6 Top Weight Loss Myths and What You Should Be Doing Instead
There is no shortage of information when it comes to the best way to lose weight. Just walk into any gym or do a quick Google search and you’ll find a wealth of advice about what you should do. The problem is that the advice given is not always helpful. There are many different myths or misconceptions floating around the fitness industry that could actually be getting in the way of your weight loss goals. Sorting the gems from the rubbish can be challenging, so we thought we’d outline the top 6 myths that we hear on a regular basis.
Myth 1: I need to cut out carbohydrates to lose weight.
There seems to be an increase in the number of so-called fitness ‘gurus’ supporting a low carb or no carb diet. This way of eating was first popularised by the Atkins diet, but since then, many other low carb fads have appeared on the market. Some just suggest avoiding starchier carbohydrates such as grains and potatoes. Other, more extreme diets say you should cut out all carbohydrates, including most vegetables (allowing only dark leafy greens like Kale). I am hoping I don’t need to tell you that cutting all vegetables out of your diet is a bad idea. But what about other forms of carbohydrates like bread, pasta and potatoes?
Should these foods be cut out in order to lose weight? The short answer is no. Your body uses carbohydrates as a source of fuel. In fact, carbohydrates, fat and protein all play an important part in a healthy diet. No food group should be excluded or drastically reduced but rather eaten in moderation. Instead of trying to cut back on carbohydrates, focus on choosing mostly nutrient-dense and complex options. These include vegetables, fruit, sweet potato, wholegrain pasta, brown rice, basmati rice and quinoa. Limit foods with simple carbohydrates and sugars like white bread, pasta, white rice, cakes, biscuits and soft drinks.
Myth 2: The less I eat, the faster I will lose weight.
Eating nothing but celery sticks for lunch will not help you lose weight. In fact, the more you reduce your intake of food, the higher the chance you’ll be unsuccessful. Falling off the bandwagon and binge eating is much more likely if you are constantly hungry and grouchy. Low calorie diets also make it harder to find the energy to get to the gym and exercise. Your mental energy and concentration levels will also be low as your brain doesn’t have the fuel it needs to function properly. Drastically reducing calories is also very difficult to maintain over the long term. Many people find that when they do start eating more, a rebound effect occurs. The body can adjust to functioning of limited energy. When their diet then returns to normal, they find that the weight they lost (and often even more) piles back on as quickly as it was lost in the first place.