People gaining weight these days is a common problem for many. Particularly to those who are working in metro or big cities. Owing to their jobs and lifestyle people are gradually adding on weight even if they do not want it. Plus, the hectic routine of daily life makes it almost impossible for many to follow an exercise or diet regimen consistently to get rid of weight. Putting on weight is one problem. But dietitian Avni Kaul says what is an even bigger problem is people’s misconception or wrong practices which they do while trying to reduce their weight. Reducing weight is a process which requires a combination of a healthy diet and regular exercising. But most often people search the internet to get ideas for reducing their weight. Unfortunately, not all the ideas available on the internet is correct. For that, you need to consult a proper dietitian.

Here are 4 myths about weight loss that everyone should know:

1. All Calories Are Same

A calorie is a measure of energy. All “calories” contain the same energy amount. However, this does not mean that all calorie sources have similar effects on your weight. Different foods go through various metabolic pathways and can have hugely different effects on hunger and the hormones which regulate body weight. For instance, a protein calorie is not the same as compared to a fat calorie or a carb calorie. Replacing fat and carbs with protein can boost metabolism, decrease appetite and cravings while optimizing the function of some weight-regulating hormones. Additionally, calories from whole foods such as fruits tend to be much more filling than calories from refined foods.

2. Obesity Is About Willpower, Not Biology

It is completely wrong that weight gain/loss is all about willpower, or making the choice to do this or that. Obesity is a very complicated disorder with various contributing factors. There are several genetic variables that have been shown to link with obesity, and various medical conditions (hypothyroidism, PCOS, depression) that can escalate the risk of weight gain. The body also has a number of hormones and biological pathways that are supposed to normalize body weight. These tend to be flawed in people with obesity, making it harder to lose weight and keep it off. For instance, being resistant to the hormone leptin is a major reason for obesity The leptin signal is supposed to inform your brain that it has enough fat stored. When the leptin isn’t able to deliver its signal, the brain thinks that you are starving. 

Trying to enforce willpower and consciously eating less in the face of the leptin-driven starvation signal is extremely hard, if not impossible for lots of people. There are even infants who are becoming obese these days. How can anyone say about this that it is a personal responsibility or a lack of willpower? It is evident that there are biological factors that play a major role. Eating is directed by behaviour, and behaviour is driven by physiology and biochemistry. This is an undeniable fact. But yes, it doesn’t mean that people should give up and accept their genetic fate. Losing weight is still possible, it is just much, slightly difficult for some people. 

3. Eat Less Move More Is Good Advice

Body fat, in general, is stored energy (calories). To reduce fat, more calories requires to be leaving your fat cells than entering them. In other terms, if calories out surpass calories in, fat reducing occurs. For this sense, it seems only logical that eating less and moving more will cause weight loss. It works on both sides of the calorie equation. However, this is really a piece of bad advice for those with a serious weight issue. Most people who follow this advice end up gaining weight, and there are physiological and biochemical reasons for this. A big and sustained change in aspect and behaviour is needed to reduce weight with diet and exercise. Simply telling people to eat less and move more isn’t going to work. Advising someone with obesity to only eat less, move more is like suggesting someone with depression cheer up, or someone with alcoholism to just drink less. It’s bizarre and ineffective.

4. Carbs Make You Fat

Low-carb diets can help with weight reduction. It is a scientific fact. In various cases, this happens even without conscious calorie restriction. As long as the carbs are taken low and protein intake is high, people shed weight. However, this does not say that carbs cause weight gain. The obesity epidemic began around the 1980s but humans have been consuming carbs for a very long time. The fact is, refined carbs such as refined grains and sugar are definitely associated with weight gain, but whole foods that are high in carbs are very healthy.