9 Weight Loss Myths

When it comes to weight loss, there’s a glut of information available and it’s hard to know what will work. Here are nine common myths and the facts behind them.

Myth 1: Fast food is unhealthy and should be avoided.

Fact: There are healthy options at most fast food chains now. If you are unsure how many calories a particular item has, look online so you can make a healthy choice. It is best to choose a meal that is under 500 calories. Check out Fast Food Nutrition for more info, or request the nutritional information at that fast food establishment.

Myth 2Dairy products are fattening.

Fact: Low-fat dairy products have the same nutritional value as whole dairy products, but without all the calories. Low-fat versions of milk, yogurt, and cheese are good choices when trying to save calories while still getting the beneficial nutrients.

Myth 3Desserts are off-limits.

Fact: Depriving yourself of something you really want can set you up for failure. Eating favorite foods in moderation can be a good thing. It will make you satisfied instead of deprived and you are less likely to overeat.

Myth 4Eating three big meals a day will make me gain weight.

Fact: It doesn’t matter if you eat three well-proportioned meals or six small meals a day. The amount of calories consumed during each of these meals is the real concern. Having six small meals can help boost your metabolism but you should eat in a way that’s sustainable for you.

Myth 5: I can eat as many low-fat foods as I want, without gaining weight.

Fact: Low- or no-fat foods still have calories. Most people tend to eat more low-fat foods since they appear to be better for you on packaging – but don’t be fooled. Keep your overall calorie goal in mind each day.

Myth 6Eating a late dinner or snacking late at night causes weight gain.

Fact: Eating too many calories in one day will cause weight gain. It is all about calorie input vs. calorie output and it takes 3,500 calories to gain or lose one pound. If you average a deficit of 500 calories a day (250 in diet and 250 with activity) on average, one pound of weight will be lost per week.

Myth 7: I have to get my physical activity in all at one time.

Fact: It is recommended to get 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day. The health benefits are the same if physical activity is broken up into three 10-minute sessions a day. The key here is to elevate the heart rate so that the act of speaking to someone would be a little uncomfortable during your activity. It gives a great mental break as well, so get up and take  three 10-minute walks during the day.

Myth 8I do not have to write down what I eat to lose weight.

Fact: It is proven that journaling food and activity throughout each day can lead to weight loss. When you write down what you eat, it keeps you accountable for your food intake. It helps keep track of all the “extras” throughout the day. Also, it allows you to see if there is room for a treat (within the remainder calorie allotment of course).

Myth 9: If I lift weights, I will bulk up like a man.

Fact: Women don’t have plentiful testosterone, which is the driving force behind gaining “bulk”. Plus, the more muscle mass women (and men) have, the better. Muscle burns fat, so even while resting, the body is constantly burning the extra fat thanks to the lean muscle. Muscle mass helps to reduce injury because it pads and protects the joints, making injuries less severe.

Are there any diet myths out there that we can refute for you? If so, share them with us.

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Photo credit: vidalia_11’s