We've all heard them. The weight loss rumors. Who do you believe? If it's from a skinny person, it must be true, right? Wrong! Today, I'm sharing the five most popular weight loss misconceptions. Then, hopefully shedding some light on the actual facts around these fables.
"Muscle weighs more than fat / fat weighs more than muscle"
Nope, a pound is a pound regardless. Muscle just occupies less space than fat.
"You should drink your body weight in oz of water a day"
This statement from a fitness trainer went viral and quickly became adopted as the new fluid intake guideline some years ago, but the American Medical Association guidelines remain unchanged - on average, under normal daily circumstances, 8x / 8oz is still the recommendation. The AMA advises you to monitor your urine color and output and of course if there are medical factors, work with your medical team.
Will drinking more water help with weight loss? Yes. It is still important as it hydrates your muscles and aids in almost all bodily functions, curbs the appetite and keeps things moving right along digestively but if you are struggling to down 100+ oz a day because you are trying to meet the " your body weight" goal - breathe easy - it is just a fast growing trend that stuck.
"It's impossible to lose weight while........ (being in menopause... taking steroids.... being on antidepressants etc)
Does it make things harder? Yes... But not for the reasons you may think. Most medications do not affect your metabolism directly - they can however create inflammation in the body or make you hungrier. I have an entire blog post on this topic. Read it HERE.
In general, the best option for any medical issue, from diabetes to autoimmune issues to PCOS or menopausal complications is the same.
Get blood work done to look for issues with glucose, sodium, thyroid, cholesterol, vitamin deficiency - know what you're dealing with.
Incorporate cleaner eating. Eat less processed, chemically laden foods which can cause inflammation in an already stressed system.
Eat regularly. Don't skip meals if possible. This doesn't mean you have to eat a certain number of times a day but listen to your hunger signals and fuel your body appropriately. Don't let yourself get to the starving point. Keep something in the car or your bag for those times you get stuck out.
Watch your sodium, sugars and artificial sweeteners if they affect you. There is no one answer there... Not everyone reacts the same to them and needs to eliminate them...
"Eating gluten free / low carb will make you lose weight faster"
This one is a 50/50. If you are carbohydrate sensitive, have Crohns, Celiacs or a similar medical issue, have Diabetes or Insulin Resistance, then yes - changing the amount and type of carbohydrates you consume makes a difference.
More information on that here: https://www.mealenders.com/what-is-carb-sensitivity-and-how-to-manage-it
However if you are not sensitive to them and your body processes them in a normal fashion just the same as any other fuel - eliminating them will not speed up weight loss and can leave you lacking important nutrients.
"Don't eat past 6pm or else you'll gain weight"
We are not gremlins with a witching hour where all food is magically stored as fat instead of being processed normally. Night shift workers could never use this rule... Heck, a good portion of working class people can't get home, cook and eat by 6pm.
Like intermittent fasting, having a kitchen closed time helps to reduce snacking and drive by grazing which of course means less calories consumed but there is no magic time that if you stop eating after will cause you to lose weight faster.