Trying to lose weight? Looking for a diet that really works? Hoping for a routine you can actually stick with for the long term? You’re not alone. With so many resources claiming to provide helpful weight loss tips, it can be tough to separate fact from fiction.
Here are some common weight loss myths and facts to dispel them. Remember to consult your doctor before making any major lifestyle or diet changes.
Truth from Fiction: Discussing Common Weight Loss Myths and Facts
Myth: Eating at night prevents you from losing weight.
Fact: The idea here is that your body won’t have time to burn off any calories you consume right before bed. But what time you eat doesn’t matter nearly as much as what you eat. Your body burns calories 24/7 so eating before bed doesn’t necessarily affect weight loss.
The problem, MIT Medical explains, is that nighttime snacks tend to include unhealthy processed or fast foods that are convenient or satisfy cravings. People who snack before bed also tend to pay less attention to portion control because they eat while watching TV or studying. In these cases, eating before bed can hinder weight loss.
Myth: You can lose weight effectively without exercising if you’re eating right.
Fact: If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you must maintain a balanced routine of healthy eating and exercise. Here’s one of the key facts about weight loss: The only way to lose weight is to burn more calories than you consume. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, that generally involves regular exercise throughout the week, not just eating more veggies.
Myth: The popular diets you see advertised are the best way to lose weight.
Fact: Not only can fad diets do your body more harm than good, there’s also no one-size-fits-all solution to weight loss. The American Academy of Family Physicians warns against participating in quick-fix fad diets because:
- Losing weight too quickly isn’t healthy and probably won’t last;
- Many fad diets help you shed excess water weight, but don’t burn fat or help build muscle; and
- Restrictive food combinations that limit your meal choices don’t always provide the balanced nutrition your body needs to thrive.
The Academy recommends consulting with your doctor to create a customized weight loss plan that takes into consideration things like the types of fats and sugars you’re eating, portion sizes, and ways to stay active.
Myth: Skipping meals will help me lose weight.
Fact: According to NHS England, skipping meals is actually detrimental to your health and fitness because it can result in nutrient deficiencies. It can also lead to more snacking on fatty and sugary foods, which can cause weight gain.
Myth: I can lose weight if I drink more water.
Fact: Water doesn’t make you lose weight. But drinking plenty of water is essential for a healthy body. It can also help you avoid mistaking thirst for hunger.