1. Myth: If you want to lose weight, you’ll have to go hungry.
You may think that losing weight means skipping meals and snacks, and feeling hungry all day. But that just leads to irritability, frustration and, ultimately, going off your diet and quickly regaining weight. The first rule of dieting is: No skipping meals! This just makes your body try to hold onto fuel more efficiently by slowing down your metabolism, and often triggers overeating (typically the wrong foods) later in the day.
Instead, eat a healthy snack or mini-meal every three to four hours during the day. Keep hunger at bay to set yourself up for long-term success. You’ll be in a better mood, too.
2. Myth: Supplements Can Help You Lose Weight
The weight loss supplement industry is massive. There are all sorts of different supplements out there that claim to have dramatic effects, but they are never very effective when studied.
The main reason they can work for some people is the placebo effect. People fall for the marketing and want the supplements to help them lose weight, so they become more conscious of what they eat.
3. Myth: It doesn’t matter what you eat as long as you count calories.
What you eat does matter. Counting calories encourages you to obsess about quantity over quality. Eventually, the quality of your diet will suffer, and so will your health. The key is to stay within an appropriate range of calories for the amount of fuel you’re burning. But you also need to stick to a nutrient-dense diet that won’t make your insulin and blood sugar cry out for help. Foods that keep blood sugar stable help you feel satisfied and discourage binge-eating.
4. Myth: Carbs Make You Fat
Low-carb diets can help with weight loss. That is a scientific fact. In many cases, this happens even without conscious calorie restriction. As long as the carbs are kept low and protein intake is high, people lose weight.
However, this does not mean that carbs cause weight gain. The obesity epidemic started around 1980 but humans have been eating carbs for a very long time. The truth is, refined carbs (like refined grains and sugar) are definitely linked to weight gain, but whole foods that are high in carbs are very healthy.
5. Myth: People With Obesity Are Unhealthy, Thin People are Healthy
It is true that obesity is associated with an increased risk of several chronic diseases. This includes type 2 diabetes, heart disease, increased risk of some cancers, and others.
However, there are still plenty of people with obesity who are metabolically healthy, and plenty of thin people who have these same chronic diseases. It seems to matter where the fat builds up. If you have a lot of fat in the abdominal area, around the organs, then this type of fat is much more strongly associated with metabolic disease. The fat that builds up under the skin, the subcutaneous fat, is more of a cosmetic problem.
6. Myth: Food that tastes good is always bad for you.
If you think that healthy foods taste bland and that highly processed, sugary and fatty foods taste good, then your taste buds may need a tune-up. Many people who believe healthy foods don’t taste good don’t know how to prepare them to enhance their natural flavor.
Added sugars, artificial sweeteners and man-made fats can hijack your taste buds. Once you start eating more natural foods, your taste buds come to appreciate the subtle sweetness of berries and the tartness of cherries, cranberries and citrus. You’ll love the way garlic, onions, peppers (hot, mild and sweet), turmeric, ginger and nut- or seed-based oils (peanut, sesame, almond, flax seed, pumpkin seed) enhance flavor. Learn how to get the most from these natural flavors when preparing meals, and you’ll give your taste buds the treat they deserve.