For some Britons weight loss can be an elusive goal, with so many restrictive rules to adhere to and motivation often hard to keep up.
But when it comes to weight loss there are no set rules to follow, with each individual having different methods that will work for them.
Full of myths, labelling many food groups “off limits” and encouraging unachievable exercise plans, many weight-loss “tips” can actually be hindering results.
These myths can impact dieters results and their health so much that the NHS has published a set of weight-loss myths in an effort to debunk them and help Britons achieve their weight-loss goals.
You need to exercise to lose weight
Contrary to popular belief, weight-loss can actually be achieved without a radical, or even constant, exercise regime.
Weight loss: How to lose weight by avoiding the weight loss myths that hold you back
In actual fact, the NHS only recommends adults get at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week, working out to around 20 minutes a day.
While exercise is good for your heart, bone density and strength, the average work out isn’t intense enough to burn a significant amount of calories.
Weight-loss is achieved when more calories are burnt than consumed, and this can be done by lowering calorie intake and improving food quality, just as easily as spending lots of time exercising.
Carbs are bad
When eaten in the right quantities and as part of a balanced diet, carbohydrates will not lead to weight gain.
Whole grain and wholemeal carbohydrates such as brown rice and wholemeal areas, and potatoes with skins on, will actually increase your fire intake, and overall health.
Many diet rules such as eating low-fat yoghurt and no carbs are actually myths
The body’s total macronutrient intake needs o be made up of 50 per cent carbs, so depriving the body of carbs can lead to cravings, which can lead to binges, and the then the feeling of wanting to give up on weight-loss all together.
Some foods can speed up your metabolism
According to the NHS, the claim that some foods can speed up your metabolism is actually a weight-loss myth, with the metabolism described as all the chemical processes that go on continuously inside the body to keep it alive and organs functioning.
These processes need energy and the amount of energy required varies between individuals depending on factors such as body size, age, gender and genes.
It is claimed that certain foods and drinks can increase the metabolism by helping the body to burn more calories and aid weight loss, with some of these products may contain high levels of caffeine and sugar.
All calories are created equal
When it comes to calories, 500 calories of nuts versus 500 calories of chocolate are not the same. While the amount of calories you consume in a day matters, how you use those calories makes even more of a difference.
Weight can easily be lost without excessive exercise
Foods high in protein and fibre will make the body feel fuller for longer, requiring more energy for the body to break down – actually burning calories in the digestive process.
“Low fat” and “reduced fat” are always health choices
Foods labelled as “low fat” have to have below a certain amount of fat, but these seemingly waist-friendly products actually often contain sky-high levels of sugar.
When not used for energy, sugar will store in the body as fat, raising insulin levels and resulting in energy from foods being deposited into fat cells – causing weight gain.
Snacking will make you gain weight
Snacking isn’t the problem when trying to lose weight: it’s the type of snack. Snacking can keep the metabolism going, maintain energy levels and keep the body alert.
Eating a snack between meals can also curb hunger, meaning you are less likely to overeat or eat too quickly when you finally sit down for a meal.
These weight-loss myths can demotivate and demoralise people, leading to abandoning weight loss
A perfect snack for weight loss are brazil nuts, which are packed with selenium, a mineral that supports the function of the thyroid.
Skipping meals is a good way to lose weight
Skipping meals is one of the worst things that can be done when looking to achieve and sustain weight loss.
Although decreasing calorie intake, skipping meals can result in altogether tiredness, a lack of essential nutrients and can lead to binges and cravings, with then body craving high-fat and high-sugar foods to sustain itself.
Drinking more water helps you lose weight
According to the NHS, water does not cause weight loss, but it does keep the body hydrated and can lead to less snacking.
Water is essential for good health and wellbeing, with this often mistaken for hunger, meaning people who are really just thirsty could be snacking more.