If the recent statistics are anything to go by, achieving and maintaining lasting weight loss is no easy task. Whether you’re upping your gym membership in an effort to lose a little holiday weight or overhauling your lifestyle completely on doctors orders, the struggle is real.
According to the CDC (1), almost 50% of adults in the US are suffering from obesity and a whopping 14% of preschoolers are also considered obese. Those numbers climb steadily through adolescence, growing to 20% once children reach the 12-19 year-old age bracket.
With obesity rates at an all-time high, and rising, it’s no surprise that the weight loss and fitness industry is also booming. Some estimates show the US weight loss market will be worth over 70 billion dollars this year. That’s an awful lot of low-fat frozen dinners and meal replacement shakes!
New fitness apps, diet trackers and workout subscriptions burst onto the already crowded weight loss market every day and a quick web search will take you to literally hundreds of different diets, cleanses and fasts, each one claiming to be the quickest way to shrink your waistline and get you back into your favorite pair of high school skinny jeans.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with marketing and information or discouraged because you can’t seem to make the needle on the scale go down, don’t give up! Lasting weight loss demands real change, and we all know that change is never easy, but, with the right information and tools, it doesn’t have to be that hard either.
We’ve compiled a list of 4 weight loss myths that may be keeping you from hitting your goal weight.
Weight Loss Diets Work
One of the most pervasive myths about weight loss is the idea that diets work. There are hundreds of special weight loss diets, fasts and cleanses on the market and while some of these may result in short term weight loss, they are not sustainable. Crash diets are a temporary fix for a long term problem and studies (2) show that 85% of people using diets to lose weight gain it right back within one year.
If you’re overweight, the chances are that you need to overhaul your relationship with food and learn to think about your diet differently. The general rule of thumb is that if the diet you’re trying is not something you can honestly see yourself doing for a lifetime, then it’s probably not going to work for you forever. Pretty simple when you think about it!
The news about diets doesn’t stop there. Not only can some cleanses and weight loss diets be ineffective, but they can actually be dangerous, depriving your body of nutrients and calories that it needs to stay in optimal health.
The best dietary changes often have more to do with moderation than they do with cutting out foods like carbs or fat completely. Your body needs different types of food in order to function, and weight only begins to pile on when something is out of balance. Healthy and sustainable weight loss will probably happen at a rate of around 1lb per week. While losing weight this way may feel slower than a crash diet, you’re much more likely to stay healthy and keep the weight off long term.
All Calories are Created Equal
While it is true that your body requires a certain amount of calories in order to maintain, lose or gain weight, it’s important to remember that all calories are not created equal. You are much more likely to succeed in losing weight if you feel full after your meals and understand that eating fewer calories shouldn’t mean going hungry.
Some foods like chocolate, cheese, or fast foods which typically include a lot of butter and oil, contain quite a lot of calories per serving. While these foods taste delicious, they often won’t fill you up or leave you feeling satisfied. We would call these foods high in caloric density. Meaning that they contain a lot of calories relative to their size. It makes sense that if you’re working with a limited calorie budget you’ll want to limit the foods in your diet that use up a lot of your daily calories, but leave you feeling hungry.
Other foods like fruits, vegetables, and most whole grains have a lower caloric density. This means that they are comparatively low in calories and high in fiber which keeps you full for longer. Each serving is also bigger. It’s easier to fill up on foods with a lower caloric density because you can eat more of them for the same amount of calories, fill your stomach, and stay satisfied for longer.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t ever eat chocolate or fries again, it just means that they should make up a smaller part of your diet:
- Fill up on foods that contain fiber and have a low caloric density like whole grains, fruits, vegetables and drink plenty of water to help your stomach feel full.
- Treat yourself with foods like chocolate, butter, cheese, and fried foods like chips and fries, but don’t make these the majority of your diet. These foods should be enjoyed on special occasions and in moderation.
If you follow these guidelines you’ll always leave the table feeling full and satisfied and you won’t feel deprived of the calorie dense foods you love.
Weight Loss = Will Power
While it is true that it may take some will power to say no to breakroom cookies from your co-worker or to push away the bread basket at dinner, will power alone is not the defining factor on your weight loss journey.
There are hundreds of reasons that you may be struggling to lose weight, many of which could be biological, and the will power myth can get in the way of finding the root causes and behaviors that may be causing weight gain. Worse, believing that will power alone is the answer to maintaining weight loss can actually sabotage many people on their otherwise successful weight loss journey.
