Weight Loss Myths

When it comes to losing weight, people tend to believe almost anything. Since being over-weight affects the way someone feels about themselves, it is easy to be lured in by fad diets. People spend hundreds of thousands of dollars every year on weight-loss prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs and diet books. Many of these items are complete scams and the ones that do work can cause lasting damage to the body.

Myth #1 Herbal or natural weight loss pills are effective and safe.
There is no way to understand the long-term effects of most of these herbal weight-loss medications. Since the Food and Drug Administration does not oversee the production or testing of these drugs, it is up to the manufacturer to disclose any dangers associated with taking them. When a user has ill effects from one of these medications, there is remarkably little recourse available. Many of these herbal medications can cause drug interactions, heart palpitations or kidney and liver problems.

Myth #2 Eating a specific food can cause you to burn fat.
There is no food that can be eaten which causes the body to burn fat for energy. All foods provide the body with calories, which are then converted to energy. The only way that the body will burn fat is by utilizing more calories than are consumed. There isn’t any food available that offers the body negative calories. Certain food additives are thought to increase metabolism, but real fat loss comes only with diet and exercise.

Myth #3 Low carbohydrate and high protein diets are a healthy weight-loss solution.
Restricting the intake of carbohydrates does encourage the body to consume fat. Unfortunately, the combination of restricted carbohydrates and high protein can also cause the body to consume muscle. This can result in a state of ketosis, or starvation, where the body is tricked into consuming itself. In the long-term, this type of diet can damage the kidneys and liver. In general, it is never healthy to choose a diet which greatly restricts the variety of food available.

Myth #4 Skipping meals or fasting is a good way to lose weight.
Both skipping meals and fasting can be beneficial occasionally. Regularly skipping meals or fasting for extended periods of time can result in a state of ketosis. Again, this is a starvation mode for the body and can damage the kidneys and liver. Eating several small meals each day is a much better way to lose weight than skipping meals.

Myth #5 Resistance training makes you gain weight.
This myth can be both true and false. Resistance training does cause the body to gain muscle. Muscle tends to weigh a bit more than fat weighs, but muscle also burns more calories than fat. Even at rest, a muscular body has a faster metabolism than a body without muscle.

With so many diet myths circulating these days, it is difficult to choose a diet and exercise program that is safe. A combination of a healthy diet and plenty of exercise is the best way to lose weight.