When it comes to weight loss, people like to say what they think are helpful things. They want you to succeed and get the figure you crave. Their motivations come from the right place.
Unfortunately, a lot of their advice is misleading or downright counterproductive. They think that they’re helping you, but they are making your life more difficult.
Don’t Weigh Yourself Every Day
Has somebody ever told you not to weigh yourself every day? If so, they might be giving you some bad advice.
The usual thinking goes something like this: if you weigh yourself every day, you observe the natural daily fluctuations in your weight that characterize typical weight-loss interventions. Weight goes up as well as down, even if you’re in a calorie deficit, thanks to things like water retention.
However, research shows that daily weigh-ins are actually more beneficial for the average person. According to investigators, it increases accountability, encouraging positive day-to-day actions to support continued weight loss.
Lose Weight Slowly
How many times have you heard somebody say that you should lose weight slowly? It’s a common thing that people like to say, but it turns out that there isn’t much evidence backing it. People who lose weight rapidly seem to keep weight off over the long-term just as well as those who lose it slowly, if not slightly better.
When losing weight rapidly, there are all sorts of methods that you can use. Cutting calories to extremely low levels can reduce weight at the start, but it is less sustainable than other methods. A good approach is simply focusing the diet around whole fruits and vegetables since they are naturally low in calories and yet high in nutrients.
Here’s another one that people like to say: you should minimize the fats in your diet. Again, the evidence doesn’t support this claim. It all depends on the types of lipids you consume.
The fat in Weight Watchers snacks is very different, for instance, from the fat you get in a rack of ribs. One helps to improve your metabolism, while the other could potentially damage it.
Fats are usually good for you if they come from the right sources. People who eat lots of nuts, for instance, have lower BMIs and waist circumferences than those who go without, despite the high energy density of the food.
Eat Every Couple Of Hours
How many times have people told you that you should eat every couple of hours if you want to lose weight? The theory is that if you graze all day long, you’ll remain full, and that will encourage you to eat freer overall calories.
However, more sophisticated theories say that one of the best ways to lose weight is to go longer between meals. For instance, people who eat the same number of calories but have a long break between dinner and breakfast tend to have a lower weight. You wouldn’t think that the timing of calories would make much difference, but the evidence suggests that it does.