Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Debunking the Top Five Weight Loss Myths

It's hard not to feel a little superstitious about weight loss.

I mean, when your body goes from this:
To looking like this:
It's hard to believe there isn't some sort of magic involved.

And when the scale acts like a scale--a twitchy mechanical device that is just as likely to show you a two pound loss as a two pound gain--it's difficult to not start thinking absurd beliefs:

(Disclaimer: I am not a medical expert and I barely passed high school biology. Please do no not take my opinions as anything other than the thoughts of one girl who has lost weight.)

1. Artificial sweeteners (and beverages/ foods with artificial sweeteners) do not hinder weight loss. Now (disclaimer), I honestly don't know how 30 packets of Sweet and Low would impact your body, but, when used relatively normally, these items will not hurt your weight loss. And believe me, I should know, since I routinely drink unsweetened tea with Splenda and I'm addicted to Diet Coke.

2. Processed food will not make you gain weight. Yeah, I know food with ingredients you can't spell is not healthy, but it won't magically make you gain weight. As long as the nutritional value of the food checks out (meaning it's low calorie, low fat, low cholesterol, etc) just the fact that it's processed won't make you gain weight. (It might, however, contain a lot of sodium, which will make you retain water and gain "false weight," but that will come off as soon as you replenish your water.)

3. Eating the same thing over and over again won't make you gain weight. You might, however, bore yourself (and anyone you cook for) to tears, but it won't make you gain weight. (The same applies to exercise routines.)

4. Eating the majority (or all) of your points in one meal will not make you gain weight. It might, however, make you incredibly hungry when you're not eating and incredibly full after that meal. But it will not make you gain weight.

5. Eating right before you go to bed will not make you gain weight. It might give you a tummy ache/ bad breath though.

I'm curious to know if you agree with this list. And do you have any additional weight loss myths to share?


  1. Wow, you look amazing in your after picture!!!

    I do think I agree with those things. However, I was always so stuck on just the losing aspect of the weight-loss/get healthy battle that I neglected the fact that I should also pay attention to what certain foods are doing to my body. I do feel better when I avoid overly processed foods and try to stick to just water vs. diet cokes. However, I do love occasional diet coke and processed goodies, so I still treat myself!

  2. I think that these things are true, BUT there are some caveats:
    2. Processed food won't MAKE you gain weight, but if you eat too much, you will probably feel terrible and reach for more processed food = more calories=weight gain.
    3. On exercise: when you change up your routine, you'll raise your heart rate/challenge your muscles more --->burn more calories, BUT if you already have a well-balanced routine worked out you should be OK.

  3. I cannot wait to have an "after" picture!!

  4. You look fantastic in your "after" picture, Katie! Way to go!! That has to be so exciting for you to see!

  5. I agree with all of that! However, some of those things may directly or indirectly lead you to the actual causes of weight gain: overeating and inactivity.

    I am also addicted to Diet Coke, and it has in no way hindered my weight loss. I'm sick of feeling like the "bad guy" for consuming artificial sweetners! Come on, people. :-)

  6. Thanks for all the comments everyone!

    I absolutely agree with your caveats. I wanted to emphasize that doing those things will not necessarily cause you to gain weight. Of course, on the other hand, these habits can lead to unhealthy behaviors that can cause weight gain.

    Moral of the story: Will eating a Twinkie (if it's within your points/ calories allowance) cause you to gain weight? No. But it probably won't fill you up and you might end up consuming more calories to stay full (which will make you gain weight).

    Darn, now I want a Twinkie ;)

  7. I love this post because I agree with all of them. I get so tired of hearing other 'experts' say that things like artificial sweeteners can have an adverse affect on your weight loss efforts. B-S! I have used these sweeteners through all of my weight loss efforts and have been successful. While yeah, I can see how processed foods aren't necessarily the most nutritious options, the point of your post (from my vantage point) was to point out that processed foods themselves don't cause you to gain weight. If you eat an entire bag of chips each and every day, then duh - of course you'll gain weight. But a serving size of chips that you've planned for in your eating plan.. I think that's fine!

  8. A couple of thoughts. I agree that none of the above will make you GAIN weight, but I do think they can slow your weight loss.

    For instance, #3, I have heard of a lot of people stalling on weight loss (not necessarily gaining), and switching up their food/workouts got them back losing again. I don't know if it is more mental, physical or both.

    And with #5, if one is hungry, I absolutely say eat, anytime of the day. I think the problem tends to be WHY people are eating before bed. Generally I think it is more a tired, bored, intoxicated thing than a hungry thing, which is the real issue.

    Just my thoughts!

  9. But does any of this really help Katie on her way to healthy?

  10. If you don't have time for workouts and still want to lose weight, you can try Garcinia Cambogia Extract! I lose weight and so happy about it!