What Science Says About Losing Weight: 3 Weight Loss Myths Debunked

If you type “weight loss” into the Google search bar, you’re bound to see the words “diet” and “tips” pop up a bunch of times on the results pages. But here’s the thing: 8 out of 10 articles are written based on assumption, misinterpretation, myths, and downright lies; the writers are rarely qualified to give the advice that they do, and despite what they would have you believe, losing weight is relatively simple. According to researchers, it comes down to a handful of things that you probably already know.

Here are 3 common weight loss myths debunked…

MYTH 1: A LITTLE EXERCISE IS ALL THAT YOU NEED

These days, you’ll find a lot of people telling you that all you need to do to lose weight is get in a bunch of exercises each day or “take the stairs.” Wrong. While exercising is definitely a good thing and should be part of your health and weight loss plan, based on scientific research, cutting calories is much more effective than burning them.

In other words, if you decrease food consumption rather than increase physical activity, you’ll lose weight faster. Diet trumps exercise every time, and diet alone is more effective than exercise alone. Then there’s also the fact that Weight Loss Scienceworking out more makes you hungry and tired. As a result, you eat more and rest more, too, which is counterproductive.

MYTH 2: THERE’S NO NEED TO COUNT CALORIES

Another myth is that calories don’t matter and that you shouldn’t even bother counting them. Wrong again; science disagrees. Calories not only matter, they directly determine your weight loss results. The only way to lose weight is by creating a calorie deficit, so controlling and tracking calorie intake and expenditure is certainly not a bad idea if you know how. That’s not to say that counting calories is the only thing that one should be focused on, and there are other considerations—the thermic effects of food, healthy and unhealthy foods, how hard it can be to count calories accurately, etc.—but tracking and minimizing them is ultimately what takes and keeps fat off.

MYTH 3: THE COMBINATION OF FOODS FOR WEIGHT LOSS

Lastly, a lot of people seem to think that losing weight happens when you eat the “right” combination of foods; that they can amazingly lose weight or keep off what they’ve lost by following very specific types of diets. But in truth, there isn’t any one right diet, and there is no proof that any particular diet plan works better for a person’s metabolism. The idea that there is a magical combination of foods (whether it’s protein, low carb, whatever) that will gel with one’s metabolism is not evidence-based – it’s a myth. The fact is that most of the diets out there will work if you follow and stick to them, at least to a point. There is no such thing as the perfect diet.

WEIGHT LOSS: WHAT IT COMES DOWN TO

It boils down to this… Losing weight happens when you eat a balanced diet that comprises a variety of non-fattening quality foods, limit/manage your calorie intake and burn calories through regular exercise. What’s more, you need to do these things consistently. It’s about striking a healthy balance. There is no magic diet or formula. If you trust science and use common sense, you can’t go wrong.

Let us know what you think in the comments…