Myth vs. Fact: Do You Know the Truth About Weight Loss?

January is a time when “diet culture” is at peak visibility, as many people start the new year off with resolutions about their health or their weight. It’s sometime difficult to avoid these ads when they invade your television, your radio, and your social media feeds. But it’s important to remember that everybody is different and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to health and wellness. Health and weight are not the same thing—thin people can be unhealthy, too, but that’s not usually the message we hear in January.

“Diet culture is high drama of the highest order,” says Vergie Tovar, an author and public speaker who focuses on weight discrimination. “It takes the simplest, most obvious intuitive act of eating, and it turns it into a high-stakes thriller every day of your life.”

So how can you sort out the real health information from fad diets and overhyped weight loss programs while avoiding diet culture? There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding maintaining body weight. Here are a few examples:

Myth: Crash diets and quick weight-loss methods are effective ways to lose weight and keep it off.

Truth: Crash diets and quick weight-loss methods are often not sustainable and can be harmful to your health. Losing weight at a slow and steady rate, through a combination of healthy eating and regular exercise, is more likely to be effective in the long term.

Myth: Eating fat makes you fat.

Truth: Not all fats are created equal. Some fats, such as polyunsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats, are actually beneficial for your health and can help you maintain wellness. These fats can be found in foods such as nuts, seeds, avocados, and oily fish.

Myth: Skipping meals helps you lose weight.

Truth: Skipping meals can actually lead to weight gain, as it can cause your body to go into starvation mode and hold on to fat. Eating regular, balanced meals throughout the day can help keep your metabolism going and prevent overeating.

Myth: Carbohydrates are fattening and should be avoided

Truth: Carbohydrates are an essential macronutrient and provide energy to the body. It’s important to choose whole-grain carbohydrates, such as whole wheat bread, brown rice, and quinoa, as they are more nutrient-dense and less processed.

Myth: Losing weight is all about cutting calories.

Truth: In order to maintain your health, it is important to find a balance between calorie intake and energy expenditure. A combination of healthy eating and regular physical activity is key. Consult a healthcare professional or a dietitian if you are concerned about your health.

This article is not intended to replace the advice of your healthcare provider.

Source: IlluminAge with information from NPR.