I blogged recently on common myths about weight loss on Lifehack.org. Today, I wanted to share common assumptions (that I believed before reading about this!) about weight loss. These presumptions are prevalent in our healthcare community and need to be disproven or proven.
1. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day
Presumption: eating breakfast every day boosts the metabolize and protects against weight gain
Two trials studied the effect of skipping vs. eating breakfast. No effect on weight was found in either trial.
2. Teaching children early to eat and exercise influence weight throughout life
Presumption: If you teach children how to be healthy, they’ll stay healthy
One study looked for factors that influence weight gain during early childhood into adulthood. They found that maternal smoking and significant weight gain during pregnancy was associated with adult weight gain in children. They did not find any relationship between teaching children proper diet and exercise and weight. Said another way, teaching a child to eat and exercise doesn’t influence whether or not she’ll be obese as an adult.
3. Adding more fruits and veggies, without changing anything else, will cause weight loss or less weight gain
Eating fruits and veggies is great for your health. Plus they’re super tasty (I love Pink Lady Apples).
No weight loss is seen when only eating more fruit and veggies is done. In fact, weight gain can result. Bottom line: more (exercise and decreased caloric intake) needs to be done if you want to lose the extra pounds.
4. Snacking leads to gaining fat
Randomized, controlled trials don’t support this idea. There is no evidence to support eating snacks throughout the day increases weight or fat.
So am I recommending not eating breakfast, not teaching children about diet and exercise, adding more fruits and veggies, snacking more? No.
Everything in moderation.
Believing in these presumptions or “myths” could block you from losing weight. For example, there’s some evidence to suggest eating small frequent meals throughout the day may decrease your weight. So eating small healthy snacks like celery with peanut butter or apples could decrease the amount of food you eat during a meal.
Do/did you believe these presumptions? Do you think the scientists who write these trials are wackos?