We’ve all heard them, and probably have a few that we truly believe. In the age of the internet, it’s nearly impossible to go a day without hearing about the latest fitness fad, or weight loss supplement that will “guarantee” success. There are even a few ideas that have been floating around for years that just seem to stick, even though these have been debunked by so many.
That’s right, I’m talking about the myths, the rumours, the folklore that surrounds weight loss. It can be hard to decipher what is true and what isn’t. But I wanted to get to the bottom of these myths that I hear so often, especially working with so many clients on their weight loss journey.
Here are the top 3 myths you never knew about weight loss:
Weight loss myth #1: It’s just about calories in vs. calories out.
Weight loss is far more than the number of calories you consume and expend each day: it has to do with your biology, your stress, your eating patterns, your stage of life, your socio-economic status, your natural metabolism, your nutrient intake, your food allergies and intolerances… need I go on?
Unfortunately for many of us, weight gain or loss is in our genes. As with other numerous diseases, we may be genetically predisposed to weight gain, however our lifestyles can usually predict whether we will turn the switch to weight gain on or off. Things like our daily eating habits and our general stress levels can cause us to hold on to weight and reduce the success of a weight loss plan.
Food sensitivities are another piece of the weight loss puzzle you may have not explored. If you feel like you have “plateaued”, a food sensitivity causing general inflammation may be impairing your weight loss.
Weight loss myth #2: Sleep doesn’t make a difference.
You know the drill. Get home late from work and sit on the couch watching Netflix or mindlessly scrolling through Instagram. Stay up too late, just to get up early and hit the gym, even when you would desperately rather get some extra shut eye.
While you may be thinking you’re doing good for your body by skipping the extra hour of sleep, you may actually be doing more harm to your weight loss journey. This is especially important during times of stress, minor or major illness or those nights when you just couldn’t fall asleep.
This is because our bodies rely on sleep to rest, repair, and manage our immune systems. When we don’t prioritize our sleep, we are left fatigued, and our body starts to send stress signals which can cause inflammation and weight gain.
Weight loss myth #3: [insert diet] is guaranteed to help me lose weight.
Let me say this one time only: every single body is different. The diet that has helped your friend shed 20 lbs in one month likely won’t do the same for you. Just as it’s not as simple as calories in vs. calories out, it’s not as simple as a “one diet fixes all” solution.
For example, a male might quickly thrive on a ketogenic diet, while a female will need to make some adjustments to make it more sustainable in the long-term and see similar weight loss success. For some, a vegan diet can help to quickly shed pounds, but another may have severe bloating due to a sensitivity to some of the major food groups needed to thrive.