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10 Biggest Weight Loss Myths

Dec 27, 2007
The 10 Biggest Weight Loss Myths

The reason many people have so much trouble losing weight is because they have misinformation about what it takes to lose weight. Simply put, if you've failed to lose weight and keep it off to this point it might be because you've been misled or have been ill-informed. What follows are the 10 biggest myths that I've discovered when it comes to losing weight.

Myth #1: All Calories Are Created Equal

This is simply not true when it comes to losing weight. What's equally important to the caloric intake is the effect that the food has on your metabolism, and more specifically, your blood sugar level. Your grandmother was right when she told you not to eat sweets. Sugars cause your blood sugar level to go up, which in turn causes you to store fat. What you need to look at along with your caloric intake is the glycemic index of the food you're eating.

Myth #2: Eating Puffed Rice Cakes Is Good For Your Diet

This is closely tied to Myth #1. I had a friend who ate puffed rice cakes for lunch when she was on a diet. The problem is that these things that look like hamburgers but are made basically from Rice Crispies cause your blood sugar to go up faster than eating pure sugar. This causes your body to release insulin to lower your blood sugar, and triggers your body into far storage mode instead of fat burning mode.

Myth #3: No Pain, No Gain

This myth involves people's workout habits. The old axiom is "No Pain, No Gain." While this might be true for professional body builders looking to bulk up, it doesn't apply to you if you're trying to burn calories on a treadmill or elliptical machine. What happens when you over-exert yourself is you begin to go into anaerobic, sugar-burning metabolism. This isn't helping. This is lowering your blood-sugar level, causing you to crave carbohydrates. It's also not helping to burn fat. Your goal with aerobic exercise is to trigger your body into fat burning mode.

Myth #4: Losing Weight Is Difficult

This might be the biggest myth of all! Losing weight is very easy -but only after you change your mindset. Losing 70 pounds was the easiest thing I've ever done. The hard part was eating like a pig for years until I was 70 pounds overweight. If you're overweight it's only because you've conditioned yourself to repeat unhealthy habits. Breaking these habits is easy -once you know how.

Myth #5: There Are Secret Fad Diets That You Need to Lose Weight

While it's true that certain fad diets can help you lose weight temporarily, they will rarely, if ever help you stay physically healthy and fit in the long term. Of course if all you ever want to eat is cabbage soup maybe fad diets are right for you! Seriously, fad diets appeal to people wanting a quick and easy fix. It would be great if there were a quick and easy fix. In fact, there IS a quick and easy fix, but sorry to say it's not a fad diet.

Myth #6: Certain Foods Like Celery or Cabbage Can Actually Burn Fat and Cause You To Lose Weight

Wrong. No foods can burn more calories than they contain. Some foods might help increase your metabolism, but the effect is very minor. I've never met anybody who is physically fit and healthy and who claims it's because they eat foods that cause them to lose weight. Sorry, this isn't the answer.

Myth #7: You Can Eat Whatever You Want and Still Lose Weight

Um.... sorry. This is wishful thinking. If you eat like a pig you're not going to lose weight no matter how much you exercise (unless maybe you're an 18-year old marathon runner). You will only lose weight if your caloric intake is less than the amount of calories you burn off. Plus, you still need to make sure that you're not pumping yourself up on sugars and carbs that cause you to store fat.

Myth #8: Being a Vegetarian Will Help You Lose Weight

I hate to burst so many bubbles, but this isn't necessarily true. It all depends on what foods a vegetarian eats. Somebody who loads up on pizza and spaghetti dinners everyday ain't gonna be losing much weight. Whether you are a vegetarian or not, you still need to have a balanced and reasonable diet, or else you're going to look like that Stay Puft Marshmallow man from Ghostbusters.

Myth #9: Counting Calories Is Important

Think about it. The next time you see somebody that looks like you want to look, ask them if they keep track of how many calories they eat everyday. I would bet good money that they never count calories. Why? Because people that are physically fit start by leading a healthy lifestyle. Being healthy is part of their identity. Being healthy is who they are. If you need to ask yourself if a cheeseburger from Wendy's is going to put you over your daily calorie limit, there is a good chance that you are probably not on the right track.

Myth #10: Exercise and a Healthy Diet Will Cause You To Lose Weight

Ok, this isn't a complete myth. But it is only a partial truth. Of course exercise and eating healthy will cause you to lose weight. But that's like saying that memorizing the dictionary will make you a good speller, or hitting the lottery will make you a millionaire.

The challenge isn't knowing whether to exercise or eat healthy, it's having the focus and right mental state to make you do what you need to do automatically, without thinking, without effort, and without feeling like you are sacrificing. Unless you transform your beliefs and conditioning, you will only see temporary, short-term results. This is why people do what is called "yo-yo" dieting (and no, this isn't something from a rap song). This is when you get stuck going back and forth between short-term fixes and self-indulgence. No, in order to get healthy and stay healthy, the secret comes from changing your head first. Then your body will automatically change.

About the Author
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