11 Common Myths About Weight Loss

Jun 27,2023

weight loss

Nowadays, with the increasing care for weight loss and body image, shedding extra pounds has become a widespread goal for many individuals. However, you may find yourself inundated with an overwhelming amount of information, advice, and even contradicting claims about how to lose weight. Since everyone has their own set of theories and beliefs, numerous myths surrounding this elusive goal emerge.

This article will challenge widely held beliefs, debunk long-standing myths, and shed light on the truth about losing weight. You will be empowered with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions on your wellness journey, through dispelling 11 common misconceptions about weight loss, which contributes to your quest for a healthier and happier lifestyle.

Now let’s get ready to embark on a myth-busting journey with these enlightening guides, allowing you to navigate the confusing landscape of weight loss with clarity and confidence.

Following are the 11 Common Myths About Weight Loss:

1.  Crash diets are an effective way to lose weight quickly.

Even though crash diets may lead to rapid weight loss through drastically reducing your calorie intake in a short period. However, they are generally not considered as an effective or healthy long-term solution for weight management.

Crash diets often come with a significant loss of muscle mass along with fat loss. Therefore, your body composition, metabolism and overall health can be negatively impacted. Involving extreme and restrictive eating patterns, crash diets are difficult to sustain for long, so that the weight regain can be easily caused once you return to your regular eating habits.

Instead of resorting to crash diets, it's generally recommended to pursue a balanced diet, combined with regular exercise for gradual and sustainable weight loss. Or you can consult a healthcare professional to provide more personalized guidance and support, which helps you to achieve your weight loss goals in a healthy manner.

2.  Cutting out entire food groups is the best way to lose weight.

You may be no stranger to the saying that specific food groups should be better eliminated, such as carbohydrates or fats. But potential drawbacks of such an approach are obvious to be seen.

Each food group provides essential nutrition that our bodies need for proper functioning. After cutting out entire food groups, you may lack vital vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial compounds found in those foods. The increased risk of nutrient deficiencies would result in great harm to your wellness. For example, if you eliminated carbohydrates entirely, you would experience low energy levels and find it difficult to perform daily activities.

And there also exist health challenges when individuals choose to become vegans and insist on veganism. They need to ensure they can obtain sufficient nutrients like vitamin B12, iron, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, and protein from plant-based sources or supplements. And they also need to explore new plant-based ingredients and recipes to maintain meal variety and prevent monotony.

So it’s not necessary to completely cut out food groups. You are recommended to focus on practicing portion control, consuming a variety of nutrient-dense foods, and adopting a balanced and sustainable approach to eating. You can also tailor your own personalized nutrition based on your specific needs, goals, and genetic makeup.

3. Carbs are the enemy when it comes to weight loss.

One of the common weight loss myths is that carbs are the enemy when you are dieting. While it’s true that certain types of carbohydrates, such as refined grains and added sugars, can contribute to weight gain and should be limited, it’s important to understand that not all carbs are created equal.

The complex carbs provide sustained energy, promote satiety, and support overall health. You can get them from whole, unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. Many carbohydrate-rich foods are high in dietary fiber, which keeps you feeling fuller for longer, helps control appetite and reduce overeating, which supports healthy weight management.

However, for people with diabetes or insulin resistance, it’s advised to follow low-carb diets, which helps stabilize blood sugar levels and may reduce the need for medication. And it can also improve heart health, such as reduced triglycerides and increased levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.

The truth about weight loss comes down to achieving a calorie deficit, where you consume fewer calories than you expend. Some carbohydrate-containing foods like fruits and vegetables are relatively low in calories. Therefore, it’s not solely about carbohydrates, but about your overall energy intake and physical activity levels.

4. You have to eat less to lose weight.

Although consuming fewer calories than your body burns is indeed necessary for losing weight, you need to keep in mind that calorie reduction should be approached in a balanced and sustainable manner.

Choosing nutrient-dense foods can allow you to meet your body needs while managing your calorie intake. And try to involve a balance of macronutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in your meals.

Practicing portion control and mindful eating can help prevent overeating, which is an effective strategy for calorie reduction. By using smaller plates or bowls, eating slowly and savoring your food, try to promote a healthier relationship with food.

5. Fat-free or low-fat foods are always a healthier choice.

One of diet myths is that you’d better choose fat-free or low-fat foods for the sake of health. Even though some fats, such as trans fats and excessive saturated fats, can be detrimental for health, there are fats, particularly omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, that play a crucial role in brain function, cardiovascular health, and other body processes. In fact, it’s important to care about nutrition facts and not just fat content.

Certain vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K, are fat-soluble, so they require dietary fat for proper absorption. Consuming fat-free foods may limit the absorption of these vitamins, leading to potential nutrient deficiencies. Moreover, removing fats entirely from your diet may result in feeling less satisfied, potentially leading to increased snacking or overeating.

Another unhealthy risk for consuming fat-free or low-fat foods is that they are highly processed and added with extra sugars, sodium and thickeners to enhance the flavor. You should consider the balance of nutrients when choosing foods, and opt for whole, minimally processed foods for healthy eating.

6. Skipping meals is an effective weight loss strategy.

Skipping meals is absolutely one of weight loss misconceptions. The short-term reduction in calorie intake can not bring you sustained weight loss. Here are several reasons why this approach is not recommended.

First, if you regularly missed meals, nutrient deficiencies could not be avoided, which would negatively impact your overall health. And irregular meal patterns may lead to fluctuations in your glycemic index, drops in energy levels, and slowing down of metabolic processes, which greatly hinders your long-term weight loss. Skipping breakfast may lead to more unstable blood glucose levels.

