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Diet And Weight Loss Fallacies To Avoid

Updated on August 25, 2014
ProForm Treadmill - Interval training and high intensity interval/HIIT training are just a couple of factors in REAL and LASTING weight loss.
ProForm Treadmill - Interval training and high intensity interval/HIIT training are just a couple of factors in REAL and LASTING weight loss. | Source

© 2013 Express10

There are many weight loss and diet related fallacies. Some have a grain of truth that has been greatly exaggerated while others do not have even a bit of merit but make millions in revenues due to marketing. Many weight loss fallacies can have a negative impact on not only your weight, but also can negatively affect your health if you are not informed. What follows are short explanations of three weight loss tactics that often do little for those who choose them and some can cause health problems or even death.

Diet pills - Many people refuse to believe that there is no magic pill for weight loss and a fair number hop from one diet pill to another hoping to find nirvana through a pill. Including those that are FDA approved, diet pills historically have low levels of efficacy for a variety of reasons. Each user's body metabolizes foods differently and processes these pills differently than other people that may have been used as guinea pigs for any of the company's "trials," if any were done at all. Add in the fact that many users refuse to or cannot exercise regularly, eat clean, or take the pills as instructed and there is no wonder why there is such disappointment where diet pills are concerned. Even where all of these hurdles are cleared, there have been numerous cases of diet pills causing heart disease, liver damage, and even death.

Hundreds of thousands of diet pills and so called supplements are marketed and sold to people of all ages only with profit for the manufacturer in mind. Some of these pills are made or contaminated with dangerous ingredients while others are made with questionable or ineffective ones. By and large, many people who choose to use diet pills end up disappointed that they did not lose weight and a few claim they actually gained weight instead. Just because something can be purchased, it does not mean that it is safe for you to use. Inform yourself and tread very carefully if this is the route you choose to go. Think about it, if the pill advises you to exercise and diet/lower your calorie intake/etc. you do NOT need it! You need to exercise and eat clean anyway, why risk your health with diet pills and supplements?

A motivational weight loss program aboard a US Navy ship.
A motivational weight loss program aboard a US Navy ship. | Source

Extremely Restrictive Diets - You probably are familiar with these diets whether from personal experience or that of someone you know. These are diets that allow the dieter to eat one food and only that food such as the grapefruit or the soup diet. A variant of this is diets that eliminate or severely restrict entire food groups such as carbohydrates or fats. However, all of these diets can cause long term damage to the dieter's health through malnourishment, muscle loss, heart damage, and more. There are some dieter's whose will is strong to lose weight but not strong enough to choose healthier and often more challenging ways of losing or maintaining weight such as through a healthy/clean diet and exercise (cardio and strength training or weightlifting in moderation).

These diets leave the dieter's body in disarray and worse off than it was prior to beginning the extremely restrictive diet. This is due to the fact that their muscles are not being nourished or repaired with proper nutrients and muscle loss is part of the weight loss that these dieter's experience. Muscles are actually necessary for us to lose weight and maintain that loss because muscles burn many more calories over the course of a day than fat. When we lose muscle we are much more likely to gain more fat and this is why many dieters can lose weight then gain the lost weight back, plus more. The fat in our bodies burns a small fraction of the number of calories that our muscles do, even when we are doing absolutely nothing, muscles are burning more calories than our fat. Also, please understand that your heart is a muscle and this is why it is not uncommon for dieters, anorexics, and bulimics to have severe heart damage or die from their bad habits! Please don't go this route as it's not good for you in the short or long term and sets you up to gain more fat the second you stop eating this way.

A rendering of Highgrove Gym.
A rendering of Highgrove Gym. | Source

Sedentary Lifestyle - The fallacy with a sedentary lifestyle is that you can "make up" for it by reducing your calorie intake or by exercising 30, 60, or 90 minutes several times a week. Believing this is dangerous for your short and long term health particularly if you are a desk jockey, spend an hour or two commuting daily, or simply find yourself sitting for more than three hours daily. When you think about how much time you spend on your duff, think about your children as well. All of the time we spend sitting contributes to a slowing metabolism, weight gain, and muscle loss. Don't forget that your heart is a muscle that is NEVER allowed a break or you die. Our bodies were made to move, not crunch up into a chair or desk for extended periods.

The research and findings about sedentary lifestyles are quite negative and for those who continue to avoid moving around more on a daily basis and getting more exercise, they will likely find some health problems in the years to come. Typical problems from a sedentary lifestyle include, diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, kidney problems, cancer, and many more serious health problems that can end your life or severely damage your health. Do not believe that you can "make up" for years of inattention to your health, while some effects can be reduced if caught in time, there are many that cannot be reduced or reversed. For example, it's common that people see a person who has a healthy lifestyle but they may have no idea that the person may have not paid great attention to their health previously. When the person dies suddenly, they are keen to say "see, exercise and a good diet don't matter" or "if it's your time to go, it's your time to go." These are just two of the silliest and most irresponsible statements one could make. However, personal accountability is in short supply these days and possibly more so where many people's health is concerned.

Take a five minute stretch or try a 5 minute walking break at least once or twice every hour if you are in a setting where you must sit for extended periods. The point is to get your body out of that sitting position and get your muscles activated again and get increased circulation throughout your body. Make sure your child is actually getting recess and inform their teacher that you would appreciate it if your child is allowed to stand up and stretch at least once or twice an hour for just 5 minutes. There are many teachers who do this anyway but ask to make sure. Why go down the sedentary lifestyle road once you're informed of the damage you're doing? Don't let your kids go down this road either.


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    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 4 years ago from East Coast

      The pills are often unproven and carry a disclaimer that basically negates much, if not all it promises consumers. Many are useless and a fair number have proven to be harmful and have cost many people their health and even their lives. Thanks so much for reading.

    • jeffreymaskel profile image

      Jeffrey Maskel 4 years ago from Boulder, CO

      I've always been a hard gainer but I found this article very interesting. I dated a girl that always had image issues. She constantly was trying all the new pills that were popping up on the market. Very sad.

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 4 years ago from East Coast

      There are so many fad diets, pills, and extremes that one can go to to lose weight. Most of those going to extremes will suffer the consequences with their health in the short and long term, lose weight then gain it back with more, or both. Thanks so much for reading.

    • CarlySullens profile image

      CarlySullens 4 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      Great Hub! I think a lot of people want to lose weight so badly they do extreme things to their body in hopes it would quickly help shed the lbs. It is a good reminder that some of these extreme attempts can actually harm your body in the long run.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

      you know express10 this was a very good hub for many of us who plans or have unwanted pounds to shed.. kinda found it very informative and useful :)


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