8 Myths About Losing Weight Debunked by Experts

Losing weight is one of the biggest topics on everyone’s mind. While some people struggle to gain weight, many more people struggle to lose. That is why there is such a market for weight loss products and weight loss advice and services. Despite the advancements in medical science, there is unfortunately a lot of misinformation out there surrounding weight loss and how to do it. Many of these myths have been repeatedly debunked by experts, but still they persist. Whether someone wants to lose weight for their health or just to look better in those jeans, weight loss is a science and not all that simple. This list exists to help you figure out the truth behind the lies about losing weight. Read on to learn about 8 myths about losing weight, debunked by experts.

8 Active Myths | Suggest a Myth
MYTH: Starving yourself will help you lose weight.

Starving yourself may help you lose a couple of pounds, but this is mostly water weight. After 24 hours of starving yourself, your body will go into survival mode. Thinking that you are experiencing a food shortage, your body will begin to consume your muscles for energy, not fat. When you do eventually eat, your body will hoard those calories, making you put on weight, even if you eat very small meals.

MYTH: Everybody with certain height and weight burn the same amount of calories.

This is very untrue. Your basal metabolic rate, or BMR, is how many calories you would burn in a die by being entirely sedentary. Some people have more muscle mass or a faster metabolism, and will burn more calories than someone with excess fat and a slow metabolism. The only way to know exactly how many calories you need in a day to survive is to get tested by a medical or fitness professional, and chances are it is higher than you think.

MYTH: Certain foods boost your metabolism.

This is entirely false. Your metabolism is a cumulative function based largely on genetics, but also on the lifestyle you've maintained for years. You cannot eat a certain food or consume a certain supplement to boost your metabolism. However, if you eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly, after a few years your metabolism might experience a small boost, but you'd likely not notice it.

MYTH: Smoking helps you lose weight.

This is a tricky one. Smoking might help you lose weight, but it isn't true weight loss. People who are addicted to cigarettes often forgo food because smoking makes them feel artificially pleasant, which can feel like a rush of oxytocin. These feel good chemicals can trick a person into thinking they are satisfied and don't need to eat. When that person is not smoking or is trying to quit smoking, they often fill the void by eating until they can smoke again.

MYTH: Weight loss will make you happier.

Unfortunately, many people feel like the pressures put upon them by society mean that they must be thin to be happy. This is untrue. Self esteem and confidence are more important than your weight, and if you can develop healthy self-concepts, you don't need to lose weight to be happy. Losing weight is a personal decision and should be made for your health or your own personal reasons. Those reasons don't have to be anybody's business but your own.

MYTH: Losing weight is all about calories in versus calories out.

This one is true...kind of. While the basic recipe for weight loss calls for a person to burn more calories than they eat in a given day or week, that isn't necessarily true for everyone. The human body is composed of many different systems, and if one system is calibrated differently or is malfunction, such as the thyroid system, it can be extremely difficult for a person to lose weight without medical intervention, even if they burn more than they eat.

MYTH: Women shouldn't eat more than 1200 calories per day.

This is very false. Women are not a homogeneous group, and as such, every woman processes food and calories differently. A sedentary woman a little over five feet tall might be able to get by on 1200 calories, but an active woman who is taller will need far more calories than that to survive without damaging her health.

MYTH: Exercise is the key to weight loss.

Scientists have recently discovered that exercise will eventually cause weight loss to plateau if you're not also implementing a  suitable dietary regimen. Athletes who work out every day, or even just very frequently, were especially susceptible to the plateau effect. This is because your body will eventually adapt to the challenges you bring to it if you do it consistently enough.