February 8, 2013

Weight-Loss Myths Or Not?

Well, it is February now and many people are strong into their New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, exercise more, or just get healthier. while others have already given up on several different programs of weight loss. So many suggestions to lose weight exist in the world, yet how many of them actually work?

redOrbit reported about seven weight loss suggestions that have been called into question. They have even been called myths. Before I get to some of these, I should note that CNN explains “the doctors and nutritionists involved in the study also have deep ties to industry, receiving grant support and consulting fees from food, drug, and diet companies, raising questions about how wide a net of inquiry the authors were willing to cast.”

What this really means is that we should question the findings, but that does not mean we should completely ignore the information.

The first “myth” discussed is weight loss happens as a matter of calories in versus calories out. In other words, to lose weight one must increase daily expenditure of energy in order to lose weight. The researchers explained that this is based off the 3500-calorie rule that predicts a person who increases daily energy expenditure by 100 calories will lose 50 pounds over a time of five years. The authors of the study say that the true weight loss for the 3500-calorie rule is only about ten calories.

I have to question why they would even mention this. Naturally, if one exercises more (i.e. has increased energy expenditure), and one watches how many calories he takes in, he will absolutely lose weight. To focus solely on the 100 calories extra expenditure and not acknowledge that this is not a weight loss myth or manipulation is a bit misleading.

To lose weight, one must take in less calories and exercise more. Plus, these help to increase health in other ways than just weight loss.

Another “myth” is that setting realistic weight-loss goals is not important. According to the researchers, the thought in focusing on what is a more realistic goal will keep people from setting themselves up for disappointment.

The study showed that people who set more ambitious goals achieved more success. However, the study did not explain why. What is more important in this is the actual goal setting. When one tries to lose weight, he must set goals—whether ambitious or realistic. Goals help us to stay focused and on track. Some people need to set ambitious, high goals to motivate themselves while others have to start more realistically. They need to fulfill small goals in order to reach for the higher ones.

Goals are important no matter how paramount they are.

A third “myth” the study focused on was whether big, fast weight loss would stick, meaning would people who lose lots of weight really keep the pounds off? The researchers found no significant difference between slow and steady weight loss and faster weight loss.

I do not know much about this other than the research that has shown when one is consistent in calorie intake and exercise that person would definitely have a healthier lifestyle, regardless of weight. Furthermore, many people have bought into get-fit-quick schemes of weight loss only to be disappointed by the results. Maybe they did lose weight fast, but they only lost water weight or some other weight that fluctuated anyway. In other instances, they did not lose anything at all. What is definitely more important is consistently being healthy.

redOrbit also identified the four other supposed myths to weight loss that the researchers studied. Each one had some questionability. Nonetheless, it is important to think about these ideas. To lose weight, one must be dedicated to eating healthy and exercising. No matter what the article says, watching our calorie intake and increasing our activity through exercise is the most consistent and healthy way to lose weight.

Image Credit: Photos.com

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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