Losing weight is a common goal for those who want an overall greater quality of life. In fact, America's CDC found that even a modest weight loss of 5% to 10% of your total body weight can produce significant health benefits. These include improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. But with all the weight loss tips promising a quick hack to shed pounds, some could prove more harmful than beneficial to your fitness journey. Here, we debunk four myths to direct you towards healthier weight loss.
Myth 1: You should count calories
Achieving a calorie deficit is essential for weight loss, which is why counting and limiting your calories works to some extent. But too much restriction may lead to anxiety and guilt when your body isn’t satisfied with what you’re consuming. This is why WeightWatchers believes that good weight loss programs shouldn’t count calories. They simply distinguish between “nutritious” and “less nutritious” food. OGN's article ‘Easy Nudges to Help Lose Weight’ suggests you can make easy swaps like skimmed milk instead of whole milk or a lower-calorie chocolate bar. Rather than eliminating less nutritious food from your diet, you can eat a healthier version of them or consume them in more moderate amounts as a reward. This helps you shift from a restrictive approach to a reward-oriented one.
Myth 2: You need extreme exercise routines
There seems to be a general opinion that only relentless exercise will help you slim down. But weight loss is about incorporating physical activity into your lifestyle in a way you can sustain for a long time. Even if you can’t head to the gym four days a week, you can sneak in exercise by biking to work or taking the stairs. MedicineNet even states that brisk walking for 30 minutes can help you burn up to 100 to 200 calories depending on your weight. So instead of pressuring yourself into hopping onto an intense exercise regime, find what physical activities are enjoyable for you and slowly progress to more challenging variations.
Myth 3: You should cut carbs
A lot of diet tips misinterpret carbohydrates as being exclusively harmful to diets. Yet they’re actually crucial for a balanced diet. They provide the body with glucose, which is then converted to energy that supports bodily functions. Try to distinguish between healthier carbs, such as those in plant-based food, and less healthy carbs, such as starches and sugars added to processed food. Instead of cutting carbs out, you can eat whole grain or wholemeal carbohydrates, like brown rice or oatmeal.
Myth 4: Weight loss is linear
There seems to be an idea that once you start losing weight, it will happen consistently over time. Remember, your weight will naturally fluctuate incrementally. Yet what matters is that the general trend is going down. Sometimes you may hold more food in your digestive system or water in your body. If you’re just starting to build muscle, it may even make you heavier on the scale. But if you look in the mirror, you’ll be able to see yourself toning up. Even then, workouts might even make you look bloated as your body retains more water. Try not to get too frustrated. Be patient and look at the bigger picture. Weight loss can be daunting, especially when you’re still learning. By busting myths about losing weight, you can rest easier knowing you’re on the right track.
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