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In September, I posted about 5 Nutrition Myths and it was so much fun to write that I thought I’d continue. Here are 5 more weight loss myths.

Myth 6: I need to go on a diet to lose weight.

You do not need to go on a diet to lose weight. In fact, almost every person that goes on a diet will regain their lost weight within 5 years. Obesity and overweight are chronic diseases that require life long lifestyle changes to be resolved. There is no silver bullet no matter what books, diets, or supplements may tell you. Rapid or immediate weight loss may occur with some diets because they are extremely restrictive or demanding but that weight won’t stay off. These sorts of diets often times cut out entire food groups, lack variety, or put you on an obscure diet plan (such as liquids only). All of which are very difficult to maintain long term…

scale photo

which is precisely why you see the yo-yo effect with weight loss and weight gain. Not only that, they will leave you unsatisfied and deficient in many nutrients leaving you at high risk of binging and having your immune system compromised, your metabolism slowed, and your body in poor health. So if you really want to achieve long term weight loss, evaluate your diet. Cut out extra calories from sugars and fats, select nutrient dense options such as fresh fruits and veggies, lean protein, and low fat dairy to achieve a calorie controlled well rounded diet from all food groups. 

Myth 7: Skipping breakfast will cut calories out of my diet and jumpstart weight loss.

Eating a healthy breakfast does a lot for you. It stabilizes your blood sugar at a normal range which gives your body a feeling of satiety and keeps the hormones that cause that feeling of whole grain cereal photodesperate hunger at bay, helping you avoid overeating later in the day. It energizes you so you can focus and also makes you more likely to be physically active during the day. It also can pave the way for making healthy food choices throughout the day and increase the nutrient value of your diet. In fact, a study from 1999-2006 evaluating breakfast patterns of children and adolescents found that those who skipped breakfast had the greatest intake of added sugars, greatest percentage of calories from discretionary sources (high calorie items of low nutritional quality), larger portion sizes at meals, greater intake of fast food, a greater weight to height ratio, and the highest prevalence of obesity.  A healthy breakfast is often related to increased calcium intake too (yogurt, milk in coffee or cereal) which has been correlated with a reduction in body fat. So eat up and fuel your body for the day!

 

Myth 8: Keeping your calorie levels really low will make you lose weight faster.

Your body is smarter than you think! If you cut your calories down too low your body will recognize it is being starved and will become highly efficient as a means of proactively trying to survive long term starvation.  What does that mean? Systems will adjust to operate your body with fewer calories or, in other words, lower your metabolism. Not to mention, any rapid weight loss is most likely muscle (further dropping your metabolism!) and water weight. If you’re trying to lose weight but don’t want your metabolism squashed, don’t let calories drop below 1400/day for women and 1700/day for men. Instead, remember that 3,500 calories equals one pound. So if you can create a 500 calorie deficit every day you will lose a pound every week. Do this by working out to burn an extra 250 calories and get rid of the other 250 calories through readjusting your diet as a healthy way to lose weight. The working out will also increase lean body mass and boost your metabolism!

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Myth 9: Spending time in a sauna will help me lose weight by sweating the fat out.

Wearing sweat body wraps or excessively spending time in a sauna may cut pounds, but only because you’re becoming dehydrated and losing water weight. If you really want to lose weight and sculpt your body, work up a sweat by working out and eating right!  Staying hydrated is also a huge part of controlling hunger and keeping at a healthy body weight. If you feel hunger coming on, first try slowly drinking some water. You may find out you just needed some hydration!

Myth 10: Fasting will cleanse my body of toxins.

Fasting will actually do the exact opposite of this! Fasting or going on highly restrictive or carbohydrate restrictive diets will put your body into what is called a ‘ketogenic state’. This means your body is running off of fat instead of carbohydrate to get the energy it needs. Fat is metabolized in a different way than carbohydrate and creates a byproduct called a ‘ketone’. These are actually toxic and can harm your kidneys. So, all in all, excessive fasting actually creates toxins rather than ridding them from your system.

What other nutrition topics are you wondering about -- facts or myths? Let me know in the comment section below.

Want to read more helpful tips from Melissa?

 

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Scale photo credit: o5com via photopin cc

Runner photo credit: Ed Yourdon via photopin cc

 

 

 

Hi, I am Melissa! I’m a Registered, Licensed Dietitian and I have been the Nutrition Specialist for Great Harvest since December of 2010. I got my start in nutrition at Colorado State University where I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Food Science with a focus in Dietetics. I went on to graduate from the Dietetic Internship Program at the Baptist Health System in San Antonio and then work as a Medical Nutrition Specialist in Houston. My love of the outdoors and the opportunity to work at one of Outside Magazine’s Top 100 Best Places to Work brought me to Montana and Great Harvest. My favorite part of my job is being able to work with an amazing group of fun and intellectual individuals who are passionate about making healthy eating a delicious experience while giving back to communities across the country.