If there is anything that plagues the weight loss industry, it is myths and urban legends. From simple disagreements about the effectiveness of exercise to contradictory and ridiculous laws, the entire world is packed with conflicting advice and inaccurate information. All of this information makes it hard for any newbie to find a routine and diet that's effective for them, and even more difficult to any established weight loss expert to prove that they are the real deal.
Here are five common weight loss misconceptions, each with an explanation and some real information. If you are racing to lose weight, be sure to let science and facts back up your routine, not the ramblings of who you happen to run into at the gym.
# 1: Weight loss means eating much less.
This simply is not true. Eating less food is not always fruitful for weight loss, and in many cases it has the opposite effect. What is important for weight loss is not eating less food, but consuming less calories. For example, you could eat a single meal at Wendy's or McDonald's and consume more calories than you would in an afternoon day of eating healthy grilled chicken or lean turkey meals. Incorporate low calorie foods into your diet, not low quantity foods with a high caloric content.
# 2: More meals equals more weight.
Again, not true. When you consume only one or two meals per day, your body assures that those two meals are all that you have access to. As such, it feeds off of your most body body tissue – your muscles. By eating many small meals throughout the day you keep your body feeding on your fat for excess calories, rather than diminishing your musculature to keep itself well fed. Many athletes and fitness gurus will consume 5-6 meals per day or a small size, keeping their calorie intake the same as they would from three major meals.
# 3: Weight training = big muscles.
With a high-protein, high-calorie diet, weight training will make you very buff. With a standard weight loss diet, weight training will leave you with less fat on your body and slightly more prominent muscles. Many people avoid weight training after hearing it can increase your musculature, but that is a misguided effort. Incorporating weight training into your routine will increase your body's capacity to lose weight by boosting your metabolism and hormone levels.
# 4: Supplements are a waste of money.
When used properly, weight loss supplements can be very effective. From simple protein powders designed to maintain muscle while you lose fat to advanced stimulants and products, there are hundreds of effective supplements out there. Incorporate supplements into your already healthy diet and you'll see results; use them to prop up a poor diet and they'll prove ineffective.
# 5: Your lifestyle does not really matter.
Excessive drinking means huge calorie intakes, hormonal lows and peaks, and a whole range of metabolic problems. Sleep shortages mean hormonal deficits and reduced muscle mass. Drug use means dietary problems and metabolic issues. Your lifestyle is incredibly important for weight loss, and without a healthy lifestyle backing up your healthy diet, you may not see any results at all.