Monday, 04 June 2018 19:37

The Weight Loss Myths Instagram Influencers Don't Tell You

These days a nutrition or fitness “expert” is just a stone's throw away. Whether you're browsing your Instagram feed or reading your monthly copy of a health magazine, there is going to be someone telling you about the next best way to lose weight or achieve your fitness goals. Unfortunately, many of the viral posts that make their way around our digital worlds are filled with inaccurate weight loss myths, so we're here to bust through some of the clutter and provide you with accurate, informative tips on achieving your weight loss goals.

Weight Loss Myths: A Guide on How to Lose Weight

Weight Loss Myth #1 You Have To Eat Less To Lose Weight

This idea in and of itself is accurate. However, there can be too much of a “good” thing. You do have to eat at a deficit to lose weight, yes. There are a couple of factors that play into how much of a deficit is necessary to lose weight in a healthy and sustainable manner.

Let's talk numbers. There are two key numbers that go into determining the right number of calories needed to sustain your body and lose weight.

The first is your basal metabolic rate (BMR). This is the number of calories your body burns when it is at rest. You must eat at least that many calories each day to ensure that you are not doing more harm than good to your metabolism while eating at a deficit.

Your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) is an estimation of the total number of calories you burn per day when you take into account exercise and movement.

To put it simply: If you're eating more calories than you are burning, as calculated by your daily energy expenditure, you will gain weight. If you are eating the same amount of calories that you are burning, you will maintain your weight. If you are eating fewer calories than you burn, then you will lose weight – but this is where it gets tricky. Eating too few calories is detrimental to your overall health and is an unhealthy, unsustainable, and potentially dangerous approach to weight loss.

Weight Loss Myth #2 All Calories Are Created Equal

Now that we've covered numbers, albeit briefly, the next weight loss myth we need to bust is how you fill those numbers. It is easy to assume that it doesn't matter what you eat, as long as you are counting calories – and while you can lose weight on a diet of Big Macs and french fries, you have to consider if that is how you really want to spend your calories.

When you are strictly counting calories, your focus is on quantity, not quality. When the quality of your diet is sacrificed, your health will eventually follow. You want to consider the food you use to fill your calorie allotment as fuel for your body. For example, carbs provide quick energy to fuel your body, while protein provides longer lasting sustenance. You can read more about how different macronutrients can be used to fuel your body here.

Weight Loss Myth #3 ________ Makes You Fat

The media has done an exceptional job of demonizing different things over time. The idea of fat making you fat, carbs making you fat, sugar making you fat, etc. is well recognized and well documented, although it is also all essentially false. Consider shifting your mindset from “fat will make me fat” to “too much fat will make me fat.”

Just as one salad or piece of fruit won't make you fit, one slice of pizza or piece of cake won't make you fat. No one type of food can make you fat or unhealthy when it is consumed in a healthy, balanced way.

Weight Loss Myth #4 You Can Spot Reduce Your Fat

The “6 Moves For A 6 Pack” articles that fill headlines and search engine results pages are simply not true. No matter what kind of exercise you do, you cannot pick and choose where you lose fat. Fat loss is a long, slow process and requires a solid foundation and effective balance of nutrition and exercise.

Weight Loss Myth #4B Weight Loss = Fat Loss

Similar to the idea of spot reducing fat, it is often assumed that every drop on the scale means you've lost fat. It is common when you initially start a diet or make moves towards a healthier or more active lifestyle to see a sudden drop on the scale or the measuring tape. Weight loss does not necessarily equal fat loss. Every body holds on to different things (i.e. water) differently. This is why weight loss is not a linear process – one spike on the scale may indicate that your body is retaining water, while another could indicate a few weeks of eating at a surplus.

Weight Loss Myth #5 You Have To Eat _______ To Lose Weight

It can be difficult to know what actually helps you lose weight in an environment so saturated with weight loss products. The idea that you have to take supplements to lose weight is a common one and it is not true. Supplements should be used as just that – to supplement any deficits in your diet. The most popular supplement is protein, but if you get enough protein through whole food, there is no need to use a supplement. Alternatively, you can overeat on a protein supplement just as easily as you can overeat on whole food.

Weight Loss Myth Busting Wrapped Up

To sum everything up, you don't have to eat or avoid any one type of food or drink to lose weight. You have to burn more calories than you consume on a consistent basis in order to lose weight. It doesn't happen overnight and changing your lifestyle to accommodate your weight loss and fitness goals can be confusing.

If you're struggling to lose weight and need help navigating the nutrition and fitness process, contact our expert at Whole Intent today for a consultation.