5 Myths About Obesity

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obesity myths

We live in the information age, but unfortunately a lot of that is misinformation. Sometimes those myths are just misinformation being perpetuated, and sometimes they are old scientific beliefs that have since been proven wrong. It’s challenging enough to lose weight, so make sure you know the facts about obesity to avoid making it any more difficult than it has to be.

Myth #1: It’s simply a matter of calories in and calories out.

Calories do matter, but the human body is too complex to be described by a first grade math equation. First off, not every calorie is created equal. If that were true, eating a Twinkie with a side of M&Ms would roughly be the same as eating grilled chicken with a kale salad.

Everybody’s metabolism is different, and your metabolism changes as well. As you lose weight, it gets more and more difficult to shed pounds. Your body is burning fewer calories. Experts believe this is an ancient evolutionary defense mechanism in your body trying to retain weight as protection from starvation.

Myth #2: Sex burns a lot of calories.

As much as people would love to believe that sex can also be an effective workout, this is simply not the case. A study out of the University of Alabama at Birmingham debunked the notion that you can burn hundreds of calories while being intimate with your partner. From their study, researchers concluded that a 154-pound man burns about 3.5 calories per minute of intercourse. For the average guy, that means a mere 21 calories burned.


Myth #3: Small dietary changes bring big long-term results.

The crux of this argument is based on the simplistic 3,500 calorie rule. That is, if you cut 3,500 calories from your diet over a period of time, it will result in one pound of weight loss. As mentioned, the body adapts as you lose weight, so you will likely have to up your game as the weight starts to really come off.

Myth #4: Losing weight quickly means you will likely gain it back down the road.

Losing weight too quickly is not inherently a bad thing. It’s commonly suggested you lose one to two pounds a week for a healthy weight loss. However, studies show that quick and dramatic weight loss through a very low-calorie diet produces similar weight loss in the long-term as slower weight loss.

If anything negative can be said about rapid weight loss, it’s not the weight loss itself, but the method used. Oftentimes quick weight loss comes from extreme fad diets that aren’t practical long-term solutions. But if you are losing weight quickly on a healthy diet and exercise program, there’s no reason for you to think you need to slow down.

Myth #5: Eating more fruits and vegetables will result in weight loss.

While eating fruits and vegetables is an indisputably good thing for your health, they don’t guarantee weight loss. You still need to be active and be mindful of the other aspects of your diet.

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