The weight loss industry was worth $68.2 billion in 2017. And that number keeps climbing.
But a lot of the weight loss products, supplements and diets aren't going to help you lose weight. Learn the truth about weight loss by reading these 11 weight loss myths.
1. A Calorie is a Calorie
A calorie is a measure of energy. But that doesn't mean that all calorie sources have the same effect on your waistline.
Eating whatever you want as long as it's under your caloric maximum is one of those dangerous weight loss myths.
All foods have a different effect on your hunger levels and on the hormones in your body that control your weight. A protein calorie is completely different than a cupcake calorie.
Calories from whole foods are much more filling than "empty" calories from junk food full of refined sugar. 100 calories of nuts or fruit will fuel your body a lot more than 100 calories of chips.
This means that staying under x amount of calories a day is not enough.
You must make sure that the calories you eat provide your body with the right nutrition to boost your metabolism and reduce your appetite.
2. You Must Avoid Carbs to Lose Weight
They always get such a bad rep with all the diet crazes that are out there. From low-carb to Paleo, everyone it seems shudders at the thought of a dinner roll.
The truth is you don't have to (and shouldn't) remove carbohydrates from your diet to lose weight.
In fact, it's impossible to remove carbs from your diet because carbs are in fruits and veggies, nuts, seeds, legumes as well as grains.
Healthy sources of carbs are crucial for your body. Sure, we can all agree that you should cut down on refined carbs like white pasta and processed snacks.
But a moderate amount of whole-grain carbs every day will help you stay full, and feel satisfied. So long as you are keeping the carb intake low and the protein high, you will lose weight.
3. Avoid Fats Like the Plaque
Here is another one of those weight loss questions that no one can seem to agree on. Some diets are high-fat and others say you have to cut out anything that is high in fat.
The truth about weight loss is that you shouldn't cut out any food category completely. In fact, fat provides your body and brain with essential nutrients you need.
Fats do have more calories per gram than other foods such as proteins. That just means that the serving sizes for fats are a lot smaller than a serving of steak.
Avocado, nuts, peanut butter and olives are excellent sources of healthy fats. Just be sure to be accurately measuring a serving of fats.
Otherwise, you could be overeating and will have trouble losing weight.
4. You Can Lose Weight By Detoxing
The truth about weight loss is that there is no quick fix. The various detox methods out there are more like crash diets.
Basically, with detoxes, you deprive your body of the nutrition that it needs for a limited time. Yes, you might drop a couple of pounds when all you are eating is veggie juices.
But, detox diets commonly lead to weight gain, not loss!
When your body feels deprived and starved of food, it will hoard the food it eventually gets in an effort to protect itself against another period of starvation.
Do yourself a favor, skip the detox and just make clean eating a regular part of your lifestyle. Then you will see the scale go down for good.
5. The Scale Will Always Go Down
Losing weight isn't a one-way street. There are bound to be ups and downs. It is normal for your body weight to fluctuate by several pounds each week.
You might be holding excess water one day or carrying extra food in your digestive tract.
For women, their menstrual cycle can cause weight to fluctuate. There's no need to give in to despair if the scale is up a pound or two from the last time you weighed yourself.
So long as you are losing weight over the course of the months, you're moving in the right direction. If you aren't losing weight, it's time to dig deeper.
A hormone imbalance could cause you to gain weight.
6. Weight Loss Diets Really Work
This is one of the most prevalent weight loss myths out there. And that's because the weight loss industry is a billion dollar industry that needs consumers to keep spending money.
Studies consistently show that dieting rarely works in the long-term. 95% of people can't keep the weight off for five years. Many of them actually gain it back within the first 12 months.
And people who diet are more likely to gain more weight in the future. So what does dieting actually do? It makes people gain weight.
Throw out your dieting mindset. Replace it with a goal to live a healthier lifestyle. You'll be much happier during the journey. And you're much more likely to keep the weight off.
7. You Can Work Off a Bad Diet
You fall in love with step classes or going for a 10KM run every day. Fantastic.
But that doesn't mean that you can stop caring about what you put into your body. A lot of exercise won't help you lose weight unless you are following a healthy, balanced diet.
Besides, even when you are sweating buckets, the number of calories you burn is modest compared to the number of calories you eat.
An hour of running burns off around 640 calories. That's barely one meal you've worked off.
If you're rewarding yourself for your diligence at the gym with junk food, you won't lose stubborn fat deposits on your body or see the slim, toned muscles you're hoping for.
For the biggest weight loss results, you need to combine good nutrition with exercise. One just isn't enough.
8. Say Goodbye to Chocolate Forever
No. You don't have to banish your favorite snacks for life in order to lose weight. You are likely going to cave and then go on a junk food binge when you can't take it anymore.
It's more effective to be mindful about the snacks you do eat than it is to banish rule them out completely.
Savor a small portion of chocolate. Be mindful as you enjoy it. Do that instead of mindlessly stuffing your face with a whole box of chocolate almonds as you watch TV.
By letting yourself enjoy the things you love, you'll take out the cravings that can derail your fitness plans. And you'll learn self-control without having to deny yourself what you love.
9. Get Used to Being Hungry
We'll say it again: weight loss is not about deprivation. If your stomach is grumbling all the time, you're probably not eating well-balanced meals.
It's important to keep your blood-sugar levels stable throughout the day. Otherwise, you'll have blood sugar spikes and crashes. That'll leave you sleepy at first and ravenous.
Each meal and snack should have a good balance of protein, carbs and fruits and veggies to keep you full until your next meal. If you aren't sure how to put balanced meals together, consider a meal delivery service to help you shed pounds.
Losing weight isn't self-punishment. It's about caring enough about yourself to do what's best for your body and mind.
So if you're hungry, eat. Regardless of what time of day it is. Just make good selections and you'll still lose weight.
10. You Can't Eat After 7 pm and Lose Weight
There is so much noise out there about what time of day you can and can't eat to lose weight.
It's true that some studies have shown that taking in calories at night relates to a higher BMI. But the debate doesn't end there.
If you tend to get up late in the morning, not eating after 7 pm may not work for you.
A better rule to follow is to stop eating two hours before hopping in bed. This way your body can get ready for sleep.
And remember, what you eat always trumps when you eat it. A brownie at 5 pm isn't as good for you as a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts at 8 pm.
11. Nothing Can Help If You've Got Fat Genes
Let's not be so defeatist. Sure, genes and obesity are linked.
But the reason you see whole families that are overweight has a lot more to do with their lifestyle than their DNA.
Although you can't control the genes you inherited, you can make good choices at the grocery store and in your kitchen.
The Truth About Weight Loss
The truth about weight loss is that there's a lot of weight loss myths out there. And many weight loss "facts" aren't always the best advice to follow.
The best thing you can do is to establish sustainable, simple habits that help you get enough exercise and fuel your body.
If you're ready to get started on a weight loss journey, get a blood test first.
Check out this blog post to learn how a blood test can help you reach your weight loss goals.