Public health professionals face a big issue when attempting to tackle obesity in America; they have to find a way to get people to separate truths from false stories, tall tales, and plain falsehoods concerning diet, exercise, and weight reduction. Certain misconceptions have been a part of American culture for such a long time that even the most well-educated buyers take them to be true without asking any questions. Some of the stories have a sense of accuracy at their core, but they have been so dramatically modified, misinterpreted, or just plain misconstrued that they simply confuse, misinform, and are just inaccurate. There is an abundance of data being disseminated quickly related to the causes of being overweight and obese, as well as contrasting interpretations of how to manage these issues, which makes resolving them difficult. With consistent media coverage and different commercials encouraging various diets all the time, it is understandable that individuals in the US have a hard time wrapping their heads around what to eat and how to shed pounds.
The idea that those who are overweight or obese are indolent and lack determination is one of the most damaging lies, as it triggers teasing, discernment, and segregation. People may mistakenly think that it would be the same level of difficulty for everyone to shed pounds. Different biological and behavioral elements have an influence on someone’s body weight, and people are dissimilar in terms of their genetic inclination to put on weight, basic metabolic rate, and the number of fat cells they possess. Metabolic rate, otherwise known as BMR, is how many calories a person needs in order to perform basic activities while not engaging in any physical movement. The amount of energy one’s body requires for basic functioning, known as their Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), can vary by over one thousand calories from day to day, based on age, weight, height, gender, dietary habits, and exercise routine. Metabolic rate disparity helps to explain why not everyone that follows an identical diet will have the same outcome with regards to losing weight or the speed at which it is lost. The amount of weight the dieter is able to lose can also be impacted by the amount of fat cells in their body. Although a person’s body weight does not wholly depend upon the amount of fatty tissue they have, gaining weight does have an effect on their fat cells, making it more difficult to achieve a lower weight, as the number of fat cells a person has cannot be diminished. For instance, a healthy individual typically possesses around 40 billion fat cells, while an individual with a BMI of 40 who weighs 250 pounds could have a maximum of 100 billion fat cells. When someone loses weight, the fat cells in their body reduce in size, but the overall number remains the same. Subsequently, those with double the normal amount of fat cells may be able to reduce their fat cells to the regular size, but even when they reach a healthy weight, they will have twice the normal amount of fat cells.
Myth #1: All Calories Are NOT Equal
This one is a bit confusing.
Let’s make it crystal clear – one calorie is the same as any other calorie. It is a unit of energy. Therefore all calories ARE equal. It is the same to say that 1 degree Celsius in Scotland is no different than 1 degree Celsius in Spain.
Nevertheless, certain foods contain more calories than others. The proteins, carbohydrates, and fats you eat can impact the hormones which manage hunger. Carbohydrates and protein each contain 4 calories per gram, while fat contains 9 calories per gram.
Essentially, it has been scientifically determined that 1200 calories of Haribo star mix do not produce the same feeling of satiation as a balanced meal consisting of 1200 calories, comprising of lean protein, entire grains, and hefty greens.
Studies have revealed that consuming a high proportion of protein can speed up your metabolism (this is referred to as dietary-induced thermogenesis), and maintains food cravings and fullness hormones in proper balance.
In addition, natural foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, and meats can make you feel more satisfied with fewer calories due to the greater space that they occupy in your stomach compared to heavily processed food items.
Myth #2: Just Eat Less & Move More
It is quite typical for individuals who have either never experienced the process of weight loss themselves or have not worked with someone who has struggled with their weight throughout their life to proclaim unhelpful remarks such as “all you require to do to shed pounds is consume less and move more”.
Many, many factors impact why someone may have obesity. Various medical issues, heredity, economic environment, location, access to food, upbringing, education, interaction with food, prior dieting practices, and many other elements (even those that somebody cannot influence) influence body structure.
Moreover, numerous individuals who have difficulty shedding pounds have issues with the hormones and biochemical pathways which are responsible for controlling body size.
