Weight loss myths to avoid in the new year

Try, try again…that’s a common motto when it comes to weight loss. This year, boost your chances of success by pairing your efforts with accurate information. These weight loss myths can actually sabotage your best laid weight loss plans.

Weight loss means I’ll have to go hungry

Severe calorie restriction does not work. In fact, your body will switch to conservation mode, sabotaging weight loss, if you take in too few nutrients. Ditch starvation diets and aim for a healthy balance of nutrients.  You don’t have to skip carbs and fat either. Moderate fat intake promotes satiety, so you’ll feel fuller and more satisfied and eat less. Complex carbs give you energy and keep blood sugar levels stable, so you don’t get the “hangrys.” Add in protein (think lean meats, beans and nuts) to help build muscle and boost metabolism.

I can eat whatever I want as long as I work out

This is the mother of all weight loss myths. Most exercisers overestimate the number of calories burned with exercise and underestimate their caloric intake. Exercise promotes heart health and overall well-being. Exercise also helps build muscle, which supports healthy metabolism. But exercise is not an excuse to overeat. Choose a sensible diet within the 2,000 – 2,500 daily calorie range to lose weight.

I’ll lose weight if I go gluten-free

The gluten-free craze may be going strong, but it isn’t a weight loss magic bullet. The same is true for going vegan, vegetarian or paleo. While these diets may be helpful if you have certain allergies, sensitivities or just based on preferences, they offer no guarantees. Again, when you are trying to lose weight you must choose quality calories in moderation. Remember French fries are vegan and gluten-free.

Fat-free foods support weight loss

Fat free foods are loaded with sugar to make them taste butter. They are also less satisfying without the fat, so you end up eating more. Recent studies have shown that full-fat foods may even reduce your risk of diabetes. Choose healthy sources of fat like nuts, chia seeds, extra virgin olive oil and avocados. You’ll get a nutritional boost and great taste that leaves you feeling satisfied.

Self-care doesn’t matter as much as diet and exercise 

When you are trying to get to a healthy weight it is important to take a holistic approach.

  • Aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep each evening – Inadequate sleep means you are less likely to notice satiety cues and more likely to overeat.
  • Manage stress – unmanaged stress can flood your body with hormones that sabotage your weight loss efforts.
  • Practice self-awareness and reflection – notice when you are more likely to over snack or reach for comfort foods. Ask yourself what is going on inside and what you might need (other than food) to help yourself feel comforted.

Don’t let weight loss myths sabotage your weight loss plans. This year, pump up your efforts with accurate information that helps you get results.