Myth #1: All fats and carbs are bad.
Not all carbs and fats are created equally, and you still need complex carbs and healthy fats in moderation to sustain your energy and support vital body functions. Without them, your body may resort to using protein and muscles stores, instead. Two pieces of wheat toast with butter or avocado is a great way to get your carbs and fats (much better than two doughnuts and a tall Frappuccino). Just keep all your food groups in moderation.
Myth #2: Consuming too much protein and/or lifting weights will make you bulky
Many people, especially women, may try to avoid eating protein or lifting weights so they don’t “bulk up.” Protein is vital, however, for more than just muscle mass. Protein is in your bones, cartilage, skin, hair, and nails. Your body also uses protein to repair tissue, and protein can keep you fuller longer. Plus, building muscle through strength exercise, like weightlifting, can strengthen your bones, help with weight loss, and improve your body composition. So, pick up a set of weights a couple of times a week; your body will thank you.
Myth #3: Exercise is the most important factor in losing weight.
Exercise can certainly help you lose weight, but it’s only a small part of the weight loss equation. Your weight is determined 20% by exercise and 80% by what you eat. How much you run your body’s engine isn’t as important as what you put in it. If you want to change your weight, change what you put in your body. Focus on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Of course, exercise is still important. Exercise supports a healthy heart, can keep your stress levels low, and helps build muscle and burn calories. If you’re only paying attention to your exercise, though, and not your eating habits, you won’t see nearly as much progress.
Myth #4: If you’re hungry, you’re losing weight.
This myth has some basis since a calorie deficit (more calories expended than calories eaten) will generally lead to weight loss. Intermittent fasting can also be an effective way to lose weight after you consult with your doctor. However, starving yourself or frequently going without food for 24 hours or longer is not a sustainable way to lose weight. Your body may go into “starvation mode” and hold on to more calories in an effort to preserve energy since your body is built to survive. If you’re planning to lose weight and keep those pounds off, do it in a way you can keep up long term!