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Old 02-03-2013, 02:43 PM   #1
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Default Weight loss myths and misconceptions

I've been reading quite a few posts from people lately who are getting discouraged about slow or no weight loss. Usually these people are ones that have recently started in the last couple of months. That's such a crucial point in weight loss as that's when you decide if you stick with it for the long haul or give up. I hope I can point out some common misconceptions and give you hope that a few extra pounds is not the end.


Myth 1 - According to whatever tool, if I put X amount of calories in my body, I'll lose X amount of weight every week.

Reality - Most people never lose the same amount of weight every week, despite staying religiously on plan. Some may lose none at all, or even gain. It's weight loss over the long haul that matters. Any little thing can cause our bodies to hold on to weight, TOM, stress, sleep habits, or what color the sky is that day. Don't get discouraged if you're not losing exactly on schedule. If you're not seeing anything for 2 months, staying exactly on plan, maybe it's time for a reevaluation.


Myth 2 - You must exercise regularly to lose weight.

Reality - I would say for many people, as there are exceptions, exercise is not necessary to lose weight. Diet is the number one contributor to losing weight. Will you become healthier with regular exercise? Of course. Exercise is a great way to improve your health, but not necessarily to lose weight.


Myth 3 - If you eat too little your body will go into starvation mode.

Reality - Your metabolism may slow down and weight loss may slow down, but it will not stop completely. Starvation mode, the term as it's used regularly here, does not exist. Should you eat 500 calories a day? Absolutely not unless with the help of a doctor. Your body is not going to shut down at 1200 a day though.


Myth 4 - Eating X amount of whatever nutrient or not eating it is going to make or break my weight loss.


Reality - There are definitely people who are more sensitive to carbs than others, but all in all, making sure you eat x amount of this or that isn't going to make a big difference. For most people, it's calories in vs. calories out.


Myth 5 - I can never have (insert food here) again.

Reality - Yes you can! If you really want something, have it. Don't have multiples of it every day. Ice cream? Have a small one once a month, or one of the many 100 calorie ones out there. You don't have to eat salad for every meal to lose weight. There's so much variety out there now, there's a way to make your favorite food into a healthier version.


I'm not a doctor, or any sort of nutritionist. I'm just using my own experience and the experience of others here to base these thoughts on. It seems as if so many people recently are stressing out over these things, if maybe just one of them stays in the game because if it, I'd be happy.
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Last edited by Vex : 02-03-2013 at 02:46 PM. Reason: edited - people are senstitive to CARBS, not CRABS.... although they probably are
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:48 PM   #2
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I agree with everything you've said and got a chuckle out of a typo -- came out crabs instead of carbs.

Other news reports that have aired recently:

Eating breakfast has always been touted as a necessity. Most recent research indicates that it doesn't matter if you eat a big breakfast or not (and, in fact, the encouragement to do so may have been from the......ta da.........breakfast food industry -- shocking, I know!).

Recent research has shown that eating your largest meal of the day at noon seems to help with weight loss.

We've always been told to go slow with weight loss and that rapid weight loss will be just as quickly put right back on. Latest research indicates that whether it's fast or slow loss, the regaining is dependent upon what you're eating then, not how fast the weight initially came off.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:50 PM   #3
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I'll add a myth: That fat makes you fat.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:50 PM   #4
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Default re:

Yeah I saw the crabs typo. I have no doubt people are sensitive to them too.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:32 PM   #5
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Speaking of misconceptions, I found it amusing and ironic that one of the banner ads to the right of this thread (on my computer, anyway) is about "five foods that will cause you to gain weight." The foods are orange juice, tofu, soy-based milk products, whole-wheat grain products, and low-fat peanut butter. Guess I didn't get that memo when I lost 55 pounds while eating either tofu or whole-wheat grain products practically every day.

A couple of months ago I interviewed a weight loss expert who said that just about all weight-loss plans are based on either magic foods (to eat or avoid) or magic formulas (small meals, large meals, breakfast, no breakfast, etc.). In truth you simply have to eat less.

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Old 02-03-2013, 03:59 PM   #6
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I found these interesting. I agree with another poster, one of the biggest myths is that fat makes you fat. WRONG. It kills me when people say that. The one thing in my diet I splurge on (except for yogurt and ice cream, which has sugar in it and thus I buy low fat versions) is fat. Sour cream, cottage cheese, cream cheese etc... I always get the real deal and I don't think there's anything wrong with it. It's the carbs you have to watch out for and that pesky insulin. I'll pick a nice "fatty" sirloin over pasta and fries and bread at a restaurant any day

I do feel like exercise is an essential part of weight loss. I have lost weight through a strict diet alone, but I feel like exercising allows you to have more wiggle room and enjoy what you eat. It helps burn more fat off your body and shape/tone the muscles underneath as they poke up

There were some of these myths on the local news the other night. There is so much floating around based on dated 70's and 80's research studies. People just spout stuff out like a parrot. A new study said, for instance, people who lose a big amount of weight quickly versus those who lose it slow are just as likely to keep it off if not more. I thought that was interesting because I was always told if you lose it slowly it'll stay off longer, through what I assume is a more long term lifestyle change.
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Old 02-03-2013, 04:04 PM   #7
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Yes! Love all of those!

