Five weight loss myths you wish you had known about sooner

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Weight Loss Myths

Here are five weight loss myths that you wish you had known sooner.

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Chewing gum

You might have read chewing gum can help with weight loss. There is some research that suggests gum can help stave off hunger and the internet is still full of article suggesting it could work. Unless you're chewing gum on a full stomach and using sugarless gum, don't count on this little "trick" to help you eat less. Results of a study published in 2011 suggests gum might trick the stomach into thinking it's getting some food. However, that finding was debunked. The truth is, chewing gum stimulates saliva that releases gastric juices and can increase food carvings, especially for salty and sweet snacks. Minty gum was shown in a 2013 study to make vegetables taste bad, which is turn can lead to unhealthy food choices.

Healthy foods cost more

This might be one of the biggest food myths that also seems to have no end. Frozen fruits and vegetables are inexpensive and often overlooked. Inexpensive beans, peas and other pulses are easily added to soups and casseroles instead of meat and make an excellent substitute. You can also try buying less expensive cuts of meat. and cook it slowly. You won't be sacrificing taste. Choose whole chicken over cut chicken; buy bread on sale and freeze it and don't be afraid to eat leftovers. Instead of buying prepared meals, stock your kitchen and cook from scratch. You'll find a significant amount of savings when you stop buying prepared and boxed foods that are loaded with calories and unhealthy fats.

Eating breakfast is important for weight loss

No, it isn't. The notion that you need protein or fiber with breakfast to stave off mid morning hunger is just another myth. In fact, if you can eliminate your morning meal, you'll be cutting calories that you'll be unlikely to compensate for later in the day, according to results of a 2013 study.

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Skipping breakfast also means you're body is fasting longer between meals, which has been shown to stimulate weight loss.

Gluten free foods lead to weight loss

There is simply no evidence to support this weight loss myth. People who choose to avoid gluten for purposes of losing weight make better food choices that lead to weight loss. Choosing gluten free food mean reading labels carefully and leads to mindful eating. Some gluten free foods are also lower in nutrition, cost more and may even still contain gluten, according to a Consumer Report. Unless you have celiac disease of a gluten intolerance, you'll want to avoid following this dietary advice simply for the sake of shedding pounds.

You can't lose weight unless you exercise heavily

This is another myth that can prevent people with physical disabilities or who have been inactive from even trying to lose weight. Research has shown that even diet alone can lead to weight loss. You don't have to exercise heavily or at one time to burn calories. It's okay to split up activities such as walking, resistance training or biking into ten or even 15 minute segments throughout the day. You'll still be getting the same benefits as someone who exercises 30 minutes to an hour a day at one time. Once you start moving, even a little bit at a time, you're exercise tolerance will increase. This is especially important for anyone who has been sedentary and feels like they don't have "energy" Consider a simple walking program and just start slowly. Get up and move at least every 30 minutes if nothing else. Activity of any kind, combined with prudent eating, will help you lose weight.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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