Leptin, for example, acts as a messenger to the brain to indicate that no additional fat should be retained in the body. However, many obese individuals are unresponsive to the hormone leptin. This implies that even though they are overweight, their minds are still convinced they are getting thinner.
It can be hard to lose weight for a number of reasons, some of which are particularly challenging to work through. Although it may be hard, shedding weight is not beyond the realms of possibility. But it can be extremely demanding.
Myth #3: Eating Fat Makes You Fat
In the 1980s, fat was the dietary devil. Television personalities who claimed to be knowledgeable about dieting suggested that the best way to shed pounds was to eliminate fatty foods from one’s diet. It was hypothesized that eating a lot of fat can lead to weight gain due to the fact that one gram of fat contains nine calories, while one gram of protein and carbs each only have four calories. If you switched out high-fat foods with those that are low in fat, you could be both leaner and healthier. Easy, right?
Incorrect. First, your body needs fat. Essential fatty acids can’t be created by your body and must be consumed through your diet, which can include dietary fat. It is necessary to consume fats in order to be able to take in vitamins D, A, and E.
It is not unexpected that the dietary plan centered around eating a large quantity of carbohydrates and a small amount of fat had limited success for many people. So what happened next? People tried the complete opposite.
Myth #4: Eating Carbohydrates Makes You Fat
Back in with the fat, out with the carbs. Unexpectedly, plates of crunchy bacon and heaps of butter in your coffee were seen as healthy, while carbs were deemed as evil.
The notion that eating a low-carbohydrate diet and more protein can result in weight loss, even without reducing your calorie intake, is partially accurate, and low-carb proponents are quick to point out the relevant scientific findings.
Nevertheless, not all carbohydrates should be seen as harmful since the majority of studies indicate that the participants’ improved health was due to their increased intake of protein rather than their reduced consumption of carbohydrates. Studies have indicated that if the protein levels are comparable, individuals on either a low carbohydrate or high carbohydrate diet will lose weight in the same way as others that follow the same type of diet, given that the calorie intake is kept the same.
Refined vs Whole-Food Carb
It is illogical to assume that all carbs are the same since whole foods like quinoa, which have an elevated carb content, have been associated with various health advantages, among them improving blood glucose levels. Whereas highly processed carbohydrates could be a factor in increasing the likelihood of illness and overeating. In addition, much of the nourishing qualities of processed carbohydrates are taken away in the refining process. This results in food that has a high amount of calories but doesn’t contain a lot of other vitamins or minerals.
It is thought that weight gain could be more likely due to eating refined carbohydrates, as they often contain little or no dietary fiber. Once the dietary fiber is removed, pure carbohydrates are broken down much quicker than when included as part of whole food, leading to more drastic shifts in blood sugar.
Eating highly processed foods results in feeling hungry shortly after eating. In comparison, you may remain satisfied for a far longer period of time if you consume the same amount of whole, untouched items of food.
This implies that incorporating carbohydrates as whole foods can indeed be beneficial for weight loss. If you enjoy eating bread, instead of substituting your morning toast for a piece of bacon, contemplate changing your white bread for a 100 % whole grain sort instead.
Myth #5: You Have To Eat Breakfast To Lose Weight
Those who don’t have breakfast have been warned for years about the consequences of not eating the first meal of the day.
Some studies suggest that there is a connection between skipping breakfast and having an elevated body weight, yet other research does not back up this claim. It has been established that the notion that breakfast boosts metabolism is incorrect. If you do not eat breakfast, the following meal is not more likely to be unhealthy. If what is being said were correct, practicing Intermittent Fasting (in which many individuals do not consume anything until midday) would not be successful. Those who have achieved weight loss through intermittent fasting are evidence that this idea is false.
The connection between eating breakfast and dropping weight could be due not to the breakfast itself but because those who eat breakfast regularly tend to have other healthy practices that keep them slim. Those who include protein in their morning meal typically have more control over their eating habits and cravings throughout the day. If you are hungry in the morning, eat breakfast. If you are not, then skip it.