I'll add one:

I've gained enough muscle to offset the scale to mask fat loss.


Muscle is NOT easy to gain, and even with noob gains taken into account, a person would not gain a couple pounds of muscle a week! It's either water weight, or the person is not eating in enough of a deficit to lose anything.
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Old 02-03-2013, 04:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jez View Post
I'll add a myth: That fat makes you fat.
Yes, this is something I was told several years ago that I never knew. Fat doesn't get stored.
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Old 02-03-2013, 05:35 PM   #9
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Good thread but there is some information here that is not accurate or perhaps I'm just not understanding what people are saying.

Fat is stored as fat and is how we humans get fat. Excess calories is what makes us gain fat over time but it is the dietary fat we consume that is absorbed.

Fat stored is going to be less than fat burned if you're in a caloric deficit but it is indeed dietary fat that is stored as fat and causes us to become fat. Don't misunderstand what I'm saying here. You only gain fat when your energy intake exceeds your energy output.

Carbs are very rarely converted to fat in humans and when they are it is in small quantities. Protein is almost never converted to fat. The pathways for conversion exist but they are highly inefficient and not typcially utilized. Fat is stored as fat.

This doesn't mean fat should be avoided. Fat is one of the most satiating nutrients and an important nutrient for other reasons.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vex View Post


Myth 3 - If you eat too little your body will go into starvation mode.

Reality - Your metabolism may slow down and weight loss may slow down, but it will not stop completely. Starvation mode, the term as it's used regularly here, does not exist. Should you eat 500 calories a day? Absolutely not unless with the help of a doctor. Your body is not going to shut down at 1200 a day though.
If I had a dollar for every time someone spewed out this little gem on this board I would be rich. And probably less irritated! LOL.

That annoys me along with spelling errors like "loose" weight and the immediate jump from "I just started dieting and exercising for 1 week and I didn't lose any weight" and someone's inevitable response of "oh you've probably just gained muscle". SIGH.

Maybe that's my contribution of "myth" although I don't have science to back it up, just common sense. After 1 week how much muscle could you possibly have gained??!!!
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnP View Post
Carbs are very rarely converted to fat in humans and when they are it is in small quantities.
All the info I've read says that when you eat more carbs than your body can burn for fuel, the excess is converted to fat. Are you saying this is wrong?
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:11 PM   #12
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Part of it is we're conditioned to want it NOW. I'm just as guilty as everyone else. I started out wanting to lose 100lbs in 4.5 months. Completely ridiculous, and I'm not a stupid person usually. But every ad, every success story? They all push "fast". That's why we're seeing so many new posters 4 weeks in discouraged because they've "only" lost 3lbs.

No body is the same. The rules really are different for all of us. But those rules are tweaks inside the larger scope of healthy, cals in cals out etc, and we need to play around and educate ourselves on what our bodies need.
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:15 AM   #13
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Hmm, there are a lot of myths out there. *rolls eyes*

Over the years, and I'm no spring chicken. I'm 53, have grandkids! Love them.

Anyway, over the years, I've learned what works for me.

I do need to keep a food diary/journal. I need to go to my Weight Watcher meetings, and I need to get formal/scheduled exercise.

I have also learned, that while WW promotes veggies and fruit, fruit is bad for me. It monkeys with my blood sugar.

So, I don't eat much fruit, I just eat more veggies.

What it really boils down to is patience, and taking the time to learn your body and what does and does not work, and rolling with the dice you were given!
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:29 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Novus View Post
All the info I've read says that when you eat more carbs than your body can burn for fuel, the excess is converted to fat. Are you saying this is wrong?
It really couldn't be more wrong. Unfortunately the people who know how nutrition and science work aren't typically blogging or writing internet articles so you're left with nutrition "professionals" who are selling one product or another. I can list a number of reasons carbs should be limited by most dieters but conversion to fat is simply not one of them.

Carbs are stored but they are stored as glycogen. Obviously the ingestion of more carb calories means less fat calories are going to be burned as the body prefers carbs over fat for fuel.

The process of converting carbs to fat is called de novo lipogenesis and in many animals this is common but in humans it is not normal for this to happen except in small quantities and when you're consuming massive amounts of carbs. We're not rats.

If you want to read more about it you can read this article which sadly like most of his articles is not footnoted but the fact that de novo lipogenesis is not substantial in humans is fairly well documented.

Hope this helps. In the end - it really doesn't matter if carbs are converted or not - because if you consume excess calories you gain fat. It's just nice to have accurate information.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:57 AM   #15
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Great thread!

I had a question about what John just wrote. You said that carbs (and I'm presuming protein) don't convert to fat easily in humans, but then said
Quote:
In the end - it really doesn't matter if carbs are converted or not - because if you consume excess calories you gain fat.
but that would mean that the only way to gain fat would be to eat fat, right?

Does that mean that if I ate a lot of food, but really tried to limit my fat intake that the amount of fat I gained would be proportionate to the amount of fat I ate, rather than the number of calories? (Sorry if I'm not asking that clearly... I'm in a rush right now)
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