Let's say that you’re having a great week of eating right and exercising, but when the weekend rolls around, you get invited to a party. You know there will be food and cocktails there that will bust your calorie budget, and you’ve bought into the will power myth. So, you go to the party and promise yourself that you’ll only have one cocktail and a handful of chips. After all, you just need to be “strong” enough to say no to the pizza, cheese, and cupcakes that you know will be available.
2 hours later, you’re having such a good time that you help yourself to a second cocktail and some cheese from the snack table and then realize that you’re at the end of your calorie budget but you’re still hungry! Your stomach is rumbling, and there’s no way you’ll be able to skip dinner tonight. You kick yourself for not having the will power to say no to temptation and a familiar script starts playing in your head. You believe you weren’t strong enough to skip the treats, and because you’re weak, your diet goals are doomed so why not throw in the towel completely?
A better way to approach weight loss is with a more holistic strategy. Instead of relying on will power and depriving yourself of the foods you love, think about them as part of your journey. It’s probably not realistic to plan on saying no to pizza for the rest of your life. Or to think that you’ll stick within your calorie budget every single day from now until forever.
Slip-ups and chocolate cake are all part of the human experience. Weight loss happens when we eat healthier and move more, most of the time. If you slip up or gain a pound or two on your journey, don’t let it throw you off course. And remember that it’s not a character flaw to enjoy yourself and indulge sometimes! Weight loss is about moderation, not perfection.
You Can’t Lose Weight Without Hitting The Gym
If you hate running on a treadmill and don’t feel pumped about lifting weights, we have some good news. While we agree that exercise is vital for your overall health, it’s not true that you have to spend hours at the gym in order to see a significant difference on the scale.
Most of our daily calorie burn actually comes from something called our “basal metabolic rate.” This is the energy we use just by performing basic functions and believe it or not, it takes a significant amount of calories just to keep us alive when our bodies are at rest. Experts believe that our basic metabolic rate accounts for between 60-80% (3) of our daily energy expenditure! We burn about another 10% of our daily energy on digesting food, which only leaves 10-30% for exercise.
This means that burning off the wine and cheese you ate at the company Christmas party is harder than it sounds and the most sure-fire way of losing weight is by managing the number of calories you have coming into your body, and not by the amount you burn each day at the gym.
While it may not help you drop too many pounds, exercise is still an important part of a healthy routine. Many studies (4) show that just 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise can significantly reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer and it can also improve your mood, so it is vital that you keep moving.
If you’re not used to a lot of physical activity, take it slowly. If you go straight from couch potato to sprints on the treadmill you run the risk of burning out mentally, and you could also injure yourself. The key to regular exercise is finding something that you like to do, and that you can work into your daily routine. It could be as simple as getting off the bus a stop or two early and walking more or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. If you would like to move a little more, you could try taking dance lessons with your partner, biking to work, or going for a gentle swim.
If you already maintain a vigorous exercise routine, but you’re still having trouble losing weight, be sure that you’re not overestimating the number of calories you’re burning. Remember, diet it’s the main culprit for weight gain, and no matter how much you’re moving, you’re most likely to see the scale shift, if you pay attention to the food you’re eating.
No matter how many pounds you have to lose, stay on track for long term success by busting these weight loss myths!
Crash diets don’t work!
You’re most likely to succeed if you practice moderation and steer clear of fad diets that promise rapid results and label foods as “bad” or “good.” You can support a wholesome diet with a supplement like Slim Vitality which has been formulated by experts to boost your metabolism and energy and help you maintain optimal health while you slim.
All calories are not created equal!
Fill your diet with fruits, vegetables and whole grains that are high in fiber and have a low caloric density. This will keep hunger at bay, and leave you feeling full for longer.
Weight Loss does not equal will power!
It takes a whole lot more than will power to maintain healthy weight loss. Be kind to yourself, and remember that great results come from sustained healthy habits and not a lifetime of perfection.
Exercise is not the only answer!
Be sure to get at least 30 minutes per day of moderate exercise, but be careful not to overestimate the calories you’re burning. A healthy diet will be responsible for most of your weight loss success.
Pure Vitality a natural supplement company based in an isolated village nestled against the snow-capped Southern Alps of New Zealand. We research health conditions thoroughly to discover the underlying root causes, find the most effective natural remedies, target the root causes rather than use a Band-Aid approach, use a multi-prong approach to fix the root causes from many directions and use high potency ingredients at scientifically supported amounts.