We’re nearing the new year, and it’s a time when many people begin to think about resolutions and changes they want to see in their life in the coming year. Common New Year’s resolutions involve eating healthier and working out more, but probably the most common desire for many people is that they want to lose weight. After the holidays, there’s no more excuse to overeat and splurge on treats. It’s time for a fresh start, a time to shed some pounds and refocus on our health.
This is a worthy cause, but there’s a lot of junk information on the internet about losing weight. There’s a lot of myths about weight loss that people believe and tips that simply don’t work. Let’s look at 12 of the biggest weight loss myths debunked and explained, so that you can have better success reaching your health goals this new year.
Top 12 Biggest Myths About Weight Loss
- All “Calories” Are Equal
The calorie is a measure of energy. All “calories” have the same energy content.
However, this does NOT mean that all calorie sources have the same effects on your weight.
Different foods go through different metabolic pathways and can have vastly different effects on hunger and the hormones that regulate body weight.
For example, a protein calorie is not the same as a fat calorie or a carb calorie.
Replacing carbs and fat with protein can boost metabolism, reduce appetite and cravings, while optimizing the function of some weight-regulating hormones (1, 2, 3).
Also, calories from whole foods (like fruit) tend to be much more filling than calories from refined foods (like candy).
Bottom Line: Not all calorie sources have the same effects on health and weight. For example, protein can increase metabolism, reduce appetite and improve the function of weight-regulating hormones.
- Losing Weight is a Linear Process
Losing weight is usually not a linear process, like some people think.
Some days and weeks you may lose, while during others you may gain a little bit.
This is not a cause for concern. It is normal for body weight to fluctuate up and down by a few pounds.
For example, you may be carrying more food in your digestive system or your body may be holding on to more water than usual.
This is even more pronounced in women, as water weight can fluctuate quite a bit during the menstrual cycle (4).
As long as the general trend is going downwards, no matter how much it fluctuates, you will still succeed over the long term.
Bottom Line: Losing weight can take a long time. The process is generally not completely linear, as weight tends to fluctuate up and down by a few pounds.
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There you have it, weight loss myths debunked and explained. Chances are you’ve fallen for some of these myths before. If you’ve tried losing weight and it hasn’t worked out so well it might be because you were believing one of these myths! As you plan your health regime for the new year make sure it includes a plan for healthy eating and exercise. Healthy habits will lead to a healthy lifestyle, and hopefully weight loss, if that’s your goal.
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