The truth about weight loss myths
When it comes to weight loss, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed or discouraged when it isn’t necessarily quick or easy. Most of the common weight loss myths and reasons given for avoiding making changes to how we eat and our activity levels, though, aren’t true.
“It’s very common to get in our own way when it comes to losing weight,” Alicia Hyatt, LPC, said. “There are a lot of seemingly harmless little things we tell ourselves that feel like searching for permission to give up.” Hyatt broke down those weight loss myths and explained how to make small changes that can lead to big results.
Myth #1: “I don’t know where to start.”
When you don’t know where to begin, the best decision is to start by asking for help! Rather than being discouraged by the seemingly effortless journeys of weight-loss influencers, look instead for local resources like dietitians who can help you create a personalized plan designed to maximize health, not just cut calories.
Myth #2: “I’ve failed at diets before. I’ll fail this one.”
“One of the best ways to lose weight is not to ‘go on a diet,’” said Hyatt. “Instead, focus on living a healthier overall lifestyle.”
Starting healthier habits like regular exercise, changing up snack choices, or being sure to fill half your plate with veggies helps create a well-rounded way of increasing health that doesn’t involve obsessing over every bite. You can’t change the past, but you can start to make changes that will impact your future.
Myth #3: “I’m too tired/I don’t have energy for exercise.”
We live in an exhausting world, and it can feel impossible to carve out time for yourself when you’re already juggling a thousand things. However, any activity is better than no activity.
Don’t have the time to run by a gym every day? Take a walk with your family after dinner to get your heart rate up without losing family togetherness time!
“I suggest small changes at first,” said Hyatt. “Things like parking further away when going to the grocery store, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or setting a reminder for every two hours to get up and move around if you sit throughout the day can really add up, especially once they become a part of your routine.”
Myth #4: “I can’t exercise because I have bad knees/a bad back/other physical limitations.”
It’s true that those prone to knee injuries or shin splints might find high-impact exercise like running painful and could ultimately risk serious injury as a result. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t still take up exercise that’s easier on your body.
“If you have limitations, focus on what you CAN do,” said Hyatt. “If you have difficulty with lower body exercises, then focus more on upper body or chair exercises. If running is rough, try walking or riding a bike instead. If you can’t lift weights to build strength, consider Pilates.”
Myth #5: “Eating healthy is too expensive.”
Did you know that frozen veggies and fruits are just as healthy as fresh in most cases, and often significantly cheaper by weight? Because they are mostly flash-frozen, frozen veggies maintain their nutritional qualities. It’s easy to toss frozen veggies into a stir fry or soup and add plenty of vitamins and minerals without a lot of extra cost. You can also rely on canned beans or tuna for quick-cooking protein that’s easy on the wallet.
“Many of those who struggle with excess weight end up needing eventual ongoing medical care for conditions like diabetes, heart disease or other physical ailments,” said Hyatt. “Taking control of your weight loss and making small everyday changes to your life, even those as simple as adding more fruits and vegetables, can make a big difference in your long-term health and happiness.”
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