Conflicting information, fad diets and unsupported beliefs about weight loss and healthy weight management are pervasive in the media and scientific literature. It’s understandable that many people are confused when starting their weight management journey. Below are five common weight loss myths and the truth behind them. Always consult with your physician before starting any weight loss plan.
Myth 1: All calories are created equal
While all calories have the same amount of energy, when it comes to the complexities of the human body, the old idea that all calories are equal, whether in food or drink, is not true. For example, a small handful of raw almonds and three chocolate-chip cookies may contain similar amounts of calories, but they affect your energy and appetite in different ways. Studies suggest that the quality and types of foods and beverages consumed strongly influence total caloric intake. In general, diets high in refined or processed foods and sweetened beverages are associated with weight gain, whereas unprocessed foods such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and nuts have the opposite effect.1
Tip: Aim for a well-rounded diet to help you achieve your weight loss goals. Focus on complex, high-fiber carbohydrates such as fruits, non-starchy vegetables, and whole grains, healthy fats, and protein from legumes, unprocessed meats, and fish. 2 Add Genesis PURE’s Daily Build to your daily routine to fill in the gaps caused by poor eating. Or replace a meal with Genesis PURE’s 360 Complete Shake that provides a combination of vitamins and minerals, protein, carbohydrates, fat, and fiber.
Myth 2: Fat makes you fat
Research has shown that the total amount of fat in the diet is not necessarily linked to weight gain; rather, it’s the type of fat and total caloric intake. Fat is essential, as it provides energy and is an important component of our cells. In addition, triglycerides (lipids) are the body’s main source of transportation for moving fat to cells and are important for good health. However, with many things, excess triglycerides can be unhealthy.
Processed foods containing trans fats (hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils), such as baked goods and fried foods, increase the risk for certain diseases, while polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats from olive oil, avocados, nuts, fish, and seeds are healthy for the body in moderate amounts. 3 Research has shown that when healthy fats are consumed, they decrease levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol and increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol. 3
Tip: If you’re concerned about your fat intake, eliminate bad fats such as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils and cooked vegetable oils. In cooking, use oils rich in monounsaturated fats, which are more stable than polyunsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats include olive, peanut, canola, and avocado oil. Be sure to include foods in your diet that are high in omega-3s, such as nuts, seeds (like chia seeds), avocados, eggs, and fatty fish. Genesis PURE Mila contains the omega-3 fat ALA, or “alpha-linolenic acid” that has been shown to support heart health.
Myth 3: Restrict carbohydrates for fast weight loss
Carbohydrates are the body’s main fuel source. Depriving yourself can leave you fatigued and craving unhealthy foods. Foods higher in complex carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains provide many valuable nutrients, including fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Simple carbohydrates, such as candy and cookies, tend to be high in calories and have few to no nutritional benefits.
Myth 4: Starvation will aide in weight loss
The human body has evolved to conserve as much energy as possible during times of starvation. This means that, when you starve yourself, your next meal may be stored as fat to compensate for the starvation. You may initially see quick results; but over time, starving your body can hinder your weight loss efforts and may cause unhealthy results, because you’re not receiving the nutrition you need. Calorie or energy-restrictive diets often fail because you don’t consume enough calories to fuel daily activity, let alone additional physical activity. Physical activity is important to maintain muscle mass, which is the primary tissue responsible for metabolic activity.
Tip: Be sure you are consuming adequate calories to maintain a healthy mind and body. Work with your doctor, a registered dietitian, or certified nutritionist to determine the appropriate caloric intake for your weight loss goals. Aim for a 1-2 pound weight loss per week, which has been shown to be ideal for sustainable weight loss. Replace a meal with Genesis PURE’s 360 Complete Shake to ensure you are getting a combination of vitamins and minerals, protein, carbohydrates, fat, and fiber.
Myth 5: Eating at night leads to weight gain
This myth may actually have some truth to it, but it’s really more about WHAT you eat versus WHEN you eat it. This myth may be perpetuated by the belief that many people tend to overeat and choose high-calorie foods and snacks at night, which may lead to weight gain. 4 Keep in mind, however, that eating right before bed means that your body will be busy digesting instead of sleeping. Unusual eating habits may disrupt your sleep cycle, or circadian rhythm, and may have unhealthy consequences.5 People often eat at night for a variety of reasons that may have little to do with hunger, such as satisfying cravings, coping with boredom or stress. They often combine eating with a comfortable habit such as watching television or using the computer. These situations make it very easy to consume an entire carton of ice cream or bag of potato chips, versus conscious eating, which is purposeful.
Tip: Be sure to eat at least one hour before bed and choose healthy options, such as a piece of fruit with almond butter or a hand-full of trail mix. Remember that getting at least eight hours of sleep a night is important for a lifestyle of Whole Health. Genesis PURE’s Coral Calcium is high in magnesium and studies have indicated that magnesium can contribute to a restful night’s sleep.
This blog and its contents are provided for nutrition information purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information and topics may not apply to every individual and sometimes are based on alternative healthy philosophies rather than traditional scientific views. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider with any health or nutrition concerns you may have. The information in this article is not intended to promote any specific product, or for the prevention or treatment of any disease and should not be a substitution any medical needs or advice.
- Mozaffarian, D. Hao, T. Rimm, E. B. Willett, W. C. & Hu, F. B. Changes in Diet and Lifestyle and Long-Term Weight Gain in Women and Men, N Engl J Med 364, 2392–2404 (2011).
- Mozaffarian, D. (2016). Dietary and Policy Priorities for Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, and Obesity. Circulation, 133: 187-225.
- Feinman, R. D., Pogozelski, W. K., Astrup, A., Bernstein, R. K., Fine, E. J., Westman, E. C., & Accurso, A., et al. (2015). Dietary carbohydrate restriction as the ﬁrst approach in diabetes management: Critical review and evidence base. Nutrition, 31: 1-13.