Like any industry, the weight loss industry has its fair share of myths. Over time, they’ve become so popular that it’s almost impossible to distinguish them from facts. So today, we’d be listing some of the common weight loss myths you’ve heard and debunking them straight away. Here we go.
Carbs/Rice are/is bad for you
If we had a dollar for every time we heard this, we’d be richer than good old Bezos himself. No kidding. This myth has been regurgitated so many times that it’s now taken as a fitness gospel. However, carbs are NOT your enemy. RICE is DEFINITELY NOT the enemy in your weight-loss journey. We’d explain why.
Carbohydrates provide the energy we need for our daily activities. This energy is used for physical as well as for “brain work.” This means then that going on a zero, or excessively low carb diet is NEVER a good idea. You deprive yourself of the strength you need for productive physical and mental activities. You also tend to suffer constant headaches, fatigue, weakness, difficulty concentrating, and nausea.
Also, studies show that cutting carbs from your diet reduces your blood sugar to very low levels. This is dangerous as it can lead to hypoglycemia.
Whatever you heard about carbs (especially rice) is a complete myth. Carbs are good for you. While you may need to watch the portions you eat, they are a delicious source of nutrients, and they should always be a part of your diet.
You can lose weight in 2 weeks
“Lose 7 pounds in 7 days!” “Drop 20kg in 2 weeks!” You’ve probably come across these types of ads at least a hundred times before now. We know we have, and our response to such claims remains unchanged. It is IMPOSSIBLE to lose any reasonable amount of weight in two weeks. Unless you’re very ill, your body isn’t capable of such rapid weight loss. The very attempt itself is dangerous and ill-advised. Why? Most rapid weight loss programs involve skipping meals for days on end (Note that this isn’t the same with fasting, where you break your fast at the end of the day). With no energy coming in from food, your body begins to burn its vital energy stores to keep you functional. In order to preserve these stores, your body reacts by slowing down your metabolism. But this comes at a cost. With your metabolism slowed, you become drowsy, fatigued, and even prone to passing out. The worst part is the drop in your metabolism remains long after you finish your crash diet.
Rapid (and healthy) weight loss isn’t possible. If you want to lose weight, choose programs that focus on gradual weight loss. These programs are safer and more effective for you in the long run.
Eggs are bad for you
We have no idea how this one got started, but we wish we could find whoever started this and give them a good spanking. Why? Eggs are one of the healthiest foods you can ever find. They are delicious and packed with nutrients, and they’re a readily available and affordable source of protein.
The yolk, which is usually demonized, contains healthy fats, and contrary to the rumors, these fats are good for your heart.
To put it plainly, the health benefits of eggs make it a superfood that you must include in your diet.
Running is the best way to lose weight
Running is an inefficient way to lose weight. The real secret to losing weight is proper dieting + strength/weight training. Proper dieting involves eating fewer calories and eating healthier foods. Strength training involves performing resistance exercises with weights or your bodyweight. And it has been proven to burn more calories OVERALL than running.
Don’t eat after 6 pm
This is another weight loss myth that has no single iota of truth. Weight gains come when you consume more calories than you burn. The time of the day you consume the calories doesn’t matter one bit.
You need to eat 5 -6 meals a day to lose weight
This myth is related to the one above. You do not need to eat 5 or 6 small meals a day to lose weight. We gather that the reason for this is that it supposedly speeds up your metabolism, but studies have shown that this isn’t the case.
There’s no direct link between the number of times you eat and the number of calories you lose. There’s also no truth in the claims that this method is better because you get hungrier (and overeat) if you space your meals to only three times a day. Why? Breaking your meals into six portions means you’re never full at any single sitting. This means you’re likely to snack (and overeat) immediately after one of such small meals. This practice is, thus, nothing other than a fancy fad diet. You’d be better off eating 2 or 3 regular sized meals a day
A calorie is a calorie
All foods aren’t created equal, and all calories definitely aren’t created equally. This myth flows from a misunderstanding of sorts. Some believe you can eat ANYTHING, provided it’s within your daily caloric allowance. Now on paper, this may sound correct, but different foods provide different quantities and qualities of nutrients.
Rice has more carbohydrates than fish, and eggs have more proteins than bread. Do you see where we’re going with this? 100 calories from whole foods will, thus, always be healthier than 100 calories from soda. The first foods provide you with nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, essential minerals. Sodas provide zero nutrients but still give you more calories than whole foods.
Healthy eating is expensive
This is one of the most common excuses people give for not dropping their unhealthy diets. But the truth is, it’s far more economical to eat healthily. Fruits and vegetables are cheaper and more nutritious than processed foods. A full crate of eggs is cheaper and healthier than your regular pizza. The same goes for granola or any other popular cereal.
Yes, it is known some healthy alternatives like olive oil or coconut oil may be too expensive to get at the moment. However, you can get around this by reducing the quantity of palm oil or groundnut oil you use in preparing your meals. You don’t have to break the bank to eat healthily. A little ingenuity and creativity will take you very far in your fitness journey.
We’ve covered the more popular weight loss myths in this article, but there are still hundreds more out there. We understand it may be difficult for you to separate from fiction at this early stage. However, if you remember the following, you’d be fine.
First, Long-term weight loss plans should always be your only focus. Second, weight loss can only come from proper dieting and exercise. There are no fad diets or shortcuts for this. Third, fad diets and weight loss shortcuts will ALWAYS do more harm than good to you in the end.