I came across an interesting article on the ABC News website, “6 Weight Loss Myths Debunked”. Some of the information is probably not new for you, but I suspect most of you will find something worth noting. I have inserted my comments after each one. (Click on the link for the full article.)
1. Cut or burn 3,500 calories to lose a pound.
Kim’s comment: This is a great over-simplification. More important: Keep the focus on improving YOUR energy balance. If you are maintaining now and want to lose, you must eat fewer calories, burn more, or both. This will make YOUR energy balance negative and you will lose body fat. You really don’t need to know how many calories are in a pound of your body fat.
2. You gained it, so you can lose it.
Kim’s comment: I agree (mostly) that this is untrue. More and more research is finding that metabolic processes can be altered by significant weight gain, making it more difficult to burn the extra stored fat than it was before. Also, it is certainly easier to eat the calories that cause weight gain than it is to do the work of cutting back and exercising.
For a more uplifting mindset – always important – just try to improve on your current lifestyle. If you create a negative energy balance, you will lose fat. To heal unhealthy metabolic changes, add exercise (see #3 below); it helps repair metabolic disfunction.
3. Exercise won’t help you lose weight.
Kim’s comment: Exercise helps with weight loss in several ways. Not the least significant is the feeling of doing something healthy and positive, which in turn leads to more supportive brain chemistry. It seems that exercise can also undo some of the harmful metabolic changes that can occur with weight gain.
4. Removing one food from your diet is the secret to weight loss success.
Kim’s comment: Of course that is untrue! Enough said.
5. Everyone gains (and loses) the same way.
Kim’s comment: I have long suspected this. While I am not a fly on anyone’s wall – wouldn’t even want to be! – I am convinced that some people just struggle more. Others seem to have it easy. The study referenced in the article (link above) is really interesting. What we do not know is if lifestyle issues have anything to do with creating the differences.
6. Eating six small meals is best for weight loss.
Kim’s comment: I never believed this. The best eating schedule for weight loss is the one that works – for YOU!