It’s amazing, but Americans will spend $3.8 billion annually on weight loss books, gym memberships, apps, programs, and other means to reach a certain body weight. Unfortunately, too many of us are jumping onto weight loss bandwagons headed to weight loss failure. Don’t be the victim of falling into the pit of a weight loss diet promising you the moon when in reality, you get stuck on earth still weighted down.
There are many, many diets for weight loss out there.
Some can be quite good, but others will leave you disappointed. Here are four weight loss myths associated with specific diets that claim to be the only way to achieve permanent weight loss. They may sound convincing but be careful not to be trapped in the course of thinking that has little to no scientific evidence backing them up:
MYTH 1. Juicing
Juicing has become very popular in recent years. This diet fad has taken the dieting world by storm, from juice stores popping up to pricey juice blenders to buy. But juicing is not a preferred weight loss strategy. Why? Because replacing meals with juice isn’t a sustainable habit. When fruits and vegetables are juiced, components such as fiber are lost, but the simple sugars found naturally in the produce remain. Drinking the equivalent of five fruits is different from eating those five fruits. An essential factor making juicing problematic is that it eliminates the chewing process, making overconsumption easier. Consider that drinking 500 calories does not provide the same satiety as eating 500 whole foods.
MYTH 2. Fasting is necessary for weight loss
One of the newer trends in weight loss is fasting or intermittent fasting. Fasting means abstaining from food, usually for at least a day or two. However, these gimmicky diets have long been disproven as a way for successful weight loss as most individuals eventually get quite “hangry” and return to the eating habits that caused the weight gain.
Intermittent fasting is similar to fasting but done more strategically. It involves cycling between regular eating and fasting periods, during which you severely restrict your calorie intake or don’t consume any food. A person who practices intermittent fasting has consciously tried to eat only at specific periods of the day. It may help a person learn hunger cues, but there needs to be more research to know if this works in the long term. Anyone considering trying a fasting system for preventive reasons should have a doctor involved. Many factors must be considered, such as a person’s current diet or if they have diabetes or a metabolic disorder.
Also, the long-term effects of fasting diets still need to be better understood. Unfortunately, much of the research on the topic has been done only during short time frames, with most studies conducted in animal research.
MYTH 3. What works for one person works for others
Anyone who has gone on a weight loss diet and was successful is usually more than willing to convince you to try the same. There are so many weight loss diets out there that it can be very confusing to sort out the good from the bad. Remembering what worked for your neighbor may not work for you is crucial. For those who have had good weight loss results, some of it often comes from many vital changes they have made or an excellent support system they have in place that can significantly influence success beyond simple diet strategies. If you are a person who finds change very hard to do or lacks positive, supportive people in your life to cheer you on, then attempting weight loss may be much more difficult.
MYTH 4. Magical fat-burning foods
Sorry to burst any weight loss bubbles, but no one food waves a magic wand significantly increasing metabolism or triggering fat burning. One of the things making the weight loss industry so appealing is that it wants to sell the secret to losing weight to be based on foods with specific fat-burning abilities. They will make promises such as drinking this drink or eating this particular food, and your weight will drop off effortlessly. However, successful weight loss takes time and effort. Most people wanted the excess weight off yesterday but forget that obesity happens one pound at a time. Only by changing lifestyle habits involving the overall eating pattern and adding more movement each day does a noticeable and more sustainable change occur in a person’s body weight.
Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy. Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncology and prostate cancer 911.