As with many aspects of health and medicine, there are many myths and presumptions that people believe regarding weight loss over the years.
Here are 7 common weight loss myths everyone should know.
Myth: Small sustained changes in energy intake or expenditure will produce large, long-term weight changes.
Truth: as your weight changes, so does the energy requirements of the body.
So if you start walking one mile a day, you may initially lose a little bit of weight, but if you continue to walk the same amount every day, your body adjusts and you are not likely to lose significant weight long term.
Myth: Setting realistic goals for weight loss is important, because otherwise people will become frustrated and lose less weight.
Truth: This does not have scientific support. A number of studies suggest that more ambitious weight loss goals may sometimes be linked to better weight loss outcomes.
Myth: Large, rapid weight loss is linked to poorer long-term weight-loss outcomes, as compared with slow, gradual weight loss.
Truth: Greater initial weight loss has been linked to lower body weight at the end of long term follow-up in weight loss clinical trials.
But this does not mean starving yourself or following a fad diet is a healthy way to lose weight.
While it is not clear why some people lose more weight initially than others, any suggestion that they slow down might interfere with successful weight loss.
Myth: It is important to assess the stage of change or diet readiness in order to help people who request weight-loss treatment.
Truth: Researchers have found the degree of readiness does not always predict the amount of weight loss.
This is true for those signed up for both medical and surgical weight loss.
Bottom line – if you are overweight, there is no time like the present to begin your effort to slim down.
Myth: Physical-education classes, in their current form, play an important role in reducing or preventing childhood obesity.
Truth: Many schools across the country are slimming down their physical education programs to make room for more academic time.
While fresh air and exercise may have many benefits for children, the research suggests that gym classes, in their current form, do not help kids achieve a healthy weight.
Myth: Breast-feeding is protective against obesity.
Truth: While there are many potential benefits of breastfeeding for mother and infant, the best research does not suggest an anti-obesity effect for children later in childhood.
Myth: A bout of sexual activity burns 100 to 300 kcal for each participant.
Truth: Many of us have been told that sexual activity is an aerobic activity and great calorie burner. But according to science, it’s not as effective as we might like.
A better estimate of energy expenditure during sexual intercourse appears to be closer to only 20 kcal.
Of course, someone watching television would have expended just one-third that much, so the result is better than being sedentary but hardly will help you lose weight.