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Important Myths about Weight Loss and Weight Gain

Updated on November 18, 2015

Obesity has become a global problem in todays population and it has been on the rise worldwide, as a result of this heart diseases, diabetes and several forms of cancer has been plaguing the society. Statistics has showed that over one third (1/3) of children and two third (2/3) of adults in the US are overweight or struggling from obesity.

Consequently, as these scary numbers on the scale increases so does new diet theories and the weight loss methods, dumping billions of dollars in the weight loss industry.

Despite these new theories and weight loss ideas the knowledge of obesity and how to lose weight does not seem to be increasing at all.

1. Body mass index is useless.

BMI or the body mass index, is a simple method which is commonly used to determine whether or not someone is obese or overweight. BMI is calculated by dividing the body weight of an individual by height squared, this helps to account for the well-known fact that someone who is taller weigh disproportionately more than someone who is shorter if their body fat percentage is the same.

Body mass index is frequently criticized, as it does not differentiate muscle from fat. Often times people who are muscular are inaccurately classified has overweight, a perfect example would be quarterback Tony Romo who plays for the Dallas Cowboys, whose BMI would put him in the category of obese.

Although, BMI has its limits and notorious counter-examples it is highly associated with body fat and 80% of the time its obesity and overweight categorization is accurate. Waist circumference measurements might provide us with far more accuracy because they give us a better indication as to where and how fat is distributed in our bodies.

Body mass index chart for adults

2 Every obese person is unhealthy

It is widely said that once someone is obese they cannot be healthy. Popular websites like CNN told readers that “it’s impossible to be obese and healthy” well known sites like Forbes.com call it “a myth” and Time.com reported “You cant’s be fit and fat.”

But the truth is, the location of fat in the body is far more important than the total amount of fat. The difference is: individuals who are “pear-shaped” are at less risk of diseases because they generally store fat in their flanks and buttocks. On the other hand, people who are “apple-shaped” are at more risk to illnesses as they usually accumulate fat around the belly area.

What can be extremely dangerous is the “visceral fat” that surrounds the organs in your body as well the fat in the liver. Therefore, being obese but pear-shaped can be an advantage, as the health risk is lower than being normal weight or fat but your body is apple-shaped, which has a significantly larger proportion of liver and visceral fat. As a result of this realization the recent theory of “metabolically healthy obesity” has been introduced.

In terms of where fat is stored in the body this is generally determined by genetics. A lot of men, especially, those whose background is South Asian as a higher health risk than women because the visceral fat proportion in their body is much greater.

It’s really difficult to target the loss of fat from one region to the next but all in all weight loss results in similar reductions of the various different fat deposits.

As we all know exercise I a great way to reduce obesity’s negative effect on human health. People who are active and physically fit but obese have a reduced or similar risk of cardiovascular death and disease as individuals who are not fat but less physically active or fit.

Consequently, physical inactivity might be just as bad as obesity and will increase health risk, therefore it is strongly recommended that we try to engaged in some sort of physical activity even if we don’t have a need to lose weight.


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3. A healthy body weight is all about personal willpower and responsibility

Individuals whose weight is at a normal level generally like to appraised for avoiding obesity, bashing fatness because they assume it result from some combination of sloths and gluttony. Majority of medical professional on the internet keep on recommending eat less and exercise more!

Sound logical, but if only their advice would produce effective results. several people engage in supervised exercise routines, but are disappointed because weight loss is less than estimated from the calories burned while exercising. Checking the actual statistic, exercising females actually gain weight instead of losing it.

No weight loss may be the outcome of compensatory decreases in a few other physically activities- for example laying on the couch for a couple hours after a thirty-minute run. Additionally, your hunger can escalate, and offsetting the calories burnt during exercise does not take much.

Many might suggest counting calories and eating less but sometimes even if we are equipped with the best diet- tracking apps or weight loss technology, many tend to underestimate the amount of food they consume daily. Besides, the amount of calorie we intake generally fluctuate widely and often times these swings exceeds 1,000 calories per day. By using such imperfect tools, how can an individual knew if they have made any dent in the calorie they in take?

Sure, making huge cuts in calorie would be easily detected, this is usually what persons do when they make changes to their diet. But when this happens weight loss is resisted and appetite and hunger increases.

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4. All diets are certainly going to fail

The myth of diet failing exists because, statistics as shown that, many people usually regain at least a few pounds of the weight they lose after a few years. This is particularly true if persons consider dieting a temporary method for weight loss.

Nevertheless, when changes in our diet is persistent and becomes an overall lifestyle modification, statistic as shown that many if not all of those individuals have continued to keep the weight off over an extended period of time.

A recent research showed that ten years after a group of adults began an exercise and diet program, majority of the individuals maintained weight loss greater than 5%- which turned out to be beneficial clinically. Additionally, almost 40% of the group lost more than 10% of their body fat after one year and a significant amount of those person (65%) kept off the weight and maintained more than 5% of weight loss after ten years.

Apart from regular weight monitoring, these people are successful because they kept on engaging in physical activities.

Even though, exercise may not be as effective as we thought in inducing the weight loss process. It is definitely a huge contributor to keeping the weight off. This is simple because, in comparison to losing weight, only a small change in calorie intake is required to maintain weight loss.

5. The body goes into “starvation mode” when we diet and weight loss comes to a halt or our metabolic rate slows down.

The concept that dieting actually slows down or halts weight loss is a debatable topic and appears in most fitness and weight loss publications online.

But even though it’s a fact that our metabolism does slow down when calories are cut, the change in metabolism offsets less than 50% of the reduction in diet calories over the first 6 months of dieting. It actually takes many years for the body’s metabolic rate reduction to fully neutralize the average dieter’s decrease in calories and result in what is known as weight plateau.

People who encounter a weight plateau within six to eight months or less after dieting may have other factors that contributes to their sudden stop in weight loss in such a short period of time.

In fact, weight plateau is likely the outcome of a steady loss of adherence to the diet change which was originally planned. Persons tend to consume a lot more calories when there is a stall in weight loss than when they initially started to diet. We never fully understood why this happens most of the times, but I think biology plays a very important role.

This is a perfect example; we all know that weight loss results in changes in body hormone, which influences fullness and hunger, additionally, it alters how the human brain responds to food cues in the surrounding. This means that food may become more rewarding to us.

The overall food intake is generally influenced by these changes and may occur below our awareness level. Therefore, individuals may report that they are still on the diet they originally started out with when weight plateau arises, but objective measurements proves otherwise.

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