Weight Loss Myths

Weight loss myths seem to be everywhere and all of us have believed at least one at some point. They can cause you to make big mistakes in your weight-loss efforts without even realizing it! Check out the truth behind these common weight loss myths.

“I just want to lose weight in my belly.” There’s no way to cause weight to come off a specific area of the body. That’s not something you can control, since your body decides where it retains weight … in fact, you may be surprised where it starts to go first. It’s relative to how much weight you’re losing overall; you can’t magically “shrink” one body part rather than another.

“If I’m going to exercise today, I might as well ____ (run, do aerobics, jog, etc.) as long as I possible can.” Not so. Particularly if you’ve never exercised or it’s been a long time for you, doing too much too soon can do more harm than good … especially to your joints. Often, injuries occur at joints when we overdo it and we’re carrying extra weight. That’s because exercise puts stress and pressure on your joints in addition to the extra weight they’re bearing. If you exercise too hard you could be setting yourself up for an injury that could sideline you from exercise entirely. Start out slowly and do a few minutes more each session to be safe.

“There’s no need to do toning or resistance-training until I’m thinner.” There’s no need to “weight” when it comes to toning up! Since resistance training — working with resistance bands, weights, and gym machines — increases your muscle mass, you will lose weight more quickly and look thinner sooner than if you do aerobic exercise alone. That’s because muscle burns more calories than fat so the more you have, the more efficiently you burn calories. No matter what your size, you will rev up your metabolism by pumping some iron. So don’t put off picking up a weight or two; anytime is a great time to start.

“I want to lose 30 pounds in a month.” Don’t let the contestants on that weight loss show sway your thinking. It would be extremely unhealthy to lose that much weight, that quickly. Depending on how overweight you are now, it may be possible to lose a large amount of weight rather quickly, but just because you could doesn’t mean you should. But for many of us, it would be impossible. Your body simply isn’t meant to drop so many pounds, so quickly.

Any diet that would allow you to lose that much weight so quickly would have to cut back drastically on the number of calories you’re allowed. Following such a restrictive diet can cause you to lose too much muscle tissue and water and put your health at risk. Plus, when you return to eating more calories, you’ll gain all the weight back and probably then some. Remember, a slow and steady loss of one to two pounds a week is much more desirable. * “I can finally eat like I used to once I lose ___ (X number of pounds) or weigh my goal weight!” Ah, if only it were true. Wouldn’t it be great if all you had to do was lose weight once and it would never come back? Then you’d be free to eat everything you wanted and not gain an ounce! While it may seem there are some people who got a “magic weight management gene,” it just isn’t reality for most of us.

If you go back to your old habits once you have lost weight, the weight won’t be gone for long. In fact, once you lose weight, you need to eat quite a bit less than you were accustomed to when you were heavier; the smaller your body, the fewer calories it requires. You should be able to indulge now and again, but if you’re serious about keeping lost pounds at bay, you’ll need to make sure those occasional indulgences stay occasional.

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