Deep down, we all know how to maintain a healthy weight: eat a balanced diet, move your body, and talk to your doctor if that still doesn’t work. And yet, we keep getting suckered into weight loss strategies that are at best ineffective, and at worst, expensive and dangerous. Here are seven biggest weight loss strategies, debunked.
1. Snacking on protein or energy bars
Studies show protein bars may be worse than Snickers. So many of these bars, marketed as “healthy,” contain lots of fillers and unhealthy ingredients.
They are easy to eat, but it is healthier and more satisfying to eat whole nutritious foods than a protein or energy bar. The bars themselves are often high in calories—plus, because it is just a bar, we are not fully satisfied so we tend to intake more calories with another meal.
Make sure to read labels to know what and how much you’re really ingesting.
2. Always ordering salad
Just because a meal is vegetable-based doesn’t always mean it is nutritious or low-calorie. A salad that’s packed full of shredded cheese, croutons, and creamy dressing can contain more calories and saturated fat than a burger!
Research on fast-food menus shows their nutritional content hasn’t changed much over a 14-year period, even with the addition of more salads and other “healthier” options. Plus, if you think what you’re eating is healthy, you may be less concerned with portion control, and can end up eating more than you think.
3. Focusing on cutting calories
Cutting calories won’t help you lose weight, according to nutrition experts. A healthy eating plan works only with the right mix of nutrients and without limiting calorie intake too drastically.
Calorie restriction can often backfire, especially if you aren’t careful about where the calories come from. A focus on calories alone can lead to you eating a meal plan low in nutrients that does not satisfy you. Plus, cutting calories too low can cause your body to lose muscle tissue, which slows your metabolism, making it easier to gain weight back.
Instead, she advises focusing instead on foods rich in fiber, lean protein, plant-based fats, and whole grains. These foods will fill you up with fewer calories while still providing you with the nutrients you need.
4. Trying to fill up on water
One of the faulty weight loss tips you might have heard is that drinking a glass of water before a meal tricks your stomach into thinking it’s full. Water is important with your meal because it helps you pass fiber more easily, but it can’t actually replace food. However, taking the edge off hunger with water could help you listen to your body’s cues to avoid overeating.
Drinking water before a meal may help to fill your stomach a bit, allowing you to eat more slowly and feel full sooner—but this only works if you are in the practice of eating mindfully. That involves listening to your body’s hunger and satiety cues, and stopping when you are satisfied.
5. Guzzling sports drinks
Staying hydrated does have other benefits for weight loss. Being dehydrated can also mimic feelings of hunger.
To get rid of hunger symptoms, some may grab a candy bar when all we really needed was to hydrate with zero-calorie water. Water is perfectly fine for quenching thirst, no trendy sports drinks needed, according to Harvard Medical School.
Drink water, not sports drinks, which contain empty calories much like the energy bars. Studies show that drinking water reduces the amount of caloric beverages you drink. Here are some other weight-loss myths it’s time to stop believing.
6. Eating too much after a workout
You probably want to reward yourself with a big snack or protein shake after your workout, but doing so could undo all your hard work, and you’ll ask yourself, “Why am I not losing weight?”
In a Cornell study, those who were told they were on an “exercise walk” ate more chocolate afterward than those who thought they were on a “scenic walk.”
Instead of setting up this exercise-reward cycle, anticipate your post-workout hunger by having a small snack about 30 minutes before training, or prepare a healthy post-workout snack to see you through until you are ready to sit down to your next meal.
7. Skipping meals
As with cutting calories, skipping meals just doesn’t work for weight loss.
Skipping meals cuts calories at that meal, but research shows this leads to a higher intake of calories throughout the remainder of the day. If you want to lose weight, you need to make behavior changes you can stick with if you want to keep the weight off.
Instead of looking for an easy out, make healthy eating a lifestyle that’s sustainable in the long term.
One last thing… you should try this odd “carb trick” that burns up to 1 pound of belly fat per day…
“All this by Flavor-Pairing?” I asked.
I met an old friend for lunch last month and I was super impressed with how good she looked.
She said, “It’s not so much about the Flavor-Pairing, but more about how it re-awakens what the Japanese call, ‘the weight loss doubling molecule’ which signals 22-hour a day fat-burning effect in the female body.”
Even though I was skeptical, I’ve been struggling with my weight over the last few years, so I gave it a shot and watched the same video she did.
Well, it’s only a couple weeks later and you know what they say about how “you can’t transform your body overnight”…
They’re right – it actually took me 16 days to lose 22 pounds.
Now it’s my girlfriends asking ME what I’M doing differently 💅