The dieticians and wellness coaches at the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program have put together some common myths about weight loss.
Myth #1: Losing weight fast means you'll regain it
Many people will start with a bigger weight loss at first, and then slow down in their weekly losses. This can be because of drastic changes in diet and calories, water weight and that super restrictive diets are hard to keep up. Make it about the lifestyle change.
Myth #2: Snacks make you gain weight
Depends on what you are snacking on, how often and how much. Eating every 2-3 hours with the right types of foods high in fiber and nutritional content and with the right portion size is key.
Myth #3: Adding muscle is an effective weight loss strategy
We recommend strength training at least 2 times per week. Measure more than just your weight. Tracking measurements around your arms, thighs and waist can be a good way to start. Adding in strength training can boost that metabolism as we get older (and softer).
Myth #4: It's tough to keep weight off because losing it slows metabolism
As we age our metabolism slows down, but so does the amount of muscle we have, as well as our activity levels. Boost that metabolism by adding in the strength training and cardio activity to get the heart rate up. Shoot for at least 30 minutes per day, 5 days a week.
Myth #5: Diet soda helps cut calories
There is more research now which shows people actually consume more calories when they drink artificial sweeteners in diet soda. Switch to water - sparkling or fruit flavored waters are a great option.
Myth #6: You can lose weight with exercise alone
Weight loss is 80% nutrition and diet, and 20% activity. Both are important, but without watching your food intake those pounds will never come off.
Tips from Dr. Sasson:
Myth #7: Drinking water isn’t critical to weight loss
Many times people will go to the pantry and snack, when in fact they are thirsty. Set a water goal for the day, and drink some water before you walk to get that snack. It may fill you up and decrease your calorie intake at the same time.
Myth #8: Eat your heaviest meal in the evening
Front-loading those calories during the day when you can burn them off may be a better option. Many people will eat a heavy dinner at night and skip lunch or breakfast. Switch it up and eat your heaviest meal for breakfast or lunch.
Myth #9: You need to exercise for 30 full minutes to get health benefits
The physical activity guidelines just changed. You can work out in five six-minutes blocks if that works best for you. Get in a total of 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least five times per week.