28 Mar Debunking Common Weight Loss Myths
It seems everyone has an opinion on weight loss. And everyone thinks their specific advice is the best way to achieve it. So discussions about weight loss can start to get argumentative at times.
I’m not big on confrontation, so instead of worrying about who’s right, let’s turn our attention to facts we can agree on. When you know the facts, then you can get actual results.
I have too much respect for you – someone who’s taking the time to read my blog – to make empty promises and try to sell you on ideas that don’t work.
I think there are simply too many weight loss myths out there. I’m going to touch on a few of the most common ones I run into:
Myth: Calories cause you to gain weight and fewer calories is the way to lose weight
Calories are important when it comes to weight. If you eat, digest, and absorb a lot more than you use, then your body recognizes that and will work to store some for later. Calories do matter.
But, they are not the ONLY contributing factor to weight loss. As important as they are, they’re not really the cause. I’d say they’re more of the symptom. So let’s think about the causes – the reasons people eat more calories.
Often times, people eat too many calories, not so much because they’re hungry, but because they’re feeling sad, lonely, or bored – or maybe even because they’re tired or stressed out. Or on the other side of the spectrum, they may be happy and celebrating. All of these emotions can cause responses in our nervous, hormonal, and gastrointestinal systems – all of which affect our calorie intake.
Myth: “Eat less, move more” is the way to go
People have been trying to lose weight by eating less and moving more for years! So if this myth is true, then why aren’t we all in peak condition?
The basic premise of this commonly followed advice is that “calories in” minus “calories out” equals your weight. In other words, eat fewer calories and and burn off more calories. Unfortunately, human physiology is not just a simple math equation.
Even if people could happily follow and maintain this advice (which they often can’t), it completely ignores all of the other factors that contribute to weight issues. We must also consider the causes of overeating that I covered above. There’s also our genetics, health conditions we may have, or exposure to substances that make you fat (these artificial chemicals are called obesogens, e.g. BPA, atrazine, and phthalates).
Myth: A calorie is a calorie
Alright. Let’s just take care of this once and for all.
There is scientific confirmation that several caloric components of food are different from each other. For example, you actually require calories in order to metabolize certain nutrients. This refers to the “thermic effect of food” – the TEF. These nutrients can slightly boost your metabolism, just by eating them.
For example, when you metabolize protein you are burning more calories than when you metabolize carbohydrates. Protein and carbohydrates each contain 4 calories per gram. However, the TEF for protein is 15–30% and the TEF for carbohydrates is 5–10%.
Let me describe another example of a calorie not being a calorie. Different fats are metabolized in different ways. Medium chain triglycerides (MCT’s) are fats. They contain the same amount of calories (9 calories per gram) as other fats do. However, they’re metabolized by the liver before reaching the bloodstream. Therefore, they’re not used or stored the same way that other fats are.
Myth: Buy this magic pill to lose weight
Sorry. There is no “magic pill” for weight loss. No food, drink, supplement, or other potion will simply do the trick.
There are so many products out there that make these claims. Unfortunately, too often, you won’t lose weight, just your money (and perhaps, hope). So, I strongly urge you to abandon this myth right now. There are specific reasons most people who lose weight have problems keeping it off. The true magic lies in developing a healthy and sustainable approach to living your life. What WILL work is a lifestyle makeover, not a product. And it doesn’t need a dramatic all-encompassing makeover. Making small changes that form healthy habits – one at a time – will get you there.
I wish I could say weight loss is simple. But human physiology is just too complex. There are so many people out there trying to convince you that they have the easy-peasy be-all-end-all solution. While their intentions may be good, I truly believe that if you’re looking for real results that last long-term, just take one small step at a time. That’s the best way to make a complicated process easier on yourself. One step you can take right now is to download your FREE copy of my e-book The Quick Start Guide To The Dr. Venus Diet by filling out the form below.
Now try this “magical weight loss salad” recipe…just joking! But it IS tasty and nutritious.
Recipe (Myth-free salad, healthy and filling): Kale Cucumber Salad
4 cups kale, divided
1 cup cooked beans, your choice (e.g. white beans, garbanzo, etc.)
1 cup cooked quinoa, divided
1 cucumber, sliced and divided
Cucumber Dill Dressing:
½ cup tahini
½ cup cucumber, chopped
½ lemon, juiced
1 green onion, chopped
2 tbsp dill
½ tsp maple syrup
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp garlic, minced
Divide salad ingredients evenly into 2 bowls.
Add all dressing ingredients into a food processor and blend until creamy. You may want to add some water to thin it down a bit. Add it slowly, one spoonful at a time until desired thickness is reached.
Add dressing to each salad and gently toss. Serve.
Tip: Extra dressing can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
Disclaimer: This information is being provided to you for educational and informational purposes only. Information provided on this web site is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice and is not intended to replace a complete consultation with a physician, nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Dr. Venus Ramos is not responsible or liable for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis, or any other information, services or products that you obtain through this web site.
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