One of the most commonly discussed subjects in current society is weight loss. We often hear health experts, doctors, celebrities, and others in the public eye talking about everything from the damaging effects of obesity, to their preferred method to losing weight. But weight loss is not always easy. Millions try to lose weight every year, but many are unsuccessful. Because of the combination of pressures that are on people to be thinner, there are also huge industries devoted to making people not only lose weight, but also look like they have. Because of this, there is a lot of misinformation spread about weight loss. Many products are designed not to allow you to decrease your pant size, but lighten your pocketbook. Increasing education about these topics will not only give people the tools they need to get into shape, but also decrease the profitability of the snake oil industry. This post will focus on the first of several myths about weight loss.
Myth 1: Weight loss should be rapid
Everyone has seen commercials that promise a fast turnaround for weight loss. They talk of clients losing 40 or 50 pounds in a month or two. Unfortunately, this typically does not tell the whole story. Our bodies have natural fluctuations in weight. Depending on hydration and our starting weight, our scales can show large differences day to day, even if we have not actually lost a single pound of fat. Relying solely on how much we happen to weigh at any particular time can be an easy trap to fall into. The correct way to use a scale is to take consistent measurements over a period of time. If we consistently take and record our measurements, we will be able to see actual differences. Second, too rapid weight loss can actually hurt us in the long run. If we overexert and starve our bodies, we will certainly lose weight. But if we do not give ourselves the nutrition that we need, our body will not be building stronger muscles. This means that some of that weight loss could be a decrease in muscle mass, which will only lead to weight gain later, as gaining muscle mass is one of the most reliable ways to burn more energy consistently. This means that after the period of weight loss, you would expect to see a period of weight gain. Expecting weight gain to be a rapid process can also lead to disappointment and loss of motivation if you do not see progress as quickly as you would like.