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Weight Loss Myths: What No One Is Telling You

Weight Loss Myths: What No One Is Telling You. PHOTO: Ebony

The amount of information and therapeutics on weight loss is so enormous you can’t possibly exhaust it. The race to shred every bit of fat has spawned a multi-billion dollar industry in diets, supplements and even surgery. In the US alone, the weight loss industry is valued at $72 billion [N26,028,000,000,000.00].

What is it about weight loss that is making millions of people scour the internet daily for “weight loss tips”, “how to lose weight in 2 weeks” and other body slimming related keywords? 

Slimming or (intentional) weight loss has a lot of benefits which include: decreased risk of diabetes, lowered blood pressure, improved cholesterol levels, decreased risk of heart disease, improved mobility, decreased joint pain, improved blood sugar levels, decreased risk of stroke, reduced back pain, decreased risk or improvement in symptoms of osteoarthritis, decreased risk or improvement in symptoms of sleep apnea.

However, many of the information on weight loss are shrouded in myths. So what are the weight loss myths that we need to debunk?


You Can Exercise Away The Fat

This is probably the most popular weight loss misconception. Indeed regular exercise is good for your body and brain. Regular exercise reduces the risk of chronic diseases, boosts sex drive, helps you relax and sleep better, helps the flow of blood and oxygen. And also burn some calories.

However, the blunt truth is that; all the exercise in the world won’t help you lose weight if you don’t pay attention to your diet.

Smoothie. PHOTO – My Fitness pal

Go On A Juice Cleansing Diet

Juice cleansing is the practice of weaning yourself from solid food and drinking fresh smoothies and juices extracted from vegetables and fruits. It is believed this can help detoxify the body, support digestion and jumpstart weight loss.

Indeed you would lose some weight with this diet plan; however, most of the weight lost in this process would be fluid or water weight.

Stay Away From Fatty Food

Fat provides essential nutrients and should be an important part of a healthy eating plan. You only need to limit fats to avoid extra calories. If you are trying to lose weight, consider eating small amounts of food with healthy fats, such as avocados, olives, or nuts.

No Late-Night Eating

It is often advised that one shouldn’t eat later than 8 p.m. This idea stems from animal studies, which suggest that the body may use consumed calories differently past a certain time of day. 

Some researchers hypothesize that eating at night goes against your circadian rhythm, which is the 24-hour cycle that tells your body when to sleep, eat and wake. 

However, not all studies in humans support this notion. It is not WHEN you eat that matters but WHAT and HOW MUCH you eat.

Skip Breakfast

Should you skip breakfast in order to slim down? No. Breakfast is not just the most important meal of the day, but a good breakfast ensures you don’t miss out on the essential nutrients that you would need. And skipping meals altogether can result in tiredness.

Weight Loss Pills

In a bid to slim down, many ingest different types of diet pills and herbal supplements. Many of these pills make vague promises and claims which are not back by clinical research. 

These pills are may cause damage to your health in the long run.

Fasting or Starvation Diet

Yes, fasting or starvation would indeed lead to weight loss; however, the risk outweighs the benefits. 

When you drastically reduce food intake, your body goes into conservation mode. It burns calories slowly. Also, bear in mind that the initial weight lost during fasting or starvation is primarily fluid and not fat.

You Can Target Specific Spots

Not everyone wants a total weight loss. A large number of people are bothered about the fat in particular areas of their body such as the belly or thighs. 

Unfortunately, there is no scientific evidence to prove that you can burn fat in only specific areas of your body. 

According to British fitness coach, Joe Wicks:

“…doing 500 sit-ups a day will not burn the fat around your tummy, and no amount of triceps dips is going to burn off those bingo wings. Building strong abdominal (abs) muscles will not give you a 6-pack if those muscles are hiding behind body fat. The human body just doesn’t work like that.”


The medical information provided in this article is provided as an information resource only. This information does not create any patient-physician relationship and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.

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