10 weight loss myths

Published by Health Professional

on Sunday, March 26th 2023


  • Diet and Eating Healthy
  • Weight Control
  • So much is said about losing weight that it can be hard to sort fact from fiction. Here’s the truth about 10 common weight loss myths.

    A radical exercise regime is the only way to lose weight

    Not true. Successful weight loss involves making small changes you can stick to for a long time.

    That means being more physically active in your daily routine. Adults should get at least 150 minutes of physical activity – such as fast walking or cycling – every week, and those who are overweight are likely to need more than this to lose weight.

    To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. This can be achieved by eating less, moving more, or, best of all, combining both.

    Healthier foods are more expensive

    It may seem that healthier foods are more expensive than their unhealthier alternatives. However, if you try replacing ingredients with healthier alternatives, you’ll probably find your meals cost less.

    For example, choosing cheaper cuts of meat and mixing it with cheaper alternatives such as beans, pulses, and frozen veg will make it go further in casseroles or stir-fries.

    Carbs make you put on weight

    Eaten in the right quantities and as part of a balanced diet, carbohydrates will not, on their own (that is, without butter, creamy sauces, and so on added), lead to weight gain.

    Eat whole grain and wholemeal carbohydrates such as brown rice and wholemeal bread and potatoes with the skins on to increase your fiber intake, and don’t fry starchy foods when trying to lose weight.

    Starving myself is the best way to lose weight

    Crash diets are unlikely to result in long-term weight loss. In fact, they can sometimes lead to longer-term weight gain.

    The main problem is that this diet is too hard to maintain. You may also miss out on essential nutrients as crash diets can be limited in the variety of food consumed. Your body will be low on energy which may cause you to crave high-fat and high-sugar foods. This can lead to eating those foods and more calories than you need, causing weight gain.

    Some foods speed up your metabolism

    Metabolism describes all the chemical processes continuously inside the body to keep you alive and your organs functioning normally, such as breathing, repairing cells, and digesting food. 

    These processes need energy, and the amount of energy required varies between individuals depending on factors such as body size, age, gender, and genes.

    It is claimed that certain foods and drinks can increase your metabolism by helping the body to burn more calories and aid weight loss. 

    There is little scientific evidence for this. Beware that some of these products may contain high levels of caffeine and sugar.

    All slimming pills are safe to use for weight loss

    Not all slimming tablets are effective or safe to use to lose weight. Several prescribed medicines are available from your GP for weight loss. 

    There are also other un-prescribed, unlicensed weight loss products available on the market which may contain ingredients that are harmful to health.

    If you are concerned about your weight, consult your doctor or another healthcare professional.

    Foods labeled ‘low fat’ or ‘reduced fat’ are always a healthy choice

    Be cautious. Foods labeled “low fat” must contain no more than a specific amount of fat to use that label legally. If a food is labeled as “low-fat” or “reduced fat,” it should contain less fat than the full-fat version, but that doesn’t automatically make it a healthy choice: 

    Check the label to see how much fat it contains. Some low-fat foods may also contain high levels of sugar.

    Cutting out all snacks can help you lose weight

    Snacking isn’t the problem when trying to lose weight: it’s the type of snack.

    Many people need a snack in-between meals to maintain energy levels, especially if they have an active lifestyle. Choose fruit or vegetables instead of crisps, chocolate, and other snacks high in sugar, salt, and fat. 

    Drinking water helps you lose weight

    Water does not cause you to lose weight but keeps you hydrated and might help you snack less. Water is essential for good health and well-being. Sometimes thirst can be mistaken for hunger – if you’re thirsty, you may snack more.

    Skipping meals is a good way to lose weight

    Skipping meals is not a good idea. To lose weight and keep it off, you have to reduce the number of calories you consume and increase the calories you burn through exercise. 

    But skipping meals can result in tiredness and may mean you miss essential nutrients. You will also be more likely to snack on high-fat and high-sugar foods, which could result in weight gain.