It’s no secret that everyone wants to look and feel their best and there are millions of people looking to ditch the twinkies and adopt healthier lifestyles. Unfortunately, the diet and weight loss business is a billion dollar industry which results in a sea of confusing and conflicting information floating around, making it hard to know where to start.
The truth is there are TONS of healthy, safe options out there to help people lose weight—but there are also a few myths floating around out there that are just plain wrong. We are here to set the record straight with a list of 10 of the most common weight loss myths debunked.
1. I Have to Workout A Lot
If you’re planning on penciling in hours on the treadmill or hitting back to back spin classes in an effort to shed some pounds quickly, you might be wasting your time not to mention burning yourself out for no reason! Exercise is an important component when it comes to weight loss it helps burn calories and can help raise your metabolism.
But in actual reality our workouts only burn a small portion of the calories our bodies burn throughout the day. Most of our calories are burned by just existing and maintaining bodily functions like breathing, temperature regulation, and digestion. Because of this it is hard to create a significant calorie deficit through exercise alone.
This is why the hands down most important component when it comes to weight loss is your diet! Creating a caloric deficit through your diet, and fueling your body with foods that provide sustained energy are what is going to get you results.
By all means keep hitting the gym–working out has a ton of health and benefits and is absolutely important when it comes to weight loss (especially if you incorporate cardiovascular workouts and resistance training workouts). Just make sure not to overdue it and most importantly, make sure your diet is on track so you can reap the benefits of all your hard work!
2. I Have to Eat Breakfast
This myth got started after a few studies concluded that breakfast eaters tended to weigh less than those who skipped breakfast. Some people speculated that eating breakfast “boosted” your metabolism and helped you burn more calories throughout the day. But the actual act of eating breakfast has little effect on metabolism or weight loss.
This discrepancy in weight is likely due to the fact that people who eat wake up earlier and eat breakfast tend to have an overall healthier lifestyle. Eating breakfast may help some dieters by preventing them from getting too hungry throughout the day and overindulging at lunch or dinner.
As long as your calories going in are coming from the right sources and are less than the calories going out, breakfast won’t have much of an effect on your results. A perfect example is the recent increase in popularity of using intermittent fastingfor weight loss.
This method of eating requires a huge window of time between meals and has been highly effective for many people. There is no one right way to lose weight, so if you love breakfast or it helps you keep cravings at bay later in the day, then by all means, eat it. But if gulping down breakfast before starting your day is a struggle for you, then skip it.
3. Eating At Night Will Make Me Gain Weight
Just like people think eating breakfast jump-starts your metabolism, some people believing eating at night will tank your metabolism–and all those calories will go straight to your waistline.
This is probably linked to the fact that late night snacking more often than not consists of high calorie junk food. After a long day at work it’s easy to curl up on the couch with a pint of ice cream and mindlessly munch away while watching a movie.
Not to mention most healthier dining options close much earlier than the pizza parlor or fast food drive thru. But just like skipping breakfast, eating after the sun goes down won’t affect your progress if you are still making healthy choices. While the timing of your meals matters to a small extent, what really matters is what you are putting in and how much of it.
4. Diet Drinks Are a Healthier Option
This one is interesting for several reasons. We all know that high sugar drinks are definitely not good for our overall health and can significantly inhibit weight loss. However, the majority of “diet” alternatives have their own issues as well.
To obtain that delicious flavor which is so close to it’s sugar filled counterpart, these “diet” drinks are filled with chemicals that are toxic to the human body. For example, the majority of diet sodas contain aspartame. It has been suggested that aspartame contributes to headaches, ear problems, GI issues, can limit weight loss, increased risk of seizures and possibly increase risk of cancer.