The diet business is full of inaccurate information, some of it propagated by those who care more about their profits than about helping people to lose weight permanently and healthily. Here are some of the most common weight loss myths.
Weight Loss Myth #1: You Should Avoid Carbohydrates The anti-carbohydrate message is a popular one, and is a favourite with those promoting high-protein diets such as South Beach and Atkins. It is true that regimes like these can help you to lose weight very speedily, but this fast loss usually comes at a price – including lack of energy and possible long term health issues. Most people also find such regimes very difficult to stick to over the long term.
The truth is that you can lose weight at a steady pace and – very importantly – keep it off too, while eating a diet with adequate amounts of healthy carbohydrate foods. Refined carbohydrates such as white flour and sugar are best not eaten, but there’s no need to eliminate nutrient-rich, satisfying carbs like as fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Weight Loss Myth # 2: Your Genes Play The Largest Role In Determining Your Weight It’s true that the genes we inherit from our families do have an influence on determining our build and metabolic rate, but this doesn’t mean that if your parents or grandparents are/were obese, you must be too. Some people are born with slower metabolisms and have a greater tendency to lay down fat, but they will only become overweight if they eat too much relative to their level of physical activity. If you’re one of these people, you may have to be more careful about what you eat than your naturally skinny friends, but so long as you don’t overeat, you won’t become overweight. And remember that you can influence your metabolic rate to some degree, especially by exercising regularly, and building lean muscle tissue, which is more metabolically active than fat. So having fat relatives is no excuse!
Weight Loss Myth # 3: You Shouldn’t Eat Fat In Your Diet Fat is more calorie dense than the equivalent amount of carbohydrate or protein, but it doesn’t follow that cutting out fat is a good way to lose weight. Very low fat diets are bad for your health, and a diet with insufficient fat will leave you feeling hungry and dissatisfied. For healthy weight loss, you should cut out harmful fats such as trans fats from hydrogenated oils (found in many junk foods and some vegetable oils), and up your intake of healthy fats, such as those found in avocados, olive oil, oily fish and coconut oil (yes, despite being composed of saturated fatty acids, and getting a bad rap as a result of negative propaganda from the vegetable oil companies, virgin coconut oil is very beneficial, and may even help to speed the fat burning process).
To lose weight and keep it off you need to follow a balanced diet and exercise plan from a reputable and knowledgeable author who does not simply parrot these and other dangerous weight loss myths. One such plan that works well for most people is Strip That Fat, which is a very healthy, easy and satisfying way to eat. You can check out my review of Strip That Fat and find out more about the Strip That Fat regime here.