There are so many myths around weight loss and many of these can harm your relationship with food and your healthy eating habits. Some of these can come from different diets you've tried, different people you received weight loss advice from or just from reading articles on line or having discussions with friends, family and coworkers. The reality is that majority of these myths are not innocuous - they can seriously affect your ability to trust and listen to your body, especially when it comes to eating.
Here are the top weight loss myths you need to toss. Let's get to the debunking!
Weight loss is all about willpower.
False! Too much willpower and restraint is the main reason behind over eating and rebound weight gain. Your body requires a certain amount of calories and food for fuel and nourishment. If you get overzealous with your calorie cutting then your body may retaliate with increased hunger, appetite and cravings for hyperpalatable foods like sugar, fat and salt-laden snacks.
Instead, respect that you need to sustain a consistent dietary pattern that falls within your calorie and nutrient needs. Consult with one of our RDs to determine what that range looks like.
If you’re not losing weight, it’s because you’re eating too much or exercising too little.
Sure, it could be a miscalculation in calorie consumption or expenditure, but it could also be a multitude of other factors like excessive stress, poor sleep (see link to study), certain meds, fluctuating hormones (see link to study), or stubborn genetics that’s preventing you from seeing any movement. It's not always your fault if you're not losing weight - there are many things out of our control which is why it's best to be patient and work with your body, not against it.
Your healthiest weight is the lowest you have ever weighed.
So wrong! The lowest weight you’ve ever been is not necessarily healthy or sustainable for you, especially if you’re referring to your wedding day weight (see link to study), high school graduation size, or that time you had a stomach virus for a week. Your healthiest weight is best achieve when you're focused on healthy eating and lifestyle habits.
If you’re not consistently losing weight every time you step on the scale, you hit a plateau.
No, no and NO. Successful Weight loss is rarely linear and you’re more likely to see oscillations than a straight downward trend. I don’t consider it a weight loss plateau unless it’s been a solid 3 weeks of no movement (check out our CEO's book The Core 3 Healthy Eating Plan that dives deep into how to navigate weight loss plateaus)
Weight loss will make you happier.
Sorry, but if you think achieving that goal weight will wash away all your worries or automatically make life easier, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. (See link for study) And this mindset often leads to false beliefs that trigger fears around gaining the weight back - so once you do hit your goal weight, instead of enjoying it, you’re more worried about going back to where you started.
If you’re unhappy with your body size, it’s ok to want to lose weight so you can feel more confident. However, if that weight loss goal starts to destroy your mental and physical health, that’s when we need to pump the breaks and take a step back.
For more support and help, chat with one of our experienced dietitians to come up with a plan to find your healthiest, happiest and most sustainable YOU body.