Besides that, skipping meals will make you more likely to overeat later in the day. Your hunger and satiety cues can be disrupted when you go for long periods without eating. You may become overly hungry and have less control over your food choices, leading to consuming larger portions or high-calorie foods.

Intermittent fasting should be mentioned here, which has gained popularity for its potential benefits for weight management. There are several popular fasting patterns, including the 16/8 method, 5:2 method, alternate-day fasting, etc. It can be a flexible eating pattern, making it easier for individuals to adhere to and maintain.

7. Exercise alone is enough to lose weight.

Although exercise should not be ignored in the process of losing your body weight, it’s far from enough to lose weight alone with exercise. Actually, healthy diet plans and lifestyle are more crucial in achieving sustainable weight loss. Therefore, addressing factors like sleep, stress management, and healthy living along with exercise can better optimize your fitness.

It’s known that exercise is good for fat burning and muscle building, but it’s often more challenging to create a substantial calorie deficit without dietary coordination. Even with regular exercise, if your diet consists of high-calorie and unhealthy foods, like junk food, your weight loss progress must be slowed down.

It should also be noted that the calorie burning may decrease when you get used to certain exercises, which is called metabolic adaptation. Your weight loss efforts can be thus impacted if solely relying on exercise.

8. You can spot-reduce fat in certain areas of your body.

Except for exercising a specific body part or using certain machines, it’s one of the fallacies that you can naturally spot-reduce fat in certain body areas. Because when you lose body fat, it happens throughout your entire body rather than in a targeted manner.

The areas where fat is stored can vary among individuals, and genetics play a significant role in determining where your body tends to accumulate or lose fat. For example, some people may have a tendency to store more fat in their abdomens, while others in hips or thighs.

Engaging in exercise and maintaining a healthy diet can help your body burn stored fat as a source of energy. Even though strength training exercises can help build muscle and improve the appearance of specific areas, they won’t directly target fat loss in those areas.

9. Supplements and weight loss pills are a quick fix for losing weight.

Weight loss supplements and pills are the most common falsehoods. While there is a lot to choose from on the market, it’s important to approach them with caution and skepticism. There is no such thing as “quick fix” when it comes to healthy and sustainable weight loss. Those exaggerations that are claimed by many producers seem to lack sufficient scientific evidence.

Although some supplements may affect metabolism and appetite, the resulting weight loss effect is often minimal and temporary. Moreover, potential side effects may be caused by these products. And they are not suitable for everyone, especially those with underlying health conditions

It should be kept in mind that sustainable weight loss takes time and requires consistent effort. It’s crucial to create healthy habits for long-term weight management, such as a balanced and nutritious diet, regular exercise, adequate sleep and stress management.

10. Once you lose weight, you can go back to your old habits.

One of the health myths is that when achieving your weight loss programs, you’re more likely to go back to old habits, which may lead to the possible weight regain. Actually, weight loss is not just about reaching a certain number on the scale, but about making lasting changes to your lifestyle.

Compared to mere weight loss, something about body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference deserves more attention. Try to increase your lean body mass (LBM) for a higher metabolism, even if you’ve reached your ideal weight.

For dieting, you don’t have to strictly follow weight loss diets, but you should still pay attention to calorie counting to avoid excessive calorie intake. Manage your food addiction through establishing a balanced and nutritious diet. Try to focus on whole foods, high in fiber, lean protein, and healthy fats.

Keeping away from obesity can bring you various health benefits, such as improved cardiovascular health, reduced risk of chronic diseases, and enhanced mental health. To sustain these benefits, you should maintain a healthy weight through continued healthy habits.

It’s important to recognize that weight loss is more like a journey than a destination. Instead of considering it as a temporary phase, you’d better adopt sustainable lifestyle changes and apply behavior modification in your dietary patterns and living habits, to maintain your weight and improve your life quality in the long run.

11.  Drinking water can help you lose weight.

Studies suggest that drinking water boosts metabolism. As weight loss advice, it should be admitted that drinking water can indeed support your efforts and benefit your overall health. However, it’s not a direct solution for losing weight on its own.

Choosing water instead of those sugary beverages, like soda or juice, to significantly reduce your calorie intake and aid in weight management. And you can drink water before a meal, which helps you feel fuller and prevent overeating, resulting in consuming fewer calories during the meal.

Staying adequately hydrated is crucial for optimal physical performance during workouts. When you exercise, water helps regulate your body temperature and lubricates your joints. This can enable you to engage in more intense and prolonged exercise sessions, potentially burning more calories and supporting weight loss.

While it seems a false assumption that drinking water alone can make you shed pounds, it’s considered as an effective overall weight loss strategy. You’re advised to combine water consumption with a balanced diet, regular exercise, and healthy lifestyle for slow and steady weight loss.


Obviously, as a hot topic, weight loss is surrounded by numerous untruths, fictions, delusions, and even misbeliefs. It’s important to figure out myths and realities, finding accurate information to promote healthy and effective weight loss.

Of course, in terms of this topic, there are far more than the common weight loss myths mentioned above. For example, some individuals may turn to bariatric surgery when common weight loss methods don’t work or obesity-related health conditions are present. But the potential risks and complications can’t be ignored, including infection, bleeding, nutritional deficiencies, gallstones, and gastrointestinal issues.

As a matter of fact, instead of weight loss, it’s more important to cultivate body positivity. Developing a positive relationship with your body and practicing self-love and self-acceptance. Try to embrace and appreciate the unique qualities and characteristics of your own body, focusing on its functionality, strength, and overall well-being rather than solely its appearance.