Facts And Fiction About Weight Loss

April 19, 2013  |  
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Committing to a diet or workout plan means daily mental work, re-scheduling your life, and often depriving yourself of things you really love. So if you’re going to put all that work into something, you deserve to get the results you expect. And you’ll get them sooner if you can differentiate the facts from the fiction about weight loss.



If I work out area A, area A will lose weight

Fiction. You cannot target just one area for weight loss. Doing extra arm exercises won’t lead to slimmer arms—it will lead to more toned ones, but of the same size. Weight loss comes from working out the entire body, and from diet. And when you lose weight, you’ll lose it mostly everywhere.


A few cheat days a month won’t affect anything

Fact. 28 days of healthy eating will far outweigh the results of a few days of poor eating. In the grand scheme of your weight loss goals, a few monthly cheat days will not slow down your results.



If I go hungry for a few days, I’ll drop pounds

Fiction. Your body is composed of 75% water, and when it goes into starvation mode, all it releases is water weight. The moment you begin eating again, the weight will come right back on.


After dieting for a while, I can go back to a “normal” way of eating

False. Your “normal” way of eating was keeping you at a weight that was heavier than desirable. Just a few weeks of healthy eating will not permanently change your body. In order to stay fit, you need to stop viewing diets as “diets,” but rather as new ways of dealing with food—for good.


I can lose a lot of weight simply by eating less

Fact. 80% of your weight loss will come from eating less. Exercise only contributes to 20%.


I can eat as much “health food” as I want

Fiction. 800 calories of salad or 800 calories of fries is still 800 calories. While one food might contain more calories from fat, and other nasty elements you don’t want, you still need to stick to a certain calorie count if you want to lose weight.


I can still eat fatty food sometimes

Fact. Not all fat is bad fat. Foods like avocados, oily fish, and even steak should be in your diet about once a week.


I’m overweight because I’m “big boned”

Fiction. The size of your bones does not contribute to your appearance as “skinny” or “fat.” A larger bone structure will only make you look more athletic or perhaps more tall. But if you appear overweight, it’s because you have extra fat. Not extra bones.


Muscle weighs more than fat

Fact and fiction. Muscle does weigh more than fat, but not much more. If you have been dieting and exercising and truly notice your clothes fitting differently, but you don’t notice a change on the scale—or you notice a few extra pounds—you probably gained muscle and lost fat. But if you’ve gained ten pounds, and your clothes aren’t fitting any better, then you simply gained weight.


I’m overweight because I have a slow metabolism

Fiction. In fact, when someone is overweight, they also gain more muscle, which ups their metabolic rate. This explains why overweight individuals feel hungry more frequently.


My thyroid has nothing to do with my weight

Fact and fiction. While it’s true that if someone has advanced hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone) they can be overweight, the majority of people discover a thyroid abnormality long before it begins to affect their weight, and they fix it.


Cutting back on just one thing a day will lead to weight loss

Fiction. Your body actually becomes used to a lower calorie intake, and your metabolism adjusts. So cutting back on your evening cookies will only show results for a short period of time. To see long-term results, you’ll have to continue to make adjustments to your diet and workout regiment.


I’m allowed to snack

Fact. And it’s encouraged! Most nutritionists will tell you that you should never feel really hungry. You should always have energy. And for many people, having a snack in between breakfast and lunch, and lunch and dinner, stabilizes their energy all day long, and gives them a more clear perspective on how much they should actually eat come mealtime.


Some foods burn calories

Fiction. There are foods that may help you feel full with fewer calories, or may aid digestion. But there is no such thing as a food that goes into your system, and essentially eradicates the food you ate before it.

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