Common Myths about Weight Loss
Seven weight loss myths set right.
Think you know all there is to know about weight loss? It’s time to challenge yourself with these seven common weight loss myths!
1. Small changes in your food or exercise will add up over time to produce significant weight loss. We recently learned that 3500 calories isn’t a pound in everyone. So if you walk 1 mile per day which burns off 100 calories in an average person, instead of adding up to 50 pounds of weight loss in a year (which would be predicted based on the 3500 calorie rule), it will only be 10 pounds! So you can’t eat a piece of cake if you work out on the treadmill and burn off 500 calories! You really only get about a 100-200 calorie window to play with!
2. You shouldn’t make your goal too ambitious, or you will get frustrated. In truth, the more ambitious goals seem to be associated with better weight loss. AIM HIGH!
3. If you lose too much too fast, you won’t be able to keep it off. I hear this one all the time from my patients. Faster initial weight loss actually leads to lower body weight at the end. As long as you get enough protein to keep your muscle up. This is huge! PROTEIN IS KEY.
4. You won’t be successful losing weight unless you are at the right stage of “readiness.” I used to think this was true and that it has to be the perfect time for that person to be successful. The point is, there IS NO PERFECT TIME. Just go for it!
5. Physical education classes play an important role in reducing childhood obesity. This is actually false. There is no question that exercise is important and helps our kids, but to get them to lose weight, we really have to focus on what they are putting in their mouths, and how much!
6. Breast feeding is protective against obesity. There really is no evidence that this is true, but of course breast feeding is important in so many other ways, and should always be encouraged.
7. A bout of sexual activity burns about 100-300 calories per person. This is so sad– but the average bout of sexual activity lasts only 6 minutes (the energy burning part). SAY WHAT?! So we really only burn about 21-30 calories during that time. Otherwise, it’s not much more than watching TV or taking a slow walk….. but at least we’re not eating.