Turn on the TV, open up the internet, or scan the news on your phone and you’re sure to see or hear something about dieting, losing weight or reaching your health goals.
If that's what you're trying to do, it’s easy to get hooked into unsubstantiated claims, and more than that, to believe whatever you hear.
Get ahead of the game and stay on track by steering clear of these 4 myths about weight loss:
- Once you’re “healthy,” it’s easy – Ask anyone who has reached their weight loss success, or even people who were never overweight and have just adopted a healthy lifestyle, and they will tell you that they still have bad days. There are still days where it is harder to eat healthy, harder to stay on track and harder to make the best, healthy choices amidst mostly unhealthy ones. More importantly though, every one still has off days, and that’s totally okay! You will simply end up discouraged and frustrated if you assume that every day, every week will be perfect and you will never again fall off track once you lose your weight. Instead, adopt the 80/20 mindset, where you are strict and on track 80% of the time and the other 20% is a little more flexible. You still need to have fun and eat the foods you love!
- You can never lose that pesky last 10 pounds – You always hear people say “I just can’t lose these last 10 pounds!” If you reach a plateau and aren’t losing weight any more, it means your body has become efficient at functioning the way you have been asking it to, and now you need to do something different. This may mean increasing the intensity or duration of your workouts, altering the composition of your diet (i.e. more fat or protein), or simply altering your state of mind. Whatever it may be, the point is you need to change something and without a change, your body will simply continue to get more efficient and you won’t make any more progress.
- One size fits all – You read the latest diet online, go out and buy all the supplements it suggests and the foods it praises, start it up and 6 weeks later (just like it promises), you’ll reach success. If it sounds too good to be true, it’s because it is. The first part of your success in losing weight is realizing that what works for your friend, or the person on TV might not work for you. Your success is your own success and as such, it requires your own program and path to get there. The idea that all you have to do is count calories in versus calories out is not necessarily the case, and losing the weight you want will take some dedicated time and effort on your part to figure out the best program. If you need help or aren’t sure where to start, you can also seek out the help of a nutritionist or dietician to help you get on track.
- I’ll only be successful through strict dieting – In fact, it may be the complete opposite that is true! When you put yourself on a strict diet, counting calories, reducing foods and putting foods off limits, you actually end up desiring those foods more, feeling deprived, hungry and overall just setting yourself up for binging later. You feel bad after your binge, restrict your food again, and the cycle continues. The best thing to do instead is to clean up your diet, eliminating processed foods, refined carbohydrates and sugar, and opting instead to go for a whole food, plant based diet. Using these food choices, teach yourself to eat intuitively and listen to your body, eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are full. Without the bad foods in your diet, you will stop craving them, and by listening to your body, you will stop eating to excess. The result will be a healthier you, reaching your weight loss goals, with no diet involved!
Also check out 4 common health & fitness myths.