By Kristin Kullberg posted on April 17, 2017
Weight loss and nutrition can be confusing, and that's because there's a lot of false information on the internet. It seems as though your doctor says one thing, your mom says another, and your friend has her opinion about a program that worked so well for her, so how do we know what is actually true? Having a Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition helps me to sift through it all, but without this type of education how are you supposed to know? We all know the internet isn't always the most reliable source of information, but when it's presented in a fancy infographic like the one below, it starts to earn our trust. At one point or another you've probably searched the internet looking for a quick fix to weight loss and stumbled across something similar to this. I saw this image on Pinterest and was immediately thrown into a raging fit as I read all of the misinformation. It makes it sound so easy right? "In 10 days I'll lose weight if I just do these 25 things?? Sign me up!". Well, let me tell you that this particular infographic, shown below, has a lot of mistakes in it, bringing me to my point that you shouldn't believe everything you read. Which is why hiring a coach, like myself, can be helpful ;) (shameless plug).
Anyways, here are 7 lies about weight loss that are commonly found on the internet:
1. Significant weight loss will not happen in 10 days. It just won't. Sorry to burst your bubble. If it does, it's not going to be sustainable and you'll likely gain back more weight that you had to begin with.
2. Drinking water doesn't necessarily cause weight loss. Flushing toxins out of your body in the form of urine has no effect on weight. The way that water could potentially aid in weight loss is by keeping your gut full, so you consume less food throughout the day. Water also has 0 calories, so if you started drinking water instead of a 230 calorie soda every day, this would lead to weight loss. NOTE: This is not to say that drinking water is bad! You NEED water for your metabolism to work properly. I'm just trying to get the facts straight.
3. Drinking hot water with honey and lemon will not lead to fat loss. It DOES help with digestion, meaning that food is being broken down, you're not constipated, and you're pooping (sorry for the poop talk, just being honest with you). If you're not holding all of that undigested food in your colon, the number on the scale will go down....but that's not fat loss, it's just poop.
4. Eating protein cannot "convert loose fat into muscle", that's not how that works. Fat cells and muscle cells are two entirely different things; they cannot magically morph into each other. Protein requires more energy to digest than carbs and fat (aka you burn more calories while you eat it, and yes, you do burn calories by simply digesting your food, it's called the Thermic Effect of Food). Anyways, getting back on track...protein burns more calories to digest. It also keeps you fuller longer, which prevents overeating. By eating less and burning calories, you will lose weight. You also need protein to gain muscle, as protein stimulates muscle synthesis. HOWEVER, you need to exercise for this to happen. Muscle synthesis will not occur by you just sitting there eating protein. By eating protein you may lose fat and gain muscle, but they are totally different things.
5. Soluble fiber does not shed weight by reducing the bad cholesterol (LDL). Fiber does reduce your LDL, and it may help you shed weight by keeping you full and aiding in digestion, but cholesterol is not the culprit of your weight gain. There is a link between cholesterol and obesity, but that's due to the fact that many unhealthy foods have loads of cholesterol. Cholesterol does not cause obesity, it's the food you're eating that causes obesity.
6. No more than 3 meals a day? I eat 6 meals a day and I'm not fat. Number of meals does not correlate to weight gain. It's the amount of calories in your meals that cause weight gain. It also is not true that only your lunch can be heavy. Eating a heavy dinner will not make you gain weight. Weight gain occurs when you eat a surplus of calories over the entire 24-hour period; for our purposes, the time that you eat certain foods does not matter.
7. Lastly, you're allowed to give in to cravings sometimes. It's never a good idea to have a restrictive mindset, this can lead to binging later on, causing you to gain more weight. You can certainly give in to cravings every now and then (#treatyoself), just do it in moderation. Also, sometimes cravings are telling you that you are actually deficient in something. Now, if you're constantly craving cookies and candy, that's just a sugar addiction, that I would not recommend feeding...BUT if you're craving red meat, for example, your body may be telling you that you need more iron. Science is cool huh? Point is, restricting yourself is not healthy.
So, I hope this enlightens you a bit and encourages you to be curious and ask questions before starting a new nutrition regimen. Not everything you see on the internet is true. Remember, your health is important, don't blindly follow the world. Stay inspired and stay informed.