The 6 Facts and Fiction About Losing WeightWeight Loss
Steward Health Care Bariatric Surgeon Natalee Stone, MD breaks down what is fiction and what is fact when it comes to weight loss.
Knowing the truth about losing weight can help you separate what works from what doesn’t. It’s not uncommon to be taken in by expensive weight-loss fads like pills, herbs, and special foods that promise unbelievable results. In the end, there’s no magic way to lose weight. Though, it may help to know the fiction versus the facts about losing weight.
1. Fiction: “The faster I lose weight, the better.”
Fact: Rapid weight loss is usually due to loss of water or muscle mass. What you’re trying to get rid of is extra fat. Aim to lose a 1/2 pound to 2 pounds a week. Then you’re more likely to lose fat rather than water or muscle.
2. Fiction: “Skipping meals will help me lose weight.”
Fact: When you skip meals, you don’t give your body the energy it needs to work. Hunger makes you more likely to overeat later on. It’s best to spread your meals throughout the day. Eat at least three meals a day.
3. Fiction: “I can’t start exercising until I lose weight.”
Fact: The sooner you start exercising, the Exercise helps burn more calories, tone your muscles, and keep your appetite in check. People who continue to exercise after they lose weight are more likely to keep the weight off.
4. Fiction: “The fewer calories I eat, the better.”
Fact: This seems like it should be true, but it’s not. When you eat too few calories, your body acts as if it’s on a desert island. It thinks food is scarce, so it slows down your metabolism(how fast you burn calories) to save energy. By eating too few calories, you make it harder to lose weight.
5. Fiction: “Once I lose weight, I can go back to living the way I did before.”
Fact: Going back to your old eating habits and giving up exercise is a sure way to regain any weight you’ve lost. The lifestyle changes that help you lose extra weight can also help keep it off. Therefore, you need to make realistic changes you can stick to on a daily basis.
6. Fiction: “Low-fat and fat-free mean low-calorie.”
Fact: All foods, even fat-free ones, have calories. Eat too many calories, and you’ll gain weight. Treating yourself to a fat-free cookie or two is okay. Just don’t eat the whole box at once. A dietitian can help you figure this out and will likely recommend that you eat three meals a day, with protein with each meal. Learn to read nutrition labels to see what you are eating.
If you have questions about losing weight, talk to your health care provider about what options may be right for you.
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