Myth #6: Eating After 8:00 Pm Causes Weight Gain
No matter when it is in the day, eating more calories than you need will result in a gain in weight as the extra will be stored as fat, whether it is midmorning or evening. Generally, the amount of weight one has is determined by the total amount of calories consumed and the amount of exercise done during the day.
It appears that consuming meals early in the morning and eating breakfast are linked to keeping a healthy body weight. Jennifer Ackerman, in her article entitled “Make It an Early Bird” (as published in the New York Times, November 21, 2007), found that research indicated that people who have breakfast tend to eat fewer calories in their daily diet than those who make their largest meal of the day in the evening. It is likely that the sensation of satisfaction after consuming food is stronger in the morning, so in the evening, someone could be more apt to consume too much.
Myth #7: Organic, Natural, or Herbal Weight-Loss Products Are Safer Than Synthetic Over-The-Counter or Prescription Drugs
Just because items are certified organic or are natural does not mean that they are without any danger or secure. In July 2003, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a press release concerning the deceptive efficacy and safety claims of weight-loss products featuring ephedra, which originates from a leafless desert shrub, and hydroxycitric acid obtained from brindle berries. The measures were focused on deceiving people about the usefulness, safety, and side effects of weight-loss supplements that consist of these dietary additions. The Federal Trade Commission tried to refute statements that ephedra and other natural diet supplements could produce rapid and substantial weight loss that was permanent in nature without diet or exercise, and additionally contesting their assertions that these products were ”100% safe,” ”completely safe,” or have ”no side effects.”
Myth #8: Exercise Is a Better Way to Lose Weight Than Dieting
Although physical activity has a great number of positive impacts on health, slimming down is not typically viewed as a direct result of exercising. Studies have persistently proven that, when it comes to losing weight, it is easier to cut down outlook of food intake than raising energy output through exercise. This is due to the fact that a much greater decrease in calories can be achieved with dieting than can be done with physical activity. As an example, if someone weighing 155 pounds wanted to cut out 400 calories from their diet each day, it could easily be accomplished by not having dessert and reducing the portion sizes of the meals. In contrast, expending four hundred calories requires considerable effort. In order to burn 400 calories, a 155-pound individual would require an hour of cycling at 10 mph, hill walking at 3.5 mph, ice skating at 9 mph, mowing the lawn, or cross-country hiking. Studies have shown that physical activity is critical in order to avoid becoming overweight and to sustain weight loss.
Cris A. Research conducted by Slentz and others has revealed that as little as half an hour of walking every day can help to avoid weight increases for the majority of inactive people, and even more physical effort than that might lead to weight loss and decreased body fat. Researchers divided 182 overweight, inactive individuals from the ages of forty to sixty-five into four divisions. One of these divisions were given varied intensities of activity for eight months, with the other three serving as a comparison which did not engage in any physical activity in that period. One group walked 12 miles per week, another jogged 12 miles per week, and the heaviest exercise group jogged 20 miles per week. Supervisors were present while participants worked out on treadmills, elliptical machines, and stationary bikes. The participants were urged to keep the same diets throughout the study.
The people in the two lower intensity exercise programs saw a decrease in their weight and body fat and those in the most intense program experienced the greatest reduction. The energetic exercise group experienced a 3.5% decrease in weight, while the two low-intensity groups saw an increment of a little more than 1%, on the contrary, the group without exercise ended up having 1.1% additional weight. The measure of physical activity, including how often and with what strength, also affects changes in waist circumference – those who did not partake in any form of exercise saw a 0.8% growth in waist size. The individuals engaging in the least amount of physical activity had a reduction in their waistlines of approximately 1.5%; meanwhile, the contingent with the highest level of activity saw their waists drop by 3.4%. Just thirty minutes of activity each day can help protect against unwanted weight gain without having to modify one’s eating habits.