Common Weight Loss Myths Debunked by Experts

Common Weight Loss Myths Debunked by Experts

It is widely acknowledged by experts that losing weight in a healthy way takes time and is not something that can be accomplished quickly.

Many people experience the process gradually, which calls for a well-balanced diet, sleeping well, and hydration.

In spite of this simple truth, there are still many weight loss myths around that you should be careful about.

With that being said, registered nutritionist Lisa Richards, health expert Dr. Rosmy Barrios and registered dietician Trista Best touched on some of these myths, debunking them.

‘Skipping breakfast or other meals can help burn fat.’

Best explained that skipping means usually does more harm than good.

“When it comes to dieting and losing weight, most of us tend to look at calories first and how we can just take in as few as possible. This may work in the short term but long term it damages your metabolism.”

She goes on to mention that everyone has a different metabolism and that most people need about 2000 calories every day in order to function properly.

Simply put, eating more than this amount causes weight gain, while eating less than this amount causes weight loss.

She points out that the body indeed adjusts to receiving a smaller amount of calories, but this means the progress is temporary.

As a result, it will consume fewer calories than it otherwise would in order to save energy and prevent starvation.

In essence, this indicates that your metabolism is slowing down simply because you restrict your calories too much.

Best goes on to say that “When restricting ends you’ll see rapid weight gain as you start eating what was a normal amount of calories before as the body is now storing the excess as fat more efficiently.”

‘You need to give up dessert for good.’

Richards emphasizes that you don’t really need to give your favorite treats up because there are many healthy dessert options that can aid in your weight loss efforts.

Finding healthier alternatives or enhancing your favorite sweets with more fruit or other fiber-rich ingredients can be a great compromise.

For instance, Richards mentioned including blueberries in your yogurt, smoothie, parfait, and any other treats.

She points out that “Blueberries are highest in antioxidants. Their specific antioxidants are flavonoids, which are plant compounds that give the berries protection and when consumed give similar protection on a cellular level as well. [They are] also high in nutrients while being low in calories.”

The expert also advises that “If you must indulge in a dessert try splitting it with a friend – [it will] cut the calories and the expense in half.”

‘You need to track everything you eat.’

While it’s nice to keep track of your daily meals in an effort to improve your diet, Barrios cautions that this can become excessive.

If you’re tracking your macros or calories, for example, do so to see what you may want to eat rather than to criticize a meal you’ve already consumed.

Barrios explains that “Newcomers [to macros] often make the mistake of looking at the numbers and choosing heavily processed foods that lack minerals and vitamins. Counting macros should be a short term practice. Focusing on numbers and a constant weighing of food products can become a quick way to dysfunctional eating. It’s always good to be educated about macros, but making this a regular practice is not recommended.”

While making a meal plan can be a fun and healthy way to increase your enthusiasm for the foods you enjoy and to identify those that may not make you feel your best, it shouldn’t cause you to feel stressed or anxious about your diet.

The best ways to lose weight, according to Barrios and other experts, is to listen to your body when it signals hunger or satisfaction after exercise, as well as to see a doctor who can assist you in developing a healthy diet.

Katherine Baldwin

Katherine is just getting her start as a journalist. She attended a technical school while still in high school where she learned a variety of skills, from photography to nutrition. Her enthusiasm for both natural and human sciences is real so she particularly enjoys covering topics on medicine and the environment.

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