In our previous blog, Deceptive Myths About Weight Loss: Part 1, we went over the myths about how you can lose 30 lbs in 30 days, how it’s impossible to lose weight, and how skipping meals helps you lose weight. Click on over there to learn more about why those are myths, not facts. If you already know about those myths about weight loss, then keep reading to learn some more.
It’s important to note before we get into the blog that if you want to lose weight, you should consult with a healthcare professional first. This will help you have the most success by ensuring you are losing weight in a healthy, sustainable way, suitable to your body’s specific needs. That said, let’s get into some more common myths about weight loss that may surprise you.
Myth #1. You Should Eat 1200 Calories A Day To Lose Weight
The fact of the matter is that 1200 calories per day may be good for a toddler – but not an adult. Adults typically need to consume 2000+ calories per day. This varies depending on metabolism, activity levels, height, weight, age, sex, and other such factors. For example, men generally need more calories than women do. If you’re an active person, you’d need to consume more calories than someone who isn’t, because you’re burning a lot of energy.
1200 calories is far too low for most people. If you only have 1200 calories in a day, you’ll lose weight, sure, but it won’t be healthy. Not consuming enough calories to fuel your body can result in negative side effects such as nausea, dizziness, fatigue, headaches, extreme hunger, and more.
You should only ever go on an extremely low calorie diet like this under medical supervision if it’s recommended. Cases where it may be recommended that you go on an extremely low calorie diet like this include if you have a BMI of 30 or higher to kickstart a weight loss program, if you need to lose weight to safely have surgery, and the like. Very low calorie diets like this are seldom used for people with BMIs under 30 unless they have weight-related medical conditions, and are not used for teenagers, children, or older people.
Generally, though, you need to eat more than this. Your healthcare provider will be able to advise you on appropriate calorie goals to help you lose weight in a healthy manner.
Myth #2. Eating At Night Makes You Gain Weight
The reason why people say this is because it can. Eating at night is linked to consuming excess calories and poor food choices. For example, you eat healthy and make good food choices all day long – and then at night, you end up having pizza rolls and ice cream and cookies and chips and all this other stuff. That is what can make you gain weight.
Digestion plays a role here too. It’s generally recommended that you stop eating about 3 hours before bedtime so that your body has enough time to digest before you go to sleep.
However, eating at night in and of itself isn’t a direct contributor to weight gain. Ultimately, consuming less calories than you are burning is the key to weight loss. So long as you are adhering to this, you can still have a night-time snack and reach your weight loss goals.
Myth #3. Snacking Is Unhealthy
Just because you want to lose weight doesn’t mean you need to cut out snacks. Snacking can be unhealthy if it causes you to opt for poor quality snacks like candy bars and if it causes you to consume more calories than you should in order to lose weight.
However, snacking can actually both be healthy and help you reach your weight loss goals when done right. According to the Produce for Better Health Foundation, about 70% of Americans use snacking as a way to get more fruits and vegetables in. Healthy snacking can minimize your cravings for unhealthy options and stabilize your blood sugar.
Some examples of healthy snacks include: vegetables and hummus, fruit, nuts, smoothies, and more.
It’s not a bad thing to occasionally have a bag of chips or a cookie or candy or whatever as a snack. A good diet is all about balance, after all. However, consuming such things too often in too high a quantity is where it gets unhealthy.