A number of misconceptions persist about weight loss. These are quite serious, because they could affect not only an individual's weight, but also his or her general health as well. The more you know about the misconceptions about weight loss, the more likely it is that you will end up following a suitable weight reduction plan.
One popular misconception is that any product that has been labeled "natural" is safe. In fact, you should be aware of the fact that these products often do not undergo vigorous scientific tests. For instance, ephedra, which has been included in some weight loss products has been banned by federal authorities because it has been determined to be unhealthy. Even those products that do not contain ephedra can be dangerous because they have components that are like ephedra. As a result, you should consult your doctor before using herbal weight loss products. Your physician is in the best position to know whether a weight loss pill or other product is appropriate in your case.
Another misconception is that you can still lose weight, even if you eat whatever you choose. Actually, you need to be careful about how many calories you consume and increase your exercise in order to ensure that you burn more fat than you take in. Also, it is important that you limit portions in order to ensure that you do not add extra weight. If you select low-calorie foods and you eat smaller portions, while enhancing your physical activity, you should be able to lose weight. However, you may still be able to eat some of the food you like best—provided you eat it in moderation or, if high in calories, only sparingly.
Yet another misconception is that, because a food item is labeled low-fat, it has no calories to speak of. While low-fat foods may indeed be low-cal, some processed low-fat food products have just as many calories as the high-fat types. In fact, they may be loaded in sugar or flour, increasing the total calorie count. As a result, it is important for you to check the nutrition labels on food packages in order to determine the exact amount of calories per serving. It is also imperative that you find out what constitutes a serving size so that you will not be tempted to overeat.
Some individuals believe that fast food is inherently bad and cannot be eaten while following a diet program. However, if you are knowledgeable, you can actually eat at fast food restaurants and still lose weight. It's best, for instance, if you do not indulge in supersize combo meals. You might, however, consider splitting a combo with your spouse or friend. Avoid soft drinks and drink water instead. Consider eating a salad or a grilled chicken breast sandwich. Keep the condiments—such as mayonnaise and salad dressings—to a minimum. Ask the restaurant not to put bacon or cheese on your sandwich, and avoid eating French fries or fried chicken. If you go to a Mexican restaurant, try a taco that is made with salsa rather than cheese or sauce. Following these simple recommendations can make your visit to a fast food outlet worthwhile—and non-fattening.
Some people operate under the misconception that dining after 8 p.m. always leads to weight gain. No doubt it is possible, but what matters most is how many calories you consume and how much fat you burn off. While it is a good idea to avoid snacking in front of the television, you might be able to have a nightly snack, if you haven't consumed that much high-calorie food during the course of the day.
Other individuals believe that lifting weights is harmful because it will cause you to add weight to your frame. In actuality, weightlifting can enable you to lose weight. This is because lifting weights assists you in building muscle, which burns more calories than fat. Engaging in strength training twice or three times a week can be an effective part of your overall weight loss program.
Obviously, misconceptions about dieting are plentiful. That is why it is so critically important that you consult a registered dietician or other health professional before beginning any major weight loss program