6 Myths About Losing Weight

by Brenda Rash

  1. Skipping meals (usually breakfast) will help me lose weight. Actually, the opposite is true. Skipping a meal triggers a survival mechanism in the body that slows down the metabolism for the body to store fat. People who eat breakfast have a lower fat and higher carbohydrate intake, resulting in lower amounts of calories from fat and higher amounts of fiber. They also eat fewer snacks and are less likely to overeat throughout the day. Eating breakfast helps us feel better and prevents hunger. Your body is capable of burning more calories in the morning than later in the day.
  2. Artificial sweeteners in pop and foods help reduce calories and promote weight loss. The opposite is true for this myth as well. Since they are two or three times sweeter than sugar, they create a rebound effect and increase your craving for sweets. Therefore, you are likely to eat more sweet snacks. These can cause your body to release extra insulin, which can cause additional weight gain.
  3. To lose weight, you must eat less. The only foods you should eat less of are those high in fat and calories. You should eat more of low fat, high fiber foods. Fat has twice as many calories as carbohydrates or proteins.
  4. Wheat bread has more fiber. It does if it's whole wheat bread. Make sure that whole wheat is high on the ingredient list. Some breads are actually just white bread with caramel coloring.
  5. Overweight is inherited. You may inherit a predisposition towards being overweight which will make you more vulnerable to obesity but still does not make it inevitable. Overweight is still determined by your lifestyle, not your genes. You have to eat more calories than you burn off to gain weight. You don't inherit obesity the same way as you do physical characteristics, such as eye color and hair color.
  6. It's low fat, so I can eat more. Many people make the mistake of eating twice as much of a low fat dessert (such as frozen yogurt) than they would normally have eaten of one higher in fat. This defeats the purpose of the lower fat dessert, giving you as much fat and calories as the higher fat dessert. Don't increase your quantities.

Brenda Rash is an author of booklets on alternative health, weight loss and money management.

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