When you talk about weight loss, your gut reaction might be to immediately think of strict diets, cutting carbs and calories, food deprivation, and hours upon hours of exercise. But those may just be weight loss myths and not what you really need in order to up your metabolic rate and lose weight.
You don’t have to learn the hard way when it comes to long-term weight loss. There’s a lot more to the equation. After all, not every workout craze or fad diet will really do the trick.
Read on to learn more about weight loss myths and why intense exercise isn’t the only door to helping you reach your weight loss goals.
Myth #1: Eating Fruit Will Help You Lose Weight
When it comes to old school philosophies regarding weight-loss programs, you may have heard that fruit will help you lose weight. It’s just not so.
Fructose is the natural sugar found in fruit. Turns out there’s good evidence that fructose is a mitochondrial toxin.1 Mitochondria are those little organelles in all of your cells that are actually engulfed bacteria that produce energy for your cells. The last thing you’d want to do to your mitochondria is to poison them with fructose.
One of the main problems here is the availability of fruit. The year-round availability of fructose is a real problem for those on a weight-loss program.
Remember, great apes only really gain weight during the fruit season.2 And humans do too. But when your fruit season lasts the whole year, that means there’s the potential for you to gain weight all year long.
365 days of endless summer means 365 days to potentially be eating fruit, slowing down your metabolism, and gaining weight. So, give fruit the boot.
Myth #2: Eating Fat Will Make You Fat
You should be eating olive oil, avocado oil, or MCT oil at every meal. No, eating fat won’t make you fat. In fact, healthy fats found in olive oil could actually support weight loss and a reduction in body fat.3
Recent reports state that fats actually do have an effect on feeling full. Moreover, the right fats can potentially help regulate your appetite through several biophysical mechanisms like the release of appetite hormones or by inhibiting gastric emptying. Also, certain kinds of fats are more satiating than others.4
Remember, low-fat foods or “healthy” foods are just the ploys of food marketers. They’re not necessarily good for you. Whole-wheat bread and low-fat milk are not the answers. Stick to lectin-free foods and make sure to get plenty of healthy fats.
Myth #3: You Will Lose Weight If You Exercise (No Matter What You Eat)
Low-fat, low-calorie eating plus exercise doesn’t always equate to long-term weight loss.5 Exercise is really only about 10% of the weight-loss equation. The truth is that if you’re stuffing your face with the wrong foods – even if they’re technically foods low in calories – exercise won’t peel your weight away or reset your metabolism.
Losing weight isn’t about cutting out carbs. Losing weight is about choosing to eat the right lectin-free foods and avoiding processed foods as much as possible. Also, think about the food your food eats. If your food is consuming a lot of sugar or lectins, guess what… You will be, too. You are what you eat. And you’re also what your food eats. So, make sure you’re on board with what your food is fed. If you must eat animal protein, make sure you’re eating –
- Wild-caught fish
- Pasture-raised chicken
- Grass-fed and grass-finished beef
Myth #4: Intense Exercise Is The Way To Reach Your Weight Loss Goals
Nope. It’s just not true. Not only does intense exercise not result in long-term weight loss, but you also do not really need exercise to lose weight to begin with. Hibernating bears prove this.
Those who usually succeed with long-term weight loss (and keeping the weight off) actually enjoy their exercise routine. If your workout is too tough or puts too much pressure on your body, you might not stick with it. Enjoying your workout isn’t just for the sustainability of a weight loss program.
Any time you’re fighting yourself or forcing yourself to do something you really don’t want to do, something happens psychologically, emotionally, and physically that might cause you to get in your way.
Instead, it’s important to enjoy what you do for physical activity because that will allow you to choose to practice again and again. And the choice has to be yours if you intend to promote self-motivation and continuous self-care.6
The right exercise program should be fun and low-intensity. That way, it will keep you going and still help reduce your cortisol levels.7
Myth #5: You Should Never Cheat On A Diet
Let’s change the word “cheat” when talking about taking a mini-break from a specific diet, like low-carb diets. The thing is, you’ve simply got to be patient. A diet can feel really tough if you think of it as one big goal you have to accomplish all at once. Instead, if you set micro-goals, then an “upset” won’t tank your efforts.
Cheating implies some sort of a psychological stop point – like if you get to your big goal, you’ll think you’re done achieving and likely snap right back to your old habits.
However, if you can train your brain to release a certain large goal, you can take a tiny break when you reach your mini-goal. Pausing and regrouping can actually be beneficial.
If you reach your mini-goal, give yourself a little break to celebrate. Changing it up for a few days can even jumpstart your cycle.
Slow And Steady Wins The Weight Loss Race
In the end, take things one day at a time. Give no credence to the above weight loss myths. You’ll find your own groove. Focus on mini-goals if you’re trying to increase your muscle mass or lose weight. And allow yourself short breaks in your dieting regimen. And remember:
Weight off fast will never last. Weight off slow, you’re good to go. In the end, obesity can increase the risk of metabolism-based health issues.8 Don’t fall for fast fads. If you don’t want to cut out all carbs, don’t cut out all carbs. You can enjoy eating the right carbs instead.
So, take it slow. Losing weight isn’t easy, but be smart about your food choices. It’s not all about calories. And don’t deprive yourself of whole foods you love if they’re on the lectin-friendly list. Hang in there and celebrate the little victories.