The Myths of Losing Weight – Diet Myth 1

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“THINK there’s a great secret to losing weight? Fat chance.”

I found this on my tablet as it loaded up Optus news website and I just had to share. I will post more with each blog as the full article is quite long.

Recent research and books have delved into our collective “wisdom” about weight loss and found that some of our more widely held beliefs are based on pretty skimpy science.

From the “caveman diet” to green-tea extract to cleanses, we cling to whatever the latest craze is in weight loss and are then shocked when we can’t shake the pounds.

But now even the most firmly held, physician-given advice about diet and exercise is proving it can’t hold up to scrutiny either. A lot of the advice being offered to the 33% of adults who are obese – and the countless others with a little too much extra around the middle – is misleading or even pointless.

Simply skipping your daily donut and exercising a few times a week might not be enough to shed weight and keep it off. This worries researchers who wonder if we won’t all be too discouraged to even try.

“We need to get serious as a country. We’re way off the tracks here,” said Dr. James L. Hardeman, author of “Appears Younger Than Stated Age.” “One of the things I tell my patients is that it may be difficult, but compared to being a patient in the ICU, it’s a walk in the park.”

To counter an obesity epidemic that only seems to be growing, researchers and doctors like Hardeman are trying to set the record straight about weight.

Diet Myth 1

A 30-minute workout a day, three days a week will help you lose weight

For decades doctors swore that if you just made time in your busy schedule three days a week for a 30-minute workout you’d lose weight.

Studies now show that exercising for a total of an hour a day, five to seven days a week, is necessary for maintaining your ideal weight.

“We’re still telling people three days for 30 minutes, and I think that’s because the doctors feel that that’s a good place to start,” said Mary D’Avila, a registered dietitian at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, Calif.

Concerned that people will be so discouraged they’ll just stay on their couches, doctors still cling to the “every little bit helps” myth.

The idea behind the miracle of moderate exercise is that if someone burns 100 extra calories a day, he or she will lose a half a kilo every 35 days. Over five years that person should lose around 20 kilos. But studies have shown the true weight loss over five years is around five kilos, according to a paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine in January.

Among the biggest exercise whoppers is a reliance on Rover. Walking doesn’t burn as many calories as running, and walking your dog won’t help you shed pounds – unless Rover is a power-walker.

D’Avila advises people who are trying to lose weight to adhere to the “walk and talk” rule. If you can talk with some effort while walking, you’re doing great. If you can sing, you’re not exercising; you’re sauntering.

And nobody ever lost weight by sauntering.

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