When it comes to healthy eating or reaching your ideal healthy weight, consistency is key. When you have identified your WHY and made a decision to achieving weight loss, it takes commitment and perseverance. No one wants a yo-yo diet so let’s bust our top 5 weight loss myths so that your efforts won’t be sabotaged.
1. Eat Less, Move More Is The Best Advice
Most of us know that when it comes down to weight loss, we need to eat less junk process food and move more especially if we’re sedentary. We like to think this as “Eat more whole food, move more, eat less or none processed food”. However, eating this way is not the whole story. Other factors such as genetic, environment stress levels and the type of food a person likes to eat also affects weight loss.
If you try to eat less and move more, will you be able to keep it up forever? We doubt so. We are only humans, not robots and most of us will lose the battle to metabolism and willpower. What we eat will affect our gut health, emotional health, hormones and metabolism, which will in turn affect whether we can stick to a certain diet.
As cliché as it sounds, weightless is a lifestyle change. Learn how to listen to your body, eat as little sugar as possible and concentrate on eating real whole food when you’re hungry.
2. People Need More Willpower To Lose Weight
Willpower is the weakest mental forces. Ever got excited and motivated about going to the gym after work, only to find yourself skipping the gym? That’s willpower for you, my friend. Willpower only lasts a few hours, not a few months.
To succeed in weight loss, you cannot rely on willpower. Instead, here are some tips for you to turn that willpower into something more sustainable and make your dieting much easier.
- Plan your meals: Decide what you’re going to order before you step into the canteen. And stick to it, do not go wandering around the pizza area. Temptation is the last thing you need right now.
- Use distraction – And make it a habit. We are creatures of habit and we go on autopilot most of the time. Take a walk, brush your teeth or drink a glass of water when you feel a little hungry.
- Ultimately turn that distraction into avoidance – If you’re on low carbs, then DO NOT buy carbs. Out of sight, out of mind. Your body will adapt, your taste palette will wake up to experience a whole new level of umami.
3. Losing Weight Is A Linear Process
We wish it’d be so simple too! But weight will fluctuate every single day. Depending on your liquid intake (1 litre of water is already 1 kg), whether you have passed motion, menses for ladies, medication, salt intake (causes water retention) etc can affect your weight.
Comparing your weight everyday may not be so helpful and may be stressful to some. We advise that you take your weight daily but compare every week, at the same time with the same clothes to get a more accurate measurement.
4. Carbs & Fat Make You Fat
Eating too many carbs or fats may cause weight gain. But ultimately, weight gain is due to eating too much extra calories. Whether it comes from protein, fat or carbs, if there is excess, it will be stored as fat.
Remember, carbs are important source of food for energy. Vegetables (especially starchy ones like potatoes, yam, corn, bean), fruits, nuts, quinoa, brown rice all contain carbs. None of them can cause weight gain on their own. For example, you can be eating rice everyday but if 2 bowls of rice is all you eat in a day, then most likely you will lose weight.
Most important, eat a whole range of vegetables plus a palm sized serving of protein and some fats (avocados, nuts, olives) every day. Say bye to processed food for now, your body will thank you for it.
5. “Diet” Foods Can Help You Lose Weight
When you go to a supermarket, you see all the fat-free labels and think that it has lesser calories. But often, these fat-free have more calories. Why? Because fat gives you satiety, so when fat is taken out of any processed food, other ingredients must be added to compensate for the taste or texture. Usually these extra added ingredients are sugar, salt or other sugar substitutes. Note that even “healthy” sugar such as molasses, cane sugar, brown sugar is still sugar.
Eating too much low-fat and high-sugar food has been shown to cause weight gain, gut inflammation and affect our digestive system.
So next time you buy food, look at the label. Sugar (or sugar substitutes) should not be listed in the first 3 ingredients; it’s best if there is none. Otherwise, it should only appear towards the end of the ingredient list.