Losing weight has been an ongoing challenge that takes up so much place in the market. In the last two decades, people have become obsessed with dieting and reaching the perfect shape and size. Such an obsession has given the opportunity for a new industry to emerge and make tremendous profit out of it—the diet industry.
Nowadays, people are no longer seeking better health; they seek the perfect body shape that gives them validation. Thus, a lot of unhealthy methods have come into being, claiming to be easy and fast solutions for weight loss. Most of these common methods were proven false and detrimental to one’s physical and mental health. This article will walk you through the most famous dieting myths you should let go of.
1. Cutting out Carbs Completely
This is one of the most famous myths in the dieting world that has been circulating forever. People learned to be afraid to eat any source of carbs like potatoes, rice, pasta, or bread. In fact, anything that is eaten excessively can be detrimental to one’s health, and carbs are no exception. Yet, they are not the world’s biggest enemies as people view them.
This dieting myth was proven to be inefficient. We need carbohydrates for energy. Cutting back on them can make you successfully lose weight, but there are more sustainable ways to do that. Low-carb diets, including the famous keto, do have some health benefits, especially for those with diabetes. But it doesn’t have to be this way if you enjoy eating carbs.
Your best bet is to consume carbs in moderation so you don’t feel depleted. It is also okay to indulge in the kinds of food you like as long as you don’t overdo it. So, if you’re dieting at the moment, we suggest you limit your carbs intake but not cut it out altogether. This way, you will be able to follow your diet plan for longer and ensure great success in the long run.
2. Fat is Unhealthy
Like carbohydrates, fat is another micronutrient essential for providing your body with energy and keeping it well-balanced. Yet, it has become another enemy that people have villainized for being the cause of obesity. As a matter of fact, reducing fats or eliminating them from your diet is quite dangerous.
There are healthy types of fats that our bodies need to function at an optimal level. Many industries benefit from this losing-weight myth in the dieting world by offering more fat-free and low-fat products. Such labels misguide people into believing they are better and healthier alternatives.
There are two different types of fats: saturated and unsaturated, with the former being the unhealthier option. Unsaturated fats are found in many foods, including nuts, seeds, avocados, and oily fish. They also contribute to essential health benefits, including reducing the risks of diabetes and heart disease.
3. Don’t Skip Breakfast
Remember that old saying that breakfast is the most important meal? Well, there is nothing wrong with enjoying a hearty meal in the early morning before heading to your work or hitting the gym. However, this dieting advice is believed to be one of the main factors of weight loss; without it, you are inclined to fail.
This information has forced many people to have a full meal for breakfast even when they don’t want or need it. It just became among the most common dieting myths, for it doesn’t work for everyone, but it is still acceptable as long as you opt for healthy options.
This dieting advice has come to being because breakfast helps you feel full for quite some time so that you don’t munch on empty calories throughout the day. Mindless snacking is one of the main reasons for gaining weight. Having a deliciously healthy breakfast in the morning can reduce this habit, but it is unnecessary if you don’t prefer it.
4. It’s All About Calories
Measuring calories in versus calories out is all it takes to calculate how many you need to lose or gain weight. Simple math, as they say. Well, this is not particularly a dieting myth but rather a misleading one. The number of calories you consume plays the most significant role in making you either lose the excess weight or gain some excess fats, but there is so much more to dieting than just this.
Turning weight loss into an equation has led many people to follow unhealthy diets, only focusing on how much they eat and ditching the quality of their diet. Eating 500 calories of French fries equals 500 calories of apples, but both amounts of calories are calculated differently. What matters the most is the food quality you’re consuming. Nutrient-rich foods boost your immunity and improve your overall health, which is what we need exactly in the long run!
Besides, taking care of the quality of your food aids in sustaining your weight loss attempts even if its calories equal that of junk food. Opting for foods rich in fibre, vitamins, and healthy nutrients makes you feel full for longer, meaning you won’t need to grab snacks to reach satiety. We can’t say the same about unhealthy food, though. You can still gain weight even if you’re watching your calorie intake while reaching out for unhealthy options. So, quality comes first.
5. More Frequent Meals are Better
For many years, we have heard that eating several small meals is better than having three big ones. This dieting tip has worked for many people, for it succeeds in reducing your hunger and appetite throughout the day. That way, you won’t find yourself reaching out for snacks that do nothing but add more calories to your daily intake.
However, this method is only for some, and that is for various reasons. One of them is that some people are not fans of preparing meals every few hours or even eating that often. Another problem is that some may accidentally consume more calories than they should, leading to weight gain and sabotaging their dieting plan.
At some point, eating more meals was necessary for weight loss, as frequent eating was believed to speed up metabolism. However, this claim was refuted by some nutritionists, and dieting professionals suggested otherwise. It doesn’t really matter how many meals you eat as long as you are capable of controlling your calories.
6. Low-calorie Diets are a Fast Fix
Not only is that claim a complete myth, but it is also vehemently dangerous. Low-calorie diets were used as a kick booster at the beginning of any weight loss journey. They are commonly known as crash diets or fad diets. This dieting myth has been repeatedly debunked, and people are warned against it, yet it still seems to stand.
The thing with low-calorie diets, especially very low-calorie ones, is that they are unsustainable and cannot be followed for long. Eventually, the person will find great difficulty keeping themselves starving, and they may binge eat, leading to weight gain. The pounds they put on may even be more than the ones they lose —if they lose any—.
Such diets also put your health in great danger in so many ways. Consuming calories below your body’s needs will leave you feeling fatigued and out of energy. Besides running low on energy, you will miss out on valuable nutrients for your body. Additionally, VLCDs limit your food options, so you’re more likely to get bored faster than expected and give in to dense meals to feed your hunger.
7. Healthy Means Being Skinny
Unfortunately, the world’s obsession with sleek legs, six packs, and defined muscles has turned more into a necessity rather than a choice. People with average weights and ‘normal’ bodies are always made to feel bad about themselves, even indirectly. The world has been going in that direction for many years. However, with constant exposure to social media, this mindset has become worse.
Being skinny doesn’t necessarily mean being healthy or valuable. The same goes for being overweight; it doesn’t mean being unhealthy unless you have exceeded the average weight limit, jeopardising your heart or overall health. The dieting industry companies have circulated this myth to market their products and talk you into a particular lifestyle that surges their profits.
As long as you eat healthy most of the time, move your body, and have no health issues, your weight won’t matter. If you choose to drop a few pounds to feel better about yourself, it is okay, as long as you are not doing it to fit in. The bottom line is all types of bodies are normal and healthy.
8. Slimming Pills are Safe
Many products have emerged in the market promising to deliver fast weight loss results. However, most of them can be dangerous and ineffective. Pills that burn more fat or increase your metabolism have always been appealing, especially to those looking for a quick fix. It is another dieting myth that was debunked and proven wrong or unsafe.
As a matter of fact, some slimming pills can be safe to consume as long as a healthcare professional or a nutritionist describes them. Yet, many go for such medicines, wishing for magical transformations, but are unaware of the damage they cause to their bodies.
Some slimming tablets contain harmful ingredients that wreak havoc on your health. Despite these alarming finds, these pills are available for anyone to purchase. Before going down this road, consult a healthcare professional and only use the kinds they prescribe for you. Never go for different or unknown pills, for they may be unlicensed and dangerous.
9. Certain Foods Increase Your Metabolism
Your metabolism works through specific chemical processes that help your body function optimally and burn excess fat. For your metabolism to do that, it needs the right amount of energy. So, metabolism depends on energy regardless of the type of foods you eat.
This whole description of how metabolism works is sufficient to refute the claim that certain foods can help you burn more fat by boosting your metabolism. It is one of the biggest dieting myths in history, and many still fall for it. Your metabolism works efficiently when your body consumes the right amount of energy it needs.
Things that can hinder or reduce your fat loss process are all related to your lifestyle. Lack of exercise, not getting enough sleep, starving yourself, smoking, dehydration, and consuming junk food all damage your metabolism’s efficiency. Genetic factors also play an essential role in how fast or slow your metabolism works.
10. Water Makes You Lose Weight
Water is our key to survival. It is an essential part of life that we cannot live without, and it does all sorts of great things to our bodies. But losing weight is not one of them. It is vital for keeping your body hydrated, which is essential for your organs to function properly. However, drinking lots of water to lose weight is one of the most popular dieting myths ever.
There isn’t any evidence that backs up this claim. However, sometimes your hunger pangs indeed mean thirst rather than hunger. That is why it is always advised to drink enough water if you feel hungry. If the hunger doesn’t persist, it is probably your body’s communication method.
You can also use water to help with your dieting journey by filling up on it before a meal, so you don’t overeat. It also helps in reducing your temptation to grab a snack or two when you don’t actually need it. Long story short, water is critical to keep you hydrated and energetic, but it won’t help you lose weight.
These are the most popular dieting myths that people have been following for years. Unfortunately, some are still believed and even spread by nutritionists and diet experts. Some of these myths may not have actual damage to your health, but they may not work for you. Thus, make sure you don’t force yourself into something that doesn’t feel right to your body and always consult an expert before starting your weight loss journey.