Being on a weight loss journey is really hard. There are months where you are losing weight, feeling great, and telling everyone about your journey. And then there are months where you don't lose weight, gain weight back, or are just maintaining and wondering if you should just give up. Everyone goes through these, but remember, life is a marathon and not a sprint.
If you're one of those people who believe everything you read on the internet, then you've probably tried some crazy juice cleanse or skinny tea that promised you would lose 10 pounds in a week. While that's not only not possible, its also so unhealthy. Your liver is a natural detox, and if working properly, it will get rid of all those toxins you need to get rid of anyways.
It's super important to do your own research before jumping right into something you heard was good for you. There is truly nothing more important than your health, so make sure you are treating your body with love and care, which means eating healthy, exercising, and getting enough sleep. Believing myths and going through with them can be really hard on your body.
1. Going gluten-free when you don't have an allergy will make you lose weight
I know a ton of people who go gluten-free to see if they feel better, and realistically unless you have been diagnosed by a doctor or eliminated it long enough to really feel different, it's pretty useless for you. I went through hell to find out I was non-celiac gluten intolerant, and I have to be very strict on my food choices. However, if you don't have any bloating, stomach aches, acid reflux or any symptoms to lead you to believe you would be better off going gluten-free, it's really not going to do anything for you. Gluten-free products aren't 'healthier', they are still packed full with ingredients you sometimes cannot pronounce. It's best to stick to a clean diet whether you are gluten-free or not.
2. Not eating carbs will also make you lose weight
Carbs = energy. You need carbs. Of course you don't need white pasta, white bread, or white rice. However, every once and a while it's fine. I'm talking about people who cut out carbs completely, don't up their fat and protein and are famished by the end of the day because they're exhausted. Unless you're doing the ketogenic diet, your macros are balanced so you're not eating as many carbs, or your body responds better to higher fat and protein, there is no reason to cut carbs completely. You really cannot live without carbs, but try eating more complex carbs like quinoa, brown rice, sweet potatoes and even regular potatoes.
3. You cannot eat at night or after dinner
Realistically, it does not matter what time of day you eat at. Why do some nutritionists say to not eat at night? Well, if you've have a full day of eating, you shouldn't really be hungry at night. If you hardly ate that day or are starving at night, do not go to be hungry. It will interrupt your sleep and you'll be miserable! Opt for a banana, or a few nuts to keep you full till the morning. All that really matters is that you aren't going over your recommended calorie intake, which will make you gain weight.
4. Fats make you fat
This could seriously not be less true. It seems like growing up, we were all afraid of fats. No one was obsessed with avocados, and did coconut oil even exist? Fats do the opposite, and they give you energy, help you stay fuller longer as well as stabilize your blood sugar levels so you don't crave junk. Having avocado on rice cakes as a snack, alongside your healthy breakfast, or even nuts and fruit as a snack, will help you notice how much fuller you are all day. Fats actually help you lose weight, rather than making you gain weight.
5. Skipping meals is the easiest and most efficient way to lose weight
This is one that people actually think will work, because the odd time it does. If you are able to lose weight fast, then yes, you will lose weight by skipping meals. However, by skