Here we will address healthy lifestyle myths that can be detrimental to progress. These myths apply to everyone who is losing, gaining or maintaining their weight, and even people who don’t fit into those groups and just want to educate themselves.
Losing weight will make me happy.
Maybe, maybe not. For some people their weight is holding them back, but why pin all of your hopes on the ‘perfect weight’? Usually there are other factors stopping you from being content or happy, so try and address those on your healthy lifestyle journey as well.
Stuffing my face will help me gain weight.
If this does work (I’ve seen people complain that it doesn’t) then you’ll probably gain FAT instead of MUSCLE and FAT. You’ll be healthier and happier if you increase your calories with healthy options instead of relying on fastfood to pack on the pounds. Otherwise you’ll go from being underweight to overweight.
Eat less, exercise more.
This depends on your current lifestyle. Some people are eating too much for their size, so they need to eat less. Exercising more will help the weight loss process. However, there are people who eat too little (below 1200 calories for women, and below 1500 for men), which leads to malnourishment, and possibly weight gain if the body is continuously put under such pressure.
Weight management is simple.
Diets and healthy lifestyles work on theory, but practise may say otherwise. For some, eating less and exercising more is the way to go. For some, eating a set number of calories a day and burning it off is easy. Just remember that your body can have a mind of its own. There are times when you eat and exercise well, but the scale fails to reward you. There are times when your body lets you down, even though you have done that exercise many times before. There will be times when something so simple will be extremely difficult. Don’t give up!
Maintaining weight loss/gain is easy.
Many have reported that this is the hardest stage. Now you don’t have the scale rewarding you every week or targets to meet. No more new clothes or shoes to celebrate your new size. This is the period when complacency may set in, and you start to fall back into your old ways. Remain vigilant or you’ll be starting your journey all over again…
Weight lifting bulks women up.
Unless you were born a man or have high levels of testosterone, you have nothing to fear. Even men need to work hard building muscle, so the average woman won’t bulk up without putting some serious effort into it. Lifting weights leads to slender, toned muscles and gorgeous definition. The alternative is being skinny with flabby/looser skin.
Eating late/after 8pm causes weight gain.
Your body has no idea what time it is, so eating late at night will not make you gain weight. Your body will digest the food no matter what time of day it is. Just make sure that you eat less during the day, because 3-6 heavy meals a day will lead to weight gain in the long run.
Skipping meals helps you lose weight.
Some people believe that your metabolism slows down when you’re not eating, so they never let themselves get hungry. Others feel that being hungry is the only time you should eat. Note that skipping meals will make you hungrier later on, so you will eat more then, which means you may end up consuming the same amount as usual. In layman’s terms, skipping meals has no extra benefits whatsoever.
Diets are more effective than a healthy lifestyle.
To be honest, you will lose weight faster on a diet. Diets push their participants towards eating as little as possible, often on the verge of starvation. Losing 5lbs a week wouldn’t be uncommon. Meanwhile, healthy lifestyles advocate the healthy 0-2lbs of weight lost each week. This is the ideal rate of weight loss as advised by scientists and other highly qualified people. Healthy lifestyles are designed for life while diets are only meant until you meet your goal.
Once you meet your goal and come off the diet, the weight comes rushing back because you’re not starving yourself anymore. Your body spent weeks or months believing that you were starving, so now it holds onto the food you eat just in case you ‘starve’ again. You end up regaining the original weight and more on top. What’s the point in losing so quickly if you regain even faster and end up back at square one?
Weight loss pills work.
Weight loss pill manufacturers boast about how much you can lose, but they always state that you must diet and exercise as well. Diet/a healthy lifestyle and exercise alone can lead to weight loss, so the pills are not necessary! Never mind that the side effects can be life threatening because the hidden ingredients can damage your heart. If you want to wear a bikini AND pacemaker, diet pills are just what you’re looking for.
Cutting out fat/protein/carbs is good.
The various food groups, vitamins, etc are there for a reason. Fat assists in digestion and cushions our organs, protein helps repair those muscles you’re working at the gym, and carbohydrates provide energy. Any of them in excess is not good, but a lack of them is terrible. Stick to this fat:protein:carb ratio- 20:40:40. Each number represents the proportion that each of them should make up of your daily calories as a percentage. For example, if you eat 1200 calories a day, 20% of that should be fat. This would mean that 240 calories should be from fat. Feel free to alter this ratio to suit your own needs.
If you fell for these myths, don’t feel embarrassed. The diet industry wants you to keep falling for these lies so you’ll buy their products and stay the weight loss and regain cycle forever. Don’t fall for their tricks anymore!