Busting Weight Loss Myths!

  1. You can’t eat pizza or burgers while dieting for weight loss. 
  2. You have to do extreme exercise everyday to lose weight. 
  3. Eating carbs will make you fat. 
  4. Eating fat will make you fat. 
  5. Protein shake & weight lifting will make you bulky.
  6. Light weights & cardio are needed to look “toned”.
  7. Snacking will make you fat. 
  8. The Vegan diet is the healthiest diet. 
  9. The Carnivore diet is the healthiest diet. 
  10. Intermittent fasting is the best weight loss program.

That’s right, these are all NOT true. 

Salam Weight Loss Myths
  1. You can eat pizza & burgers and still lose weight AND without feeling overly restrictive.
There are a few major points to this, firstly, consistency is key. Your normal lifestyle/diet needs to include mostly whole foods that make you feel great and nourish your body (85-90% I would say) the other percentage can be “fun foods” that your body can tolerate on occasion. You can make healthier versions of your favorite comfort foods that satisfy the craving without over stuffing yourself. You need to listen to your body no matter what food you are eating and stop eating when you are full - that habit is critical to long term success and it takes practice!  
 
  1. You have to do extreme exercise everyday to lose weight. 
Wrong. In reality exercise is individual to the person. Whether you do CrossFit, yoga, power lifting or jazzercise I usually ask all my clients to have a step goal and go for regular intentional walks.  As a certified weight loss and nutrition coach, I really emphasize to my Salem area clients the importance of having a regular walking routine.  A step goal is a great metric because if you choose to do more exercise you will get more steps, if you just go for another short walk, you will get more steps - WIN WIN. I also encourage people to get in the routine of walking because it is always free and usually available to all - so you don’t need a gym to do it! There will also be times in your life where you might not be able to exercise as hard - sickness, injury, schedules, etc. However, most people can find some time to get a walk in here or there.  
 
  1.  Eating carbs will make you fat. 
Eating too much food for your activity level will make you gain fat. You might need to lower your carbs if you get lab work back saying you have a high fasting blood glucose, high Hemoglobin A1c or receive a diagnosis of diabetes type 2 of pre-diabetes. Others may feel better on a lower carb diet and there is nothing wrong with that. Some people find it easier to maintain a lower calorie intake for weight loss on a lower carb diet (higher protein, moderate fat can = more stable blood sugar & less snacking).  
 
  1.  Eating fat will make you fat.
Eating too much food (of any type) for your activity level will make you gain fat. Whether that extra energy comes from fat or carbs doesn’t matter. Eating more than your body requires and not moving enough usually leads to fat gain.  
 
  1.  Protein shake & weight lifting will make you bulky.
Get out. No. Wrong. So so wrong. Protein shakes are great recovery tool for after your workouts if it fits into your overall food plan for the day. For example, you don’t have to drink a protein shake after exercise, eating a balanced whole food meal is fine too. Lifting doesn’t make women bulky, people that look bulky or too muscular to you have probably worked extremely hard to attain that look. It will not happen overnight by accident. So, relax, eat well & lift some weights. It’s really really good for you.  
 
  1.  Light weights & cardio are needed to look “toned”.
In reality the “toned” look that most women seek is achieved by losing the fat tissue covering your muscles (calorie deficit) and building muscles from underneath by lifting heavy weights.  
 
  1.  Snacking will make you fat. 
I think you know this one by now. Eating too much and not moving your body enough will cause you to gain fat. Snacks can be a great addition to minimize hunger between meals and balance blood sugar - these are both important for making it easier to choose healthy choices (less hangry).  
 
  1.  The Vegan diet is the healthiest diet. 
Nope. The healthiest diet for a person is unique to them. A diet that makes you feel energetic, vibrant, free from disease or medical issues and most of all enjoy eating on a regular basis is most likely the healthiest diet for you. Vegan diets are known to be deficient in vitamin B12, D and other micronutrients. If a vegan diet is the healthiest diet you can eat… why do you need to supplement extra nutrients that you can’t get enough of from your “super healthy” diet? Food for thought.  
 
  1.  The Carnivore diet is the healthiest diet. 
I don’t promote the carnivore diet but there is evidence for it giving people some relief from digestive and autoimmune conditions. I don’t think it's a great long-term solution as again most people find it hard to maintain and enjoy long-term. It might be a useful healing tool for some. As a certified nutrition coach, I start my Salem area clients in the middle of the road and personalize to their needs when it comes to potentially using therapeutic diets.  
 
  1.  Intermittent fasting (IF) is the best weight loss program. 
Again, works for some not for all. People who have trouble with blood sugar regulation or hypoglycemia might find this hard. Most studies do not show IF has benefit for successful long term weight loss. 
 
 
Ali Parkerson, MS NTP
 
 

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