5 of the biggest myths about weight loss

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5 weight loss myths

Perth bariatric and weight loss surgeon Jon Armstrong discusses some of the myths around sustaining weight loss, making it easier to achieve weight loss goals

Myth 1.
Radical exercise is the only way to lose weight.

Not true. Exercise is actually overrated for weight loss. Yes, exercise makes you feel good and is great for your mental health. It is also good for maintaining muscle mass and for your cardiovascular fitness. But calorie intake throughout the day is much more important. Often you might feel hungrier after going to the gym and eat more that night. To really lose weight you need to reduce your calorie and energy intake massively, and in a sustained fashion. Then fat breakdown will start to occur.

After weight loss surgery such as sleeve gastrectomy or gastric bypass it is a slightly different story. We know that patients will lose weight quickly, no matter what they do. But patients are at risk of muscle loss if they are not exercising so we really will emphasise the importance of, particularly, resistance training in the post-op year.

 

Myth 2.
Skipping meals is the best way to lose weight.

Not really. You can’t spend the whole day feeling hungry and irritable and being unable to concentrate. Keep your free sugar content low, concentrate on small regular meals during the day getting energy from a mix of proteins, low GI carbs ( ie no refined sugars) and some fat.

Myth 3.
I should always choose foods low in fat.

No. Fats are essential for your cell function. We are designed to get energy from fats. Just have a balanced diet. Fats take up taste in foods. Just moderate your intake and avoid processed foods if you can. Unsaturated fats are better than saturates. Fish oils are good for you.

Myth 4. Exercising takes up too much time in my busy day.

That should not be the case. Any exercise is good. Walking to work, taking the stairs, anything that gets your heart rate up will benefit you.

High-intensity exercise on a bike or at a gym or in a pool, even for 5 minutes can make a huge difference to how your body metabolises in the day. Muscle mass can be maintained by very short bouts of physical activity.

 

Myth 5.
Zero calorie soft drinks are healthy.

Not really. They are sugary tasting. You need to try and move away from a sugar craving. What is the sugary agent? Is it Stevia, Aspartame, Saccharin or something else? No true cancer risks have been shown from artificial sweeteners which is reassuring. But at the same time no studies have shown any benefits in terms of weight loss or metabolic improvement in patients. In children, there may even be negative effects on weight loss.

If you are thirsty, stick to water if you can. Keep it simple. After successful weight loss surgery, you will need to really up your water intake to allow you to metabolize all your fats, stay hydrated and not get constipated.

Perth bariatric surgeon Dr Jon Armstrong works with a team of dieticians who can assist you in your weight loss goals.

VIDEO: Should I have Weight Loss Surgery? Dr Jon Armstrong | Bariatric Surgeon Perth explains.