You’ve decided you want to start making healthier decisions – and that includes losing weight. You’re always at the gym, carefully monitoring your calorie intake and incorporating healthy snacks into your diet – but the scale hasn’t budged.
If this sounds familiar, your scale isn’t at fault – it’s the commonly believed health myths that are to blame. The good news? With the right information, it’s possible to get back on track, lose weight and start feeling healthier and more productive in no time. Here are a few common myths that might be sabotaging your weight loss goals and how to course-correct.
Myth #1: The more you exercise, the more lenient you can be with your diet
When it’s done in tandem with a healthy diet, exercise can help with weight loss. But if you’re continually justifying having a calorie-dense treat after your workout as having “earned it,” you may want to revisit the number of calories you’re burning versus the amount you’re taking back in. For example, running a mile burns around 100 calories. If you decide to treat yourself to a caramel latte after your run, which clocks in at about 240 calories, you’ve drunk back your calories and more. If you’re going to incorporate exercise into your weight loss plan, make sure it’s not at the expense of diet.
Myth #2: Sugar-free foods are healthy
While it’s true that sugar is a significant contributor to weight gain, opting for sugar-free versions of your favorite foods isn’t doing your waistline any favors. Research published by the Canadian Association Medical Journal found that not only do artificial sweeteners like aspartame, stevioside and sucralose can impact weight gain. Kicking your sweet tooth can be challenging, but it’s better to quit altogether than opt for substitutions.
Myth #3: Healthy snacks help with weight loss
Swapping out your bag of Cheetos or potato chips for a healthier option like almonds or trail mix can benefit your health overall – but if you’re overindulging on these calorie-dense “healthy” snacks, it’s going to impact the amount of weight you lose. Be sure to be mindful of the recommended serving size and calorie count of the snacks you reach for.
Myth #4: All “fats” should be avoided
Seeing a grocery item advertised as low or no-fat might make you gravitate toward it – after all, fat is what you’re trying to lose, right? But opting to go completely no fat can end up backfiring on your weight loss plan. Trans fats should be avoided – these artificial fats are used as a preservative, but can negatively impact your cholesterol levels as well as your heart health. But don’t let the healthy fats found in foods like avocados, salmon or nuts scare you off. These fats help our bodies absorb vitamins and feel fuller for longer – an added benefit to your weight loss plan!
Myth #5: The more protein, the better
Protein is a necessary component of a healthy diet. It helps us feel full and provides our bodies with energy. When paired strategically with a workout routine, eating a certain amount of protein helps us build lean muscle. However, it is possible to overdo your protein intake, which can impact your weight loss journey and even cause weight gain – the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve here! One study found that participants who ate more than the recommended amount of protein were at a 90 percent higher risk of weight gain, so be sure to stay within the margins recommended for your body weight.