How Dieting Works

Weight Loss Myths

There are dozens of weight-loss myths that help to derail people. Here is a list of some of the most common so you can try to avoid them:

  • The myth that some kinds of calories are different from others - A calorie is a calorie. If you consume 4,000 calories by eating 1,000 grams of white sugar or 4,000 calories by eating 444 grams of fat, it is still 4,000 calories.

  • The myth that low-fat foods are okay or that you can eat as much as you want if it is low-fat - A product can have 0 grams of fat but still have lots of calories. Many fat-free foods replace the fat with sugar and contain just as many or more calories as a fat-containing product.

  • The myth that any passive device, acupressure rings and bracelets or soaps or whatever, can help - There is no way to burn calories but to burn them.

  • The myth that you can lose 54 pounds in 6 weeks - Despite what the ads say (I LOST 54 POUNDS IN 6 WEEKS WITHOUT DIETS OR EXERCISE!!! or LOSE 10 POUNDS THIS WEEKEND!), you cannot lose a pound of fat unless you burn off 3,500 calories. To lose 54 pounds in 6 weeks, you would need to lose 9 pounds in 7 days, or 1.3 pounds per day. That 1.3 pounds of fat is equal to 4,500 calories, so you would have to burn off 4,500 calories per day. The only way to do that would be to eat nothing AND run a marathon every day for 42 days. That's impossible. The only way to lose that much weight that quickly is either through dehydration or amputation. The ads are lying.

  • The myth that anything can create an "enzyme-driven fat-burning cycle" - All sorts of things, from nettle seeds to apple pectin, are supposed to contain enzymes that create an ENZYME-DRIVEN FAT BURNING CYCLE THAT BURNS CALORIES 24-HOURS-A-DAY!!! No.

What is true is that you have to eat fewer calories than you burn in a day if you want to lose weight. You can do that by eating fewer calories than you need, or by exercising more, or both. It is true that some people burn more calories per day than others (just as some people are taller than others, some people have to use the restroom more frequently than others, some people lose their hair faster than others and so on -- people are different). You simply have to find the number of calories your body burns in a day and consume fewer calories than your body needs. That's not to say it's easy -- the psychology of food and eating is very powerful. But that is what you have to do. It is a mental game, and there is no way around it. But now you know the rules of that mental game.

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