People fighting to lose weight have heard every tip, trick and secret there is. But what’s fact and what’s fiction? Our Beaumont doctors and dieticians work with patients every day, creating healthy diet plans, devising weight loss strategies and helping people reach their goals. Here are some of the myths about weight loss they want to dispel to set the record straight:
Carbs Are Bad
Carbohydrates get a bad rap but they’re an essential part of a balanced diet, offering high fiber and tons of nutrients per serving. Avoid processed carbohydrates like corn syrup, white rice, refined cereals and white potatoes and go for complex carbohydrates like beans, whole grains and most nuts. Complex carbohydrates require a lot of energy to break down and keep you fuller, longer.
Increase Cardio to Lose Weight
There’s a misconception that doing more cardio will increase weight loss, while strength training will just make you bigger and bulkier. Not true, say the experts. Strength training is great at changing the composition of the body, adding more muscle, which burns more calories at rest. Each pound of muscle increases your body’s energy needs by 50 calories! Cardio is okay, but don’t skip the weights.
You Can Get in Shape Later
It’s easy to consume hundreds or thousands of calories more than your body needs, but it’s much harder to sustain a weight loss plan to burn off it all off. Excess calories are stored as fat for energy and it takes a daily weight loss plan to chip away at that excess fat that takes a lot of willpower and time, especially as you age and your metabolism slows.
Eating More Meals a Day will Help You Lose Weight
Studies have shown that eating smaller meals over the course of the day can raise your metabolism, but not everyone has the discipline to eat a number of small meals and avoiding the temptation to eat a bunch of larger meals over the course of the day. Eating six meals of 300 calories is one thing (1,800 calories total), but eating six meals of 500 calories is a bad idea (3,000 calories total).
Some Foods Burn Fat For You
Heard of the Jalapeno Diet? Or the Green Tea Diet? Some foods are touted as super metabolism boosters, like hot peppers, which some sources say can increase the number of calories your body burns by up to 25%. The truth is the metabolic boosts of these foods are limited, and there’s no substitute for a smart and balanced diet that includes wise nutritional choices, drinking lots of water and getting plenty of exercise.
Fasting Will Help Me Lose Weight Quick
Fasting will help you drop a few pounds very quickly, but the weight loss will be almost entirely water. Fasting or crash dieting sends your body into shock to the point that it thinks you’re starving—lowering your metabolism and actually burning a lot fewer calories. As soon as you return to normal eating habits, your resting metabolism will be lower and you’ll gain the weight right back—and probably then some.
You Can’t Eat Fast Food and Lose Weight
Eating fast food now and then is okay if you’re following a balanced diet. You can get a meal at McDonald’s or another fast food restaurant for around 500 calories, giving you a little treat now and again. It becomes a problem when people eat fast food many times a week or order meals that are 1,000 calories or more and loaded with saturated fats (burgers, shakes) and processed carbohydrates (large fries). Treat yourself once in a while, but make wise choices when you do.
If you need help getting your diet on track or just want to talk about healthy ways to lose weight, visit our Beaumont Weight Loss Solutions page to learn more about understanding your weight and your health, creating personalized diet plans or learning more about medical weight loss procedures like bariatric surgery.
What other weight loss myths have you heard of? Share your comments below.