weight loss myths

10 Weight Loss Myths to Stop Believing

March 31, 2017

Can you tell the difference between weight loss myths and facts? There are many myths when it comes to weight loss. In fact, you can see the same myth over and over again to the point that it seems a fact. From many years of experience in bariatrics, my patients tell me about their belief in these myths which can work against them with their goal of weight loss success. 

If you believe any of the 10 myths below as facts, you can be assured they are mere myths and not facts.

10 Weight Loss Myths (Not Facts)

Every calorie is the same.

Every calorie is not the same. Certain food choices may be equal in calories, but not equal in health and how they will treat your body. 200 calories of sweets will not benefit your body the same way 200 calories of a fruit, vegetable or whole grain will.

Stop eating carbohydrates and lose weight.

It is healthier to remove refined sugars and “white” carbohydrates from your diet such as white pasta, cereal, rice, and bread. Whole-grain carbohydrates and vegetables in balanced portions are great for your body!

Drink water and lose weight.

There is no evidence that drinking water helps with weight loss. It is, however, important to stay hydrated. People don’t realize that many times when you experience food cravings or hunger, it is because you are thirsty. We get a lot of hydration from foods. Our bodies crave hydration and disguise thirst as hunger.

Detox diets work.

They may work in the short-term. In the long-term, you will gain that weight loss back and then some. People have many problems with deficiencies after detoxing. Our bodies are made for food and texture. Depriving your body of vital nutrients is not healthy. Weight cycling (gaining and losing) is more detrimental than maintaining a weight that is slightly higher than healthy.

Do not eat after 7 pm.

Okay, everyone! Our busy schedules don’t permit this rule! Many of us work nights…what then? As long as you are upright and awake for two hours after your last meal, it is ok. Snacking late at night usually leads to unhealthy choices. It is important, with every meal and/or snack to make good choices.

Eat less or skip meals to lose weight.

Not true! It is crucial to keep your metabolism at a good rate to burn calories and fat, and lose weight.  Skipping meals or not eating enough calories will reduce metabolism and your calorie intake may suffer.

Eat more often for better weight loss.

Multiple small meals daily are not always the answer. Again, not making the right choices for those small meals can lead to a very high-calorie intake. Your body should be able to digest, process, and burn food by eating meals five to six hours apart. It is most important to eat your first meal of the day within an hour of waking to wake up your metabolism!

Exercise means you can eat whatever you want.

Exercising is good for your body. Eating high fat or high carbohydrate white foods are not. Exercising regularly does not give you permission to splurge. You cannot compensate for the wrong calories because you exercised.

Avoid gluten and dairy products.

This myth has gotten a lot of press lately. If you have been diagnosed with a medical condition that warrants removing these products from your diet, then please follow what you need to do for your condition. If not, avoiding these products will not help with weight loss. These products provide good calcium and other nutrients that are beneficial to you.  There are good carbohydrates to eat, and low-fat dairy products are worthy.

Sleep has nothing to do with weight loss or weight maintenance.

It so does! Sleep is the time of day that your body gets to rest and regenerate. It is crucial for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. It is recommended to get a minimum of seven hours of sleep at night. Remember - you burn 60 calories an hour just sleeping, so it is still working for you!


Just because you see something on the Internet doesn’t make it true. If you have questions or concerns, turn to a registered dietitian before you believe it as a fact.

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Sharon George, MS, RD, CDN received her B.A. in Psychology from Syracuse University. She completed a second Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition at L.I.U.C.W. Post and received her Master’s degree in Community Counseling from Hofstra University. She has been published in OH Magazine and Bariatrics Today. Sharon has dedicated her career to Bariatric Nutrition for the past 15 years at the New York Bariatric Group.
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