Top 8 biggest myths about weight loss and obesity

Heather Campbell
 min read

The top 8 biggest myths about weight loss and obesity are those that are the most likely to stop you from your weight loss goals.

Top 8 biggest myths about weight loss and obesityTopics such as weight loss, overweight, and obesity are complex. Often these processes involve much more than the simple advice of “eat less.”

In addition, there are also many myths circulating about losing weight. Read on to see which the biggest ones are and if you’re guilty of them.

Top 8 biggest myths about weight loss and obesity: Introduction

Given the plethora of myths floating about when it comes to weight loss and obesity, we decided to call out the biggest ones that are often quoted as fact.

Read below to find out what these myths are to be more realistic about your weight loss and fat burning needs and goals.

Losing weight slowly works better

Most nutritionists and weight loss coaches recommend losing weight slowly, for example, 1 pound per week.

This would reduce your chances of the so-called yo-yo effect. This theory is disseminated in many books and courses and by many government agencies and health professionals.

Contrary to expectations, however, several studies have shown that it is not certain that this necessarily leads to a better long-term outcome.

In fact, several studies have shown that losing weight quickly often leads to better long-term results.

But what is best, and what should you do next in terms of strategy?

It remains difficult to give clear and unequivocal advice on this that works for everyone. Some people benefit from losing weight slowly because they are uncomfortable with a large calorie deficit.

But there are also people who can easily lose a few pounds a month and lose weight faster than others.

Some people can easily tolerate a large calorie deficit and like to get rid of it faster. Then there are those who are much more likely to feel unbearable hunger.

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And in addition, some people place enormous importance on quick results, which gives them hope and strength to stick with it and persevere.

In other words, you need to feel for yourself what works for you and pay particular attention to making sure you are getting enough nutrients.

You must have a realistic plan

According to many specialists and nutritionists, creating a realistic plan with achievable slimming goals is better.

While this remains good advice for the majority of people, several scientific studies show that it is far from certain that realistic and achievable goals necessarily work better.

For some, it may even be that an unrealistic goal provides certain hope and inspiration to really get started. The answer here may not be as black and white as we think.

The best recommendation here is to find what works for you and stick with it.

So the following expression may apply, depending on your character and attitude:

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”

The stages of change are good predictors of weight loss

The Transtheoretical Model (TTM) is often used for behavior change,. This is a theory for predicting behavior change and categorizing it into periods.

This TTM behavior change theory is used by some nutritionists to guide an individual to a healthier lifestyle using the “stages of change.”

However, it is not clear whether the TTM model is really a good predictor of slimming and weight loss.

In other words, it cannot be said with certainty that this model is the best method for pursuing weight loss for this type of behavior change.

Sport and gymnastics at school are the solutions for obese children

Utterly contrary to expectations, there is American scientific research that concludes that gymnastics and exercise in elementary school is not the most effective way to combat childhood obesity.

Of course, gymnastics and exercise in school offer several benefits such as improved motor skills, increased relaxation, social bonding, a greater chance of playing sports and exercising later in life, and improved school performance.

However, there may be no direct positive effect of gymnastics and exercise on childhood obesity without additional factors.

Needless to say, school gymnastics can have an indirect positive impact in the long run (and help fight overweight and obesity).

Environmental factors such as parental knowledge of nutrition, encouragement and stimulation by friends and family, and the availability of unhealthy foods may have a more significant impact on children and their weight than just relying on gymnastics in school.

Breastfeeding is effective in preventing childhood obesity

You often hear that breastfed children are less likely to be overweight or obese.

For now, several meta-analyses show that no association has been found between breastfeeding and a reduced risk of obesity later in life.

Standing on the scale every day is unwise

The standard advice is that you should not weigh yourself every day because it leads to frustration with your weight loss.

This potential frustration mainly relates to the daily weight fluctuations due to hormones, times of day, weekly habits, etc.

On the other hand, studies also show that daily weighing does not necessarily lead to a worse outcome and may even help weight loss for some.

But if you’re prone to addictions? Then be careful not to get addicted to standing on the scale and weighing yourself. Using your common sense is key for this one. Find what works for you and make sure it doesn’t cause you stress.

Parental genetics do not affect the development of obesity in their children

The idea is that genetic change and natural selection do not affect the development of obesity in offspring.

However, several researchers have shown that natural selection does occur and can have an impact on children’s weight:

  • First, people with higher BMIs have relatively more children. As a result, both genetic material and social skills and lifestyle are more likely to be passed on by parents with higher BMIs to their children.
  • Second, it is also notable that partner choice is not random. People with higher BMI marry each other relatively often. These couples with a higher BMI reproduce, resulting in a larger population of children with a specific lifestyle and/or genetic material.

In short, through natural selection, parents with a higher BMI have a greater risk that their children will also have a higher BMI.

The processes of natural selection may increase the likelihood of increasing numbers of families with unfavorable socioeconomic status. Which ultimately leads to increased BMI in children of parents with higher than average BMI.

I have heavy bones, so it’s harder for me to lose weight

Is it true that it is harder for some people to lose weight because they have heavy bones?

No. The claim that you have heavy bones and therefore lose weight less successfully is doubtful.

The weight of your bones only determines your total body weight to a minimal degree.

In particular, your weight is primarily determined by muscle and fat mass. For example, the difference in bone mass between people of equal height is often only 6 to 9 ounces.

You may have Bochem’s disease with excessive bone growth, but that chance is extremely small (less than 1 in a million), and you’d know anyway.

So how do I successfully lose weight?

So good news for those who thought they had heavy bones: it’s not the case, and you’re just struggling with fat.

And unlike excessive bone formation, there is something to be done about excess fat.

If you are overweight, it is probably because you are eating too much and not exercising enough.

This is often very confronting and difficult to resolve by yourself quickly. Motivation, perseverance, patience, and the proper knowledge are often decisive.

To help you get started, you can always contact a nutritionist and/or sports coach to lose weight under supervision.

Tip: If you are extremely overweight (BMI of 30+), be sure to enlist the help of a dietitian or family doctor.

Such professionals can help you lay out a healthy and balanced diet that can ensure that you no longer have to claim that your heavy bones make it harder for you to lose weight…

Top 8 biggest myths about weight loss and obesity: Conclusion

Are they really all myths about slimming?

Science is constantly evolving. This means that, at the moment, we have to make do with the current scientific literature. But no one knows what the future holds or what will be discovered.

You may feel that you have a pretty good idea of reality, but unfortunately, sometimes old paradigms seem so obvious that it is challenging to change your old perspective and beliefs.

Keep an open mind, and you’ll soon notice the difference.

Related post: 10 Common mistakes when trying to lose weight & How to avoid them

About Heather Campbell

As a dietitian, my field of specialization is science-based nutritional advice but more importantly, it is my goal to share capturing and inspiring stories, examples and solutions which can help plus-size individuals overcome their specific difficulties. Read More