5 Weight Loss Myths - DEBUNKED!

Written by: Ashleigh Tosh

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Time to read 6 min

In today's world, where health and fitness are trending topics, it's no surprise that weight loss continues to be a popular goal for many people. 


Unfortunately, with this popularity comes a plethora of myths and misconceptions surrounding weight loss – and to be totally honest, here at Goal Plans, we are sick of it.


You only have to stand in the magazine aisle of your local supermarket to see just how incredibly confusing the world of weight loss can be.


One glossy cover will shout about how Keto is the future of weight loss, the next how you can lose 10lbs in 10 days by eating nothing but tomatoes and the next how you enjoying a square of chocolate a day is ruining your life.


And don’t get us started on social media… From people touting shakes, detoxes and cleanses, to others spouting their “nutritional advice” (having no actual qualifications to do so) on what not to eat for visible abs – is it any wonder why the world of weight loss feels like a labyrinth?!


The problem is these myths can mislead you and prevent you from making informed decisions about your health.


So, let’s sort this once and for all. Here we're going to debunk 5 of the most common weight loss myths so that you can smash your goals without falling victim to diet culture’s merry-go-round of toxicity.

Myth 1: "Carbohydrates are the Enemy"

Carbohydrate Love

We can’t believe this is still a thing, but this is one myth that really, really, really needs to crawl into a hole somewhere. It all started with Atkins, and now Keto is the trendy one, but basically carbs are needlessly blamed as the primary cause of weight gain.


We’re going to say this loud and proud – CARBS ARE NOT YOUR ENEMY.


Rather, carbohydrates provide your body with an essential energy source and any weight loss you do see by ditching them from your diet is more than likely to be a loss in water, not fat.


The issue arises when you consume excessive amounts of refined carbohydrates found in sugary snacks and sugary drinks.


These foods lack essential nutrients and can lead to weight gain when consumed in excess.


However, complex carbohydrates found in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are packed with fibre, vitamins, and minerals that are beneficial for your overall health.


Instead of cutting out carbohydrates for weight loss, it's important to make smart choices. Choose whole grains, brown rice, quinoa, and other nutrient-dense carbohydrate sources.


And, as always, remember that portion control is key, as carbohydrates are still a source of calories.

Myth 2: "Eating Late at Night Causes Weight Gain"

Have you ever heard the claim that eating late at night will cause you to pack on the pounds? It's a widespread belief that stems from the idea that our metabolism slows down when we sleep, making it more likely for calories consumed at night to be stored as fat.


But here's the kicker - weight gain is determined by overall calorie intake rather than the timing of meals.


In fact, studies have shown that the body doesn’t differentiate between calories consumed during the day or at night. It's all about how many calories you eat in total.


So, if you indulge in a snack before bed but stay within your daily calorie range, you won't magically gain weight. Likewise, if you fast for huge periods of time but eat the same number of calories in the hours you do eat, weight loss won't magically occur either!


That said, it's important to focus on maintaining a healthy eating pattern, regardless of the time of day. Late-night eating can be problematic if it leads to mindless snacking or consuming excessive calories – bingeing.


The key is to listen to your body's hunger signals and choose nutritious, portion-controlled options throughout the day.

Myth 3: "You Can Spot-Reduce Fat"

Spot Reduce Myth

“Lose your hip dips,” “get rid of your FUPA,” “bust your bingo wings,” “carve a thigh gap,” if you’ve ever read or watched anything with these claims – it’s a scam.


Quite simply, you cannot spot reduce fat.


Why? Well, the human body doesn't work selectively when it comes to losing fat.


Fat loss occurs all over the body rather than in specific target areas. So, doing countless sit-ups won't necessarily result in a toned stomach, but it will contribute to overall fat loss.


The key to losing fat and weight loss is to engage in regular aerobic exercises, such as jogging, swimming, or cycling.


These activities help burn calories and promote overall weight loss and when you pair them with strength training - which builds muscle mass and increase metabolism - you'll see improvements in body composition and fat loss.

Myth 4: "Juice Cleanses and Detox Diets are Effective for Weight Loss"

Juice cleanses and detox diets have been around for years and have become even more popular recently thanks to modern celebs taking part in them for quick weight loss vanity.


They promise to flush out toxins, boost metabolism, and shed pounds in a short time. However, these claims are often misguided.


While it's true that juice cleanses and detox diets can lead to rapid weight loss, this weight loss is mostly water weight and muscle mass, not fat.


Plus, extreme calorie restriction can be dangerous and lead to nutrient deficiencies, fatigue, and a weakened immune system.


And listen, we get it, when you start a weight loss journey, you want to see results super quick, but weight loss isn’t a sprint – it’s a marathon, and if you want it to be truly successful following a sustainable diet is the best way forward.


Focus on adopting a balanced eating plan that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods, adequate protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. It's important to promote a healthy relationship with food and develop long-term habits that support a healthy weight.

Myth 5: "Dietary Supplements are a Magic Solution"

Diet Supplements

Speaking of quick weight loss fixes – here come the pills.


We’ve recently seen a huge rise in the number of people touting diet pills or fat burning supplements that will help you “shred those pounds,” but these claims are often exaggerated – and don’t forget, the fitfluencers often shouting about them are being paid to do so.


Now, while some supplements may have a mild effect on metabolism or appetite (which may have a small impact on weight loss), they are by no means a miracle solution.


Dietary supplements should be viewed as just that - supplements. They can aid in maintaining overall health and fill nutrient gaps, but they should not replace a well-balanced diet and regular physical activity.


Some supplements may even have potential risks and side effects, particularly when consumed in excess or without medical supervision, so if you’re thinking of starting one, you’re best to speak to a qualifies nutritionist, dietitian or medical professional before you do.


That said, to achieve sustainable weight loss, focus on the basics: a healthy diet, regular exercise, and overall lifestyle changes.


Remember, weight loss is a journey, and there are no shortcuts or magic pills. It's about making conscious, informed choices that support your individual health and well-being.

Final Thoughts…

The topic of weight loss always has, and probably always will be, a topic that often leads to myths and misconceptions.


But by debunking these myths, we hope to empower you with accurate information, allowing you to make informed decisions on your weight loss journey.


Remember, weight loss is not about quick fixes or magical solutions; it's about adopting sustainable habits that promote long-term health and well-being, and the only true way to lose weight is to uphold a calorie deficit.


So go on and embrace that balanced diet, get stuck in with that regular exercise, and make those overall lifestyle changes and you might just find your relationship with diet culture and weight loss changes for the better.

 

You've got this!

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Ashleigh Tosh

Ashleigh Tosh

Wordsmith, bookworm, and avid food enthusiast. With a background in broadcast journalism, she has been writing for the health & wellness sector for a decade. Ashleigh is the lead copywriter at MuscleFood, feeding her passion for all things food and fitness. When she's not writing or typing away, you might find her sweating it out in the gym, exploring culinary creations in the kitchen, or conquering Scottish Munros.