10 weight myths bustedPosted: April 30, 2010 in Obesity Medicine by Craig Primack MD FACP
Myth: It’s just calories in and calories out.
Fact: Weight loss requires getting complete nutrition with fewer calories than those you burn. However, sleeping at least 7 hours daily is just as important as getting the right amount of calories. Insufficient sleep leads to elevated levels of stress hormones, causing central obesity (fat around the middle where it is most dangerous to health), as well as increased hunger.
Myth: I can lose weight by going to the gym.
Fact: To lose weight, you must control your intake of calories. If you want to lose weight through exercise, it’s an uphill battle. If plan to walk or run, you would have to travel 70 miles to burn 2 pounds of fat. Exercise is the most important component of maintaining weight loss, however.
Myth: If I lose weight, I’ll know how to keep it off.
Fact: Maintaining weight loss requires a plan that is just as mindful as the one you used to lose weight. Keeping the weight off will be much easier if you are physically active, usually walking at least 12 miles weekly or moderate activity of 4 hours per week.
Myth: It doesn’t matter what I eat, as long as the calories are low enough.
Fact: The composition of the foods you eat is just as important as the calories. Diets high in carbs and fat will lead to weight gain, and diets high in fiber and protein lead to weight loss. Sticking to lean proteins (such as chicken, lean meats, fish and fat free cheese) and lots of veggies will result in weight loss.
Myth: Chocolate is good for you.
Fact: Eating a square of chocolate has antioxidant benefits. Unfortunately, we tend to overeat chocolate. Chocolate is high in fat and sugar. This combination is the perfect storm for weight gain.
Myth: I am diabetic, which is why I can’t lose weight.
Fact: In some respects, diabetics have less weight gain. Diabetes leads to loss of sugar from the urine, which is less that the fat cells will absorb. Diabetic medications do lead to weight gain in many cases, and losing weight reduces the need for these medications. Our experience has shown that diabetics lose just as much weight as non-diabetics.
Myth: I am destined to be fat.
Fact: While genetic factors play a role in development of obesity, they do not prevent weight loss. The right diet and exercise will lead to weight loss, even in individuals with a family history of obesity.
Myth: HCG causes weight loss.
Fact: “HCG diets” are usually a combination of HCG injections and a 500 calorie diet. It is the diet that leads to weight loss. There is no evidence that HCG adds anything to the weight loss, or reduces appetite.
Myth: Juice is good for you.
Fact: Whole fruit and vegetables are beneficial for many reasons. The fiber is filling, and slows the absorption of sugar. Fruit juice is lacking in fiber, and results in a rapid rise in insulin. The result is that sugar is pumped into fat cells and converted to fat. The ingestion of juice increases food intake. Water, on the other hand reduces food intake. As a result, stick with calorie free drinks such as water, black tea or coffee, diet soda, or Propel.
Myth: If I skip breakfast, I’ll have more calories to eat later in the day.
Fact: Eating a sensible breakfast is correlated with weight loss. Eating some protein in the morning increases metabolism and results in burning of fat. Skipping breakfast results in a slow metabolism and burning of precious muscle for repair and body function. A great way to start the day is with egg substitute, low carb low fat yogurt, lean ham steak, or fat free cheese.