Obesity rates in the United States are high and, as you age, your chances of becoming overweight increase. If you are starting to feel concerned about your weight, then it might be time to start shedding a couple of pounds. There is no perfect method for losing weight, but there are imperfect methods and myths about weight loss. Here is the truth about some common weight loss and dieting misconceptions.
Calories Are Not Always Bad For You
It is commonly believed that, if you are trying to lose weight, you need to avoid calories. However, this belief is not entirely true. On the one hand, in order to lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than you burn, which means that you do have control portion sizes and you might want to consider counting calories. On the other hand, calories from certain foods groups can actually help you burn energy by giving your metabolism a boost. Therefore, while you do need to watch your calorie intake, you should not be considered if those calories are coming from foods that are packed with nutrients including protein, fiber, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Meanwhile, you definitely want to cut back on calories if they are coming from sugars, processed ingredients, and fattier foods because these calories are considered empty calories. Empty calories simply provide your body with fuel without providing your body with a means of burning that fuel at a particularly fast rate. If you do not burn that fuel, the energy may store as fat, which will most likely lead to weight gain. Not all calories are bad, but you do want to count calories if they are coming from a bad source.
Eating Less and Exercising More Is Not All It Takes
If you manage to eat less and exercise more that will probably be good for you because you will likely lose some weight. However, usually, losing weight actually requires a few serious lifestyle and habit changes. Simply eating less does not take into account the idea that you might have to completely alter the relationship that you have with the food you eat. For example, if you eat when you are stressed or when you are bored, it might be hard to simply break this habit just because you want to shed a couple of pounds.
Food probably makes you feel good and helps you deal with certain emotional needs. You will need to engage in other habits that will help deal with your emotions differently. You will have to learn to deal with stress and boredom in a healthy manner so that you can learn to eat less. Serious stresses might even require counseling or medication if they are caused by some sort of mental health disorder. The reality is that simply consuming less than you burn is not as easy as it sounds. If it were so simple, everybody would be in good shape and obesity rates would be lower.
You Do Not Have To Stay Away From Carbohydrates and Fat
If obesity was caused by carbohydrates and fats, then obesity would not be a relatively new problem. Humans have been eating carbohydrates and fats for centuries, but obesity has not. A few indications of obesity throughout history does not add up to the epidemic that it is for the current generation. The truth is that the problem is not about eating fats and carbohydrates. Rather, it must do with where those fats and carbohydrates are coming from and the quantity of those types of foods that we eat. Refined and simple sugars are probably something that you want to avoid, but other types of carbs are much healthier. Fibers, legumes, and whole grains found in plants are not going to hurt you.
Similarly, when it comes fat, processed oils are probably something that you want to avoid. However, the fat found in avocados and nuts is going to be fine. Even the fat in milk and cheese is healthy as long as you monitor portion sizes. You should not necessarily stay away from carbohydrates and fat. You should stay away from processed ingredients. Stick to plant based and natural ingredients and you will have an easier time losing weight.
Dieting Is Not As Simple As It Seems
If you can stick to a diet for a couple of weeks, then you will see results. However, once you reach your goal, you have to continue sticking to the diet to an extent. You may be able to choose to be more relaxed about certain aspects of the diet, but your lifestyle does have to remain healthy. Otherwise, you will not be able to maintain your weight loss. In fact, one of the biggest problems for men when it comes to weight loss is the inability to maintain losses and 85% of people will gain back the weight they lost within a year of losing it. Therefore, a six month diet plan is not going to cut it if you want to prevent obesity in the long run. You need a lifelong diet plan, which will require some lifestyle changes.
Additionally, simply picking up “diet foods” from the grocery store does not mean you are choosing healthy food options. “Low fat” often means “high sugar” and “protein bar” often means “candy bar in disguise”. You have to read nutritional labels to figure out what you are really eating. A real diet will mean that you avoid unnatural ingredients. In order to treat, manage, and prevent obesity, you need to start adding more fruits, vegetables, and a few other protein sources to your lifelong diet. Tread carefully around anything else.
Dieting and weight loss is an important part of living a healthy life. Obesity can lead a number of serious health concerns, so you maintain a healthy weight can help to avoid many problems. However, do not believe everything you hear. Some dieting fads can be misleading, so you should talk to a healthcare provider if you really want to learn about the best ways to diet and lose weight.