Program, explains that simply exercising more to lose weight is a myth. “Exercise is, of course, fundamental to healthy living, weight loss and weight maintenance. However, it also only works if the diet is changed,” Viana makes clear. According to experts, these ten weight loss myths are wrong – and maybe preventing you from succeeding:
Myth 1: All Calories Count The Same
Your body does not process all foods the same way. And how quickly your body digests something can affect blood sugar levels, insulin levels, and fat storage. As an example, 100 calories of cake versus 100 calories of carrots. The number of calories is the same, but cake comprises processed carbohydrates, while carrots contain more nutrients and fiber. The difference is so significant because your body digests cake faster. Your body is flooded with glucose, blood sugar and insulin levels are affected, and fat storage can be encouraged.
On the other hand, carrots are digested more slowly, and thus less glucose is brought into the bloodstream. You stay full longer and protect yourself from overeating. Viana also clarifies that processed foods do not send the same satiety signal to your brain as whole foods. So you run the risk of overeating and gaining weight.
Myth 2: You Gain Weight From Eating Late At Night
According to research, it’s what and how much you eat that matters most – not the time of day. For example, a 2016 study showed no correlation between the time of eating and weight gain in children. A 2008 study showed that people who ate between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. usually ate more than they should have and gained weight. According to the survey, you only gain weight from eating late if you exceed your daily caloric needs, says Andres Ayesta, a nutritionist.
Myth 3: Carbohydrates Make You Fat
Carbohydrates are often accused of being the culprit for weight gain. However, a 2018 study shows that adults who ate a low-carb diet lost just as much weight as people on a low-fat diet. You should note that there are different types of carbohydrates. Whole carbohydrates contain more fiber than processed carbohydrates. Consequently, they are digested more slowly.
Myth 4: Giving Up Fats Will Help You Lose Weight
Ayesta, a nutritionist, clarifies that fat contains more calories per gram than protein and carbohydrates, which is why it is often consumed in excess. A 2019 study proved that the Mediterranean Diet – 35 to 40 percent of calories are consumed with healthy fats – prevents weight gain.
Myth 5: A Gluten-free Diet Is The Key To Weight Loss
“Many processed gluten-free products have more calories than their gluten equivalents because they contain more fat and sugar,” Viana said. For example, a 2017 study shows that gluten-free foods contain more saturated fat, sugar, and salt while containing less protein and fiber. Gluten-free bread and flour products, in particular, tend to have more fat and sugar than the alternatives with gluten.
Myth 6: A Big Breakfast Helps Weight Loss
If you want to lose weight, it is often advised to eat a big breakfast. However, this advice is very controversial. For example, a 2018 study revealed no provable link between a big breakfast and weight loss. Viana says that a big breakfast only makes sense if it keeps you full longer, so you eat fewer calories throughout the rest of the day.
Myth 7: Endurance Training Is The Best Way To Lose Weight
According to research conducted by Harvard Medical School, a person weighing 70 kilograms burns about 372 calories when jogging for 30 minutes. In strength training, at the same time, only 112 calories. So although endurance training burns more calories at that moment than strength training, a study shows that people continue to burn calories for hours after strength training. The reason is the longer stimulated metabolism. Thus, a combination of endurance and strength training is ideal for weight loss.
Myth 8: Eat Several Small Meals To Lose Weight
The idea behind eating small meals throughout the day is that hunger is better controlled, and the metabolism remains stimulated. However, a study from 2007 shows that it makes no difference whether you eat several small meals or three large ones. The only decisive factor is the number of calories.
Myth 9: Juice Cures Help You Lose Weight
A juice diet can lead to rapid weight loss because of the large calorie deficit. However, as soon as you start eating normally again, you will probably quickly gain back the weight you lost. Ayesha makes it clear that with a juice diet, it is primarily water that is lost and not fat.
Myth 10: Dietary Supplements For Weight Loss
Dietary supplements may contain ingredients that are not healthy for the body. Thus, nutritional supplements can be harmful to health. In addition, a study from 2004 shows that there is no scientific evidence that dietary supplements help you lose weight.