Debunking Weight Loss Myths! What’s True and What’s Not?

In 2022, online spaces have made it possible for misinformation to spread faster and easier than ever before. With social media imposing stronger themes of diet culture on online audiences, incorrect facts regarding weight loss are shared like wildfire. 

With that being said, obesity in Australia has reached record figures in recent years, with 75% of men and 65% of women being considered overweight or obese in 2018. With this issue in mind, we’ll be debunking common weight loss myths, so that individuals wishing to lose weight for their health can do so safely and responsibly. 

Strength training is the best way to lose weight

Let’s be honest, lifting weights is not for everyone. Although resistance training has a range of benefits for health and can assist in weight loss, it is not the be-all-end-all technique. 

While some studies have found that weight training beats cardio thanks to its ability to increase muscle mass, others have found endurance training to be the most effective way to lose weight. Confused yet? 

Why not include both strength and cardio training in your routine?  As a start, try to achieve 10,000 steps each day, in combination with weight training 3 times a week. 

And remember that physical activity, combined with a proper diet, is the best way to shed unwanted pounds and keep them off. 

Skipping meals will not cause weight loss

Depriving yourself of food when you are hungry is ultimately not the solution for sustainable weight loss, for many reasons;

  • The human body requires essential nutrients throughout the day to remain healthy and functioning, and to deprive yourself of that can quickly become dangerous. Additionally, this restrictive technique has been proven to actually slow your metabolism, as the lesser food we consume results in our body lowering the number of calories that we burn in order to sustain us in the long term. 
  • Very often, this solution actually results in lapses of judgement in many people, and can result in worse food choices due to overwhelming cravings. If you’re over-hungry, you’re far more likely to overeat. 
  • Long term, skipping meals will leave you feeling sluggish, unmotivated, and tired – which then reduces your likelihood of exercising and losing weight through fitness-based techniques. 

Just because you are in a calorie deficit, doesn’t mean that you’ll lose weight

Often, we come across people who justify eating primarily unhealthy foods each day, because they are still remaining within a calorie deficit.

However, whether you’re sourcing 100 calories from a chocolate bar or from an apple, research indicates that the source of each calorie will alter how your body will process it. Our bodies are designed to take longer to break down natural foods, meaning that you expend more energy as you eat them. Processed foods, however, break down at a far more rapid rate, meaning that you assimilate most of the contained energy. 

Therefore, although balance is important, try to source your calorie-deficit diet from whole foods in order to lose weight faster. Also, it is far better for your health!

Carbohydrates are not the enemy

The misconception that carbohydrates cause weight gain is a myth that has remained popular for many years. However, this is simply not the case! In fact, the Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend that 45-65% of your energy should come from carbohydrates. High-fibre, healthy carb sources are key to fuelling your body and satisfying hunger for longer, so don’t deprive yourself of them!

There are plenty of ways to lose weight healthily, responsibly, and sustainably – but at the crux of every weight loss strategy is to make better food choices and exercise frequently. 

Do your research before you start any diet or weight loss program. Make sure you understand the principles behind how to lose weight and keep it off. Remember, balance is key – too much of anything isn’t good for you. And finally, don’t forget that exercise is an important part of any healthy lifestyle!

This article is providing information only. Content within this article is not tailored to your personal situation, and you should seek professional advice before making any decisions related to your own nutrition and health.

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