People have a lot of opinions about how to lose weight. But as the New England Journal of Medicine discovered earlier this year during a research review, many of these opinions are based on myths. And these myths may be actively sabotaging your weight loss progress.

Myth #1 – Eating More Fruits & Vegetables Leads to Weight Loss

Eating more fruits and vegetables, especially if they are cooked or processed, does not lead to weight loss. Weight loss comes from running a calorie deficit. So if adding fruits and vegetables causes you to eat fewer calories, then it can lead to weight loss. But if you are eating calorie-dense vegetarian curries rather than a lean meat dish, then the increase may contribute to weight gain.

Myth #2 – 3,500 Calories Is Not a Pound of Weight Loss (or Weight Gain)

It is true that a pound of fat is roughly 3,500 calories. But it is not true that eating 3,500 fewer calories leads to a pound of weight loss. The body is more complex than this. As renowned obesity expert, Dr. Arya Sharma, is fond of saying that weight loss is “not physics, it’s physiology!”

The body has a lot of systems in place to hold on to weight if you eat fewer calories and to avoid excess weight if you eat too many. So if you want to lose weight, you may need to cut out more calories per day or increase your exercise more than a simple math suggests. What worked a month ago may stop working as your body adapts to changes that you made. (This is frustrating to hear, but also explains why you can reach a lower weight and stay there even when you eat meals with extra calories.)

Myth #3 – It’s Better to Lose Weight Slowly

This myth came about in the 1960s. Dr. Sharma explains that early weight loss diets with very low calories did not include enough protein, so followers rapidly lost lean muscle and started burning fewer calories per day. “In contrast, today’s low-calorie formula diets are generally high in protein and nutritionally balanced (except perhaps for fibre) and have in fact been shown in some cases to preserve lean body mass compared to simply eating less.”

The evidence now shows that people have the same ability to maintain weight loss regardless of how quickly they lost it. So it may be worthwhile to try a dramatic change to kickstart your weight loss. But once the weight is off, it is important to find sustainable ways to balance your calorie intake with your energy needs or you will gain weight regardless of how quickly or slowly it came off.

Myth #4 – Exercise Is Key to Weight Loss

Long-term studies have found that the benefits of exercise for weight loss are minimal, especially compared to the impact of eating fewer calories. If you seek to lose 5% or more of your body weight, reducing calories is essential.

However, for maintaining weight loss, exercise can have a major impact. So it’s a critical part of long-term success, just not necessarily the major factor in determining how much weight you will lose.

Myth #5 – You Must Be Ready to Lose Weight

There was a school of thought that said “readiness for change” was an important predictor of success. But it turns out that this is not the case. Contemplating change is not nearly as important as taking action. As Yoda says, “Do or do not. There is no try.”

Fact: Talk to Your Doctor

Before beginning a diet or exercise program, please talk to your doctor. You want to rule out any underlying causes, for example a thyroid issue or other health condition, that might be causing the weight gain. In a future post, we will look at how diabetes treatments impact weight loss.


Print Friendly
  © 2015 Celsius. All rights reserved.

†Celsius alone does not produce weight loss in the absence of a healthy diet and moderate exercise. In a 10 week published university clinical study in the Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition with sedentary men and women, the group who drank one Celsius per day experienced Significantly Better Results.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Privacy Policy

Follow us: