When it comes to weight loss plans, wild exaggerations and false promises run rampant.
Here are the five most egregious lies the diet industry uses to sell their worthless products. Most important one first, in case you quit reading.
1. Lose Weight and Eat All You Want
Sorry to say, you cannot eat all you want. Eating all you want is part of what caused you to gain weight in the first place. Losing weight is all about portion control. This is the “calories in” part of the equation is. But take heart, you do not need to severely restrict yourself. Eating too little is counter-productive. “You can eat all you want” is only true if you play a little mind game with yourself, like I do: I tell myself I can eat all I want, but I only want to eat the portions that will help me lose weight. You can eat whatever you want and still lose weight. But not in unrestricted quantities.
2. Flatten your Belly
You cannot spot lose weight. There is no combination of foods or set of exercises that will “give you a flat belly”. You can eat less and exercise more and this will cause you to lose fat. But you have no control over where the fat comes from. Many diets are marketed to dieters by playing up to certain problem areas, like the abdomen. A flat stomach, or a visible 6-pack are very difficult to achieve. Only the most fit among us possess these trophies of exercise. First you would need to achieve a low body fat percentage, and second you would need to strengthen your core muscles. Did you know push-ups are more effective for strengthening your abdomen than crunches? But all the push-ups or crunches in the world won’t make your waist smaller. They will, however, give you muscle tone once you lose the fat.
3. Lose # Pounds in # Days
No single plan will work for every person at the same rate. Any diet that makes a claim like this should trigger your skepticism.
4. Lose Weight without Exercise
Yes, you can lose weight without exercise. But you do yourself a disservice by avoiding getting active. Barring a particular health concern, exercise should be high on your priority list. People who exercise are more likely to keep the weight off. More muscle means you burn more calories all the time. So you will be able to eat more and maintain your weight if you have more muscle. Exercise is a great way to deal with stress, especially if you used to deal with stress by overeating. Anybody can exercise. And don’t be afraid or assume you will hate it. If you give it enough time, you will likely learn to like it or even love it, as I have. Any small amount of exercise is better than none. So if all you can do is walk for 10 minutes, do that. You will look better and feel better if you get moving.
5. The Miracle “Cure” for Obesity
There is no “cure” for obesity, only a lifestyle change. Any diet that promises to “cure your obesity” once and for all is telling you a bold-faced lie.
The diet mindset is what’s keeping America fat. There is no temporary action you can take to have a healthy body, it is a lifetime of work. Losing weight quickly is worthless if you gain it back. Achieving a healthy mind and body are priceless and worth the necessary investment of time.