When you feel uncomfortable about your weight, you might go through the whole spectrum of emotions. One day you feel super motivated and exercise your heart out. You try every fad diet the Internet suggests to you, and you have high hopes for the future.
But when you don’t see the results you want from your supposed weight loss program, you might feel discouraged. You lose the motivation to get off the couch and get trapped in a vicious cycle of eating and lounging that only leads to more discomfort, pain, and health problems.
Thanks to today’s medical technologies and advances in nutrition studies, you have more options than ever to help you lose weight and break out of the cycle. But to get started on the right path, you’ll have to learn to distinguish the myths from the facts.
Check out these seven myths and facts about all aspects of weight loss.
Myth: Carbs Are Always Bad
Some dieters claim that the secret to dramatic weight loss is to cut out every tiny crumb of carbohydrates. However, researchers have proven that the type of carbs you consume has more influence on overall body weight than whether or not you eat carbs at all.
When you want to lose weight, remember to reduce your consumption of white flour and sugary carbs. Wheat and other whole grains provide important fiber, and cause less damage to your body. The carbs found in fruits and vegetables are also an important part of your diet, since your body uses these carbs for energy when you exercise.
Myth: Magic Foods Can Help You Burn Calories.
You’ve probably heard that celery or certain brands of chewing gum have negative calories, since it takes more energy to chew and digest them than the calories each item contains. You may conclude that consuming these products in large amounts can help you lose weight.
In reality, the caloric content in any one food is too miniscule to make a real difference. The important thing is to replace high-calorie foods with low-calorie foods, not to snack on celery after you’ve eaten three full meals of burgers and fries.
Fact: Genes Influence Obesity
Researchers have found certain genes that influence hunger, hormones, and fat storage in the body. FTO, nicknamed the obesity gene, is among these genes. This gene influences your ability to gain or lose weight regardless of your lifestyle.
Still, your diet and exercise can help mitigate the influence of your genes, even if obesity and heart disease run in your family. Plenty of individuals have succeeded in breaking unhealthy family traditions with the help of medical treatment.
Myth: Weight Loss Surgery Is a Quick Fix to Weight Loss
Surgery to reduce weight is usually a last resort for many people who have tried unsuccessfully to lose weight for many years. However, weight loss surgery is not a magic wand that keeps a person in perfect shape forever. Rather, weight loss surgery is the first step toward a healthier lifestyle. The patient needs to follow up the procedure with diet and exercise to keep the weight off.
Myth: It Takes 3,500 Calories Burned to Lose one Pound
You may have heard this statistic from your trainer at the gym or even a favorite diet book. But the source behind this myth is a 1950s study with a sample size too small to draw any definitive conclusions. Scientists have since contradicted this number as the goal for weight loss enthusiasts.
Every individual body is different, and no exact science can predict precisely how your body reacts to diet and exercise. So don’t be disappointed if you burn 3,500 calories but don’t see the difference when you stand on the scale.
Fact: Weight Loss Surgery Makes You More Sensitive to Alcohol
After surgery, patients feel the effects alcohol in smaller doses than before. Alcohol also increases blood alcohol levels at a higher rate than it does for people who haven’t had surgery.
Inform yourself of these issues before your surgery, especially if you’ve had a drinking problem in the past. You may have to change your lifestyle when you prepare for and eventually recover from weight loss surgery.
Myth: You’ll Be Scarred for Life if You Get Weight Loss Surgery
In the past, weight loss surgery involved a lengthy hospital stay, out-of-pocket expenses, and a scar on your torso that you’d be forced to wear for the rest of your life. Today’s doctors often offer less invasive procedures with a few smaller incisions.
Doctors have developed several kinds of weight loss surgeries to target different medical problems. The kind of surgery you receive depends on your diet, genetics, and everyday habits.
Before you start any fad diet or exercise regimen, make sure you get all the information. When you avoid these myths and stick to the facts, you’ll have confidence in your choices. You’ll also feel hopeful about the possibilities of a healthier you in the future.
Ask your doctor for additional information about weight loss and surgical procedures.