Today, we will debunk five popular weight loss myths that are ineffective and might even be dangerous to people with diabetes.
Counting calories is the only way to lose weight
The calorie deficit is a foolproof way to lose weight. You should burn more calories than you consume, and you will start to see a difference on your scale. While this is true, not all calories are equally beneficial.
A Big Mac has 563 calories. One plate of grilled chicken with crispy vegetables and buckwheat will go as far as 300-400 calories. Both of them can be eaten for dinner.
However, each ingredient in the burger is highly processed, and you will feel hungry almost instantly. Your second option is not only delicious. It also includes fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals necessary for longevity and health.
Your body needs more than calories. Balanced meals based on lean protein, healthy fats, and vegetables will ensure sustainable and healthy weight loss. This is especially true for people with diabetes. Ensure that your food can pass the “great-grandma test” – if your great-grandmother would not be able to recognize the ingredients, don’t eat it.
You should weigh yourself each day
When you first start losing weight, scale becomes your fiercest frenemy. You weigh yourself every day and carefully track each gram gained or lost. Surprisingly, that’s not the right way to track your progress.
When you say that you want to lose weight, you probably want to lose your body fat that gathers around your waist. You don’t want to lose muscle mass, because even a moderate amount of muscle makes you look toned and in shape.
Muscle is more dense than fat. If you are physically active, you might gain muscle mass during your weight loss process, but you would look visibly thinner.
When you are on a diet, you lose water weight, fat and muscle, and the scales reflect this. They do not show the exact amount of body fat you have burned.
A more accurate way would be to focus on your measurements. Track your waist size, arms, legs, or other areas that you would like to improve.
Don’t eat anything after 6 PM
Not eating after 6 PM can work for some of us. If you are a healthy adult who follows an intermittent fasting routine and starts their day early, you might stop eating at 6 PM and see satisfying results.
People with diabetes cannot risk it. You must eat every 3-3.5 hours to avoid hypoglycemia. Eating your last meal of the day at 6 PM simply doesn’t work unless you are ready to go to bed right away.
It’s recommended to enjoy a high-fiber, low-fat snack before going to sleep. Try out different options: a handful of nuts, a hard-boiled egg with some whole-grain crackers, or crunchy celery sticks with hummus.
Join the gym to lose weight
What is the most popular New Year’s resolution? You guessed right: it’s the promise to join the gym. If you are among the people that wished well but never met their trainer, you can relax.
Exercising has tons of benefits. Your body looks better as you gain muscle. You feel energized, improve your mood, and have a reason to boast about your achievements. It also stimulates your appetite, and people tend to think that they earned a treat if they completed their reps.
Surprisingly enough, you cannot outrun a bad diet. Only 10%-30% of your weight loss results come from physical activity.
If you do not see yourself in the gym, don’t push it. Focus on 30 minutes of moderate to hard exercise per day. It can be anything from gardening and cleaning your home to hiking or playing sports with your family. Who knows, maybe this will be a stepping stone to a more consistent training routine?
Carbs (or fats) are the enemy
Over the years, weight-loss gurus have launched crusades on carbohydrates or fats and claimed they are the leading cause of rapid weight gain. There is always a grain of truth in any myth.
Highly processed carbs in fast food, sugary drinks, and refined grains can be consumed quickly, but they do not ensure long-term satiety. If you enjoy a can of soda with your pepperoni pizza, you will feel full for an hour, and come for some more right away. Our bodies have not evolved for a never-ending feast of easily digested carbs.
Dietary fats suffer from a bad reputation due to the same reason. It’s crucial to separate healthy fats found in fatty fish, nuts, avocados, or olive oil from dangerous trans fats found in deep-fried foods, baked foods, or margarine.
A healthy diet for people with diabetes contains around 45% of carbs, 30% of healthy fats, and 25% of lean protein. Combine lean meats and fish with plenty of vegetables and whole-grains, and enjoy a healthy balanced meal.
How To Fight These Weight Loss Myths?
These weight loss myths were created to support some fad diet that spreads misconceptions about sustainable weight loss.
It’s especially true for people who need to lose weight to get a chance to manage their diabetes diagnosis.
How to fight these lies? With cold-hard facts.
MyDiabetes team of certified nutritionists specializes in preparing personalized weight loss programs for people that seek to manage diabetes. They have already helped more than 500 000 people worldwide.