WEIGHT loss tips are a dime a dozen, with many being unproven or doomed to fail. And they would have cropped up in their numbers at the start of the new year, when many people would be pledging to get fit for 2018.
Below, obesity surgeon Dr Alfred Dawes debunks six common weight loss myths that you may have been tricked into believing.
Myth 1: Weight gain or loss equals excess calorie intake or deficit in calories.
Fact: Weight gain does occur when you consume more calories than you burn, and weight loss occurs when you eat fewer calories than you burn. But it is not as simple as that. Dr Dawes said that as we lose weight our metabolism decreases and causes us to burn fewer calories than we did at our heavier weight. “Your slower metabolism will slow or stop your weight loss, even if you eat the same number of calories that helped you lose the initial weight. When the calories you burn equal the calories you eat, you reach a plateau. To overcome this you have to eat less and less or burn more calories to order to compensate for the metabolic adaptation,” he said.
Myth 2: Fats are bad for you
Fact: We have been cultured to look at everything low-fat or low-cholesterol as healthier food options. In doing so we increase our intake of carbohydrates. In fact, many of these products make up for the lack in taste by adding sugar. So-called “healthy” low-fat foods cause weight gain as carbohydrates are a bigger danger to health than many fats.
Myth 3: Detoxing makes you lose weight fast
Fact: Detoxing teas and drinks flush water from your body so you lose water weight, but this is readily regained once the flush has ended. You may also lose muscle mass, but once you stop you regain the weight lost and then some.
Myth 4: Reducing scale numbers mean success
Fact: A lot of the fad diets cause you to lose a significant amount of lean muscle, not body fat. This is terrible for long-term weight loss goals, as muscle burns fat at rest. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism. Muscle is denser than fat, so the more muscle you build the more your weight will go up, while your body fat percentage falls. Instead of watching weight, watch inches.
Myth 5: All salads are healthy
Fact: In general, salads are healthy, but those packed with salad dressing, cheese and croutons are full of calories and possibly have more calories than a cheeseburger. Consuming these will certainly sabotage weight loss efforts.
Myth 6: Diet and exercise always work
Fact: Dieting and exercise will cause weight loss, but for some people these results don't last long. Fact is, if you get to a BMI of 40, surgery is your best option, as your success rate at that point with diet and exercise is only five to 10 per cent.