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Most common myths about weight loss

Updated on March 10, 2017
Sam Dreiberg profile image

A young software engineer passionate about being a writer, sharing thoughts, and spreading knowledge.

With obesity numbers increasing rapidly, there is a lot of bad advice and myths circling all around the internet. This hub aims to clarify the most common myths about weight loss.

Myth 1 : All Carbs Make You Fat

One of the most common myths about weight loss is that all carbohydrates are bad for your body. And you should avoid eating any carbohydrates as carbohydrates make you fat. This is not true.

There are many types of carbohydrates. Some are good for you and some are bad. Many studies have been conducted over the time to prove that eating good carbs along with high protein intake helps in weight loss.

  • Study 1 - The effects of a low-carbohydrate diet and a low-fat diet on mood, hunger, and other self-reported symptoms.
  • Study 2 - A randomised trial comparing a very low carbohydrate diet and a calorie-restricted low fat diet on body weight and cardiovascular risk factors in healthy women.
Source of studies : National Centre for Biotechnology Information

The fact is low-carbohydrate diets may result in weight loss initially but in long-term the difference of weight loss between a low-carbohydrate diet and a high-carbohydrate diet is minimal.

And a very low-carbohydrate diet can be unhealthy as carbs are the preferred fuel source for our bodies to work effectively.

The following diagram explains the difference between the good and bad carbohydrates.


Myth 2 : All Calories Are Equal

Yes, Calories are the source of energy for your body. Yes, all calories provide the same energy amount.

But not all calories are same. Not all calories are equal. Different types of calories can have different type of effect on your body.

Few examples of different types of calories are:

  • Protein Calorie
  • Carbohydrate Calorie
  • Fat Calorie

On one hand carbohydrate and fat calories may result in weight gain, protein calories help your body in losing weight by boosting your metabolism and reducing your appetite.

Here are few studies to illustrate how protein calories are your best friend:

  • Study 1 - The role of protein in weight loss and maintenance.
  • Study 2 - A high-protein diet for reducing body fat: mechanisms and possible caveats
Source of studies : National Center for Biotechnology Information


Myth 3 : "Eat Less, Move More" helps you lose weight

The logical reason many people would provide you behind this myth is that body fat is nothing but stored calories/energy. And if you burn more calories than you intake, you will lose weight.

This makes sense and works for some people as well but studies show that this is only a short term solution. And over the period of time, people tend to gain the weight back.

As the study here shows, there are many psychological as well as biochemical reasons behind this.

  • Study 1 - Physiological adaptations to weight loss and factors favouring weight regain
Source of studies : International Journal of Obesity


Myth 4 : All Obese People Are Unhealthy

Obese people are unhealthy, thin people are healthy. This is one of the most common myths. But this is nothing but a myth.

Yes, chronic diseases like diabetes, heart diseases are more common in obese people. But it does not mean all obese people are unhealthy. There have been plenty of cases where thin people have these chronic diseases. And there have been plenty of cases where obese people are metabolically more healthy than thin people.

One of the studies to support the fact is:

  • Study 1 - Prevalence of Metabolic Syndrome Among Adults 20 Years of Age and Over, by Sex, Age, Race and Ethnicity, and Body Mass Index: United States, 2003–2006
Source of studies : Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


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