Weight Loss Myths
Weight loss advice is everywhere on the internet, but too many are just weight loss myths. There are opinions everywhere, and many of them contradict each other. I’m going to tackle the top weight loss myths I come across in my work as a personal trainer and nutrition counselor:
Weight Loss Myth #1: “Fewer calories” is the only path to weight loss.
Calories DO matter. If you eat a lot more than you burn, then your body will store them for later. Calories matter, but they’re not the ONLY things that matter!
The ratios of protein, carbohydrate, and fat matter. This is known as your macronutrient ratio, or “your macros” for short. Extra calories from fat and carbohydrates are more easily stored as body fat. Eating too many carbohydrates keeps your insulin levels high, and that promotes fat storage.
If you under-eat protein, you can get cravings for sugar or late-night food.
If you pick processed carbohydrates instead of vegetables and fruits, you’ll be missing out on important nutrients and your health (and your energy!) will suffer.
WHAT you eat is just as important as HOW MUCH you eat! So don’t believe the “it’s all about calories” line, there are other things that matter too.
Weight loss myth #2: Just exercise more.
This is only partially correct. Yes, you should exercise to lose weight, but you cannot out-exercise a bad diet.
Strength training (working out with weights) is the best way to elevate your metabolism and burn more calories during the day. But that metabolic boost doesn’t counteract the extra 800 calories worth of pizza that you ate last night.
A good rule of thumb is you should count on exercise to burn an extra 100-500 calories per day. That’s a maximum of 1 pound per week. The rest of your weight loss must come from dietary adjustments.
Weight Loss Myth #3: A calorie is a calorie.
Can we please put this one to bed already?
Here are two scenarios with identical calories:
- Person #1 eats 1500 calories each day, and those calories are made up of mostly lean protein and vegetables. This person eats 5 times per day, 300 calories each.
- Person #2 skips breakfast, drinks zero-calorie diet soda all day, then eats 1500 calories worth of donuts right before bed.
Same number of calories, right? But which person do you think will be lean and healthy? Which person will be fat and unhealthy? The calories are exactly the same, but those diets will yield very different results in their bodies! #acalorieisNOTacalorie
Weight Loss Myth #4: This supplement/tea/superfood/potion/magic bottle is the key to losing weight!
There are no magic beans that will cause you to lose weight. No supplement, tea, superfood, or other potion will change how you eat. Only you can do that. There is a reason most people who lose weight don’t keep it off: They haven’t changed how they normally eat. The real “magic bullet” is creating a sustainable and healthy approach to daily eating. What you need is a long-term lifestyle improvement, not a product or a temporary diet plan.
Weight loss is simple, but it can be hard without the right approach. There are too many people out there trying to make it sound like they have the hidden, secret solution. These are weight loss myths. There are no temporary solutions to your problem. If you want long-term weight loss success, you have to change what you usually do. If you want help creating long-term nutrition improvements, just let us know. There are hundreds of success stories, and you can be next!