You can find a vast amount of useful hints and tips on how to lose weight and most of it is good sound advice. But in between all the good advice, you still find that the myths live on.
Some of these myths come from folklore, handed down from generation to generation, and they might even have an element of truth in them, but others are just simply not true and here are eight of those myths that are best ignored:
Weight problems are genetic: One of the popular weight loss myths is that weight problems are genetic. If your parents are overweight that does not mean that, if you are overweight too, it’s a result of the genes that you inherited. As only 25% of your body weight can be determined by your genes, that means that 75% of your weight is all down to you and how you behave. If entire families are overweight, then it’s most likely that the only inherited factor involved is the bad eating habit.
You can sweat weight off: You can’t sweat the weight off; at best, you will temporarily lose water through excessive sweating, but not fat. If you spend too long in a sauna, then you could dehydrate yourself or give yourself heatstroke, and any lost water will soon be replaced the next time you eat or drink again anyway.
You lose more weight if you exercise in the morning: It makes no difference what time in the day that you exercise, so long as you do exercise regularly. It doesn’t even have to be at the same time every day. The only probable reason for this myth existing at all is that, if you set your exercise time to be first thing in the morning, you are probably more likely to keep to that schedule.
Don’t eat after 7 pm and you will lose weight: Another one of the popular weight loss myths is that if you don’t eat after 6 or 7 pm you will lose weight. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that eating at certain times during the day will affect how much weight you lose or gain, so, if you eat your main meal at 8.30 pm every day, that’s fine. What this rule should really say is – don’t snack after your evening meal or don’t eat at least 3 hours prior to going to bed. That would make a lot more sense. Applying the ‘don’t snack rule’ means no more sitting in front of the TV every evening with a bowl of goodies on your lap
Drinking water will make you lose weight: This myth is very misleading, if not explained properly. It is assumed that a glass of water after every oversized portion of fattening food will make everything alright. Drinking water doesn’t magically flush away the fat, but it can help you to feel full and, therefore, help you not to want to eat too much.
You can’t eat fast food when you are on a diet: Not terrible advice, but not strictly true either. The problem with fast food is that you don’t really know what’s in it, so you can’t watch the calories and there is no doubt that certain types of fast food do contain a lot of unnecessary fat, sugar and salt. Having said that, most of the major fast food chains now do give information on calories and salt content, and many offer low fat, low calorie options as well. So, if, even while on a diet, once every two weeks you decide to satisfy your cravings for fast food, that’s totally fine, as long as you don’t do it every day.
So long as I eat low fat or fat free food, I will lose weight: Fat free diet will make me lose weight, this is another one of popular weight loss myths. And what about sugar and calories? Fat has the highest concentration of calories of any type of food, so reducing the fat that you eat will reduce your calorie intake, yes. But be wary though of foods that are labelled ‘low fat’ or ‘fat free’, and notice that they don’t actually say low calorie or calorie free. Manufacturers often make up for the taste that is lost, when the fat is removed, by adding more sugar and salt, so the calorie count may not be as good, as you might think. Be aware.