There is a lot of weight loss advice out there, and it can be hard to know what to believe given the amount of information coming at us these days. I hope these 6 weight loss misconceptions help you whether you are trying to lose weight or just improve your health overall!
1️⃣ Weight loss is all about willpower.
Willpower is a definite pillar to help us reach our goals, but unfortunately many things can get in the way of willpower and motivation ... stress, negative thoughts, self sabotage, life in general can get you off track...so leaning on willpower and motivation alone will not guarantee you will achieve your goals.
2️⃣ All calories are equal.
While a calorie’s energy value may be the same no matter what you eat, the fact is that your body responds quite differently to different types of calories. I discussed some of this in my most recent post on Thermic Effect of Food (TEF).
Here I described how protein is more satiating when compared to fats and carbohydrates >>> which make you feel fuller for longer >>> therefore decreasing the amount of food eaten in a day.
I also explained how protein is not burned the same way as carbohydrates, fat, alcohol, etc. Protein actually requires more energy to metabolize, which means that the body burns more calories when eating it.
All calories contain energy, however, this does not mean that all calorie sources have the same effect on your weight. Different foods go through different metabolic pathways and can have vastly different effects on hunger and the hormones that regulate your body weight.
Finally, we all know processed foods are void nutrients, as opposed to real food which contains amino acids, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and fatty acids which provide the micronutrients our body's need in order to run our metabolic processes efficiently and effectively >>> which in turn will equate to losing weight. This can be done by eating real food without even eating less.
3️⃣ Weight loss is a linear process.
It is very rare for someone to lose weight in a linear way. Fluctuations and plateaus are inevitable, even if you are doing everything right. Don't be quick to jump to the conclusion that things are not working, just because you have appeared to have hit a plateau on the scale. It is best to keep with the plan, but can also benefit from looking elsewhere and I guarantee you will see progress in your health ... better sleep, better mood, more energy for daily tasks, stronger in the gym, less digestive issues, better skin, better mental clarity... keep staying the course.
4️⃣ Rapid weight loss is a good sign.
Nope, not good! The more rapid the weight loss, the more unsustainable it tends to be.
Rapid weight loss puts us at risk for losing hard earned muscle!!!
NOT WHAT WE WANT!!!
And, typically rapid weight loss means we are in too much of a calorie deficit,
which can also effect your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)...this is
NOT GOOD EITHER!!!
Your BMR is the number of calories your body burns at rest when doing nothing. It includes breathing, heartbeat, brain function, circulation, and other maintenance physiological processes.
If you go TOO LOW CALORIE YOU WILL CHANGE YOUR BODY'S SET POINT FOR HOW MANY CALORIES YOU NEED IN DAY. This can be effected by >>>
Losing muscle mass - muscle burns up to 2-3 times more calories than fat mass - so having more muscle will support a higher BMR
On a restrictive-low calorie diet the body goes into a "metabolic adaptation." In response to this type of diet, thereby decreasing the number of calories one needs to function in a day. This means, that when we no longer are doing this restrictive-low calorie diet, not only ARE WE MORE LIKELY TO gain the weight back, but ALSO MORE TO GAIN IT BACK AS WELL AS EXTRA, because we have changed our BMR!
5️⃣ Exercise is the most important factor when it comes to weight loss.
Nope, not true! EXERCISE is a factor when it comes to supporting weight loss, but it is not the most important factor. You can lose weight without exercise, but my hope is for anyone trying to lose weight, they are trying to lose fat mass and maintain muscle mass, so exercise can benefit your body's ability to keep or even gain muscle by exercising.
Exercise does increase your Total Daily Expenditure (TDEE), but it depends on the duration and intensity of the exercise. For professionals and fitness enthusiasts, this energy expenditure can be quite high, but for most it makes up about 0-10% of their total calories burned in a day. So, the most important factor is WHAT YOU ARE EATING.
6️⃣ You will get to your goal the first time you try.
In order to lose weight in a sustainable way (fat loss, not muscle loss), it can take months, even years, depending on your starting point. Finding ways to make the plan a part of your life, and not just a diet for a period of time, will support your weight loss efforts, so that what you achieve is now the NEW YOU!!!
We're so inundated by advertisements for weight loss programs, tips and products that it's easy to lose track of what's real and what's fake, I hope these 6 misconceptions support you in your quest to be the best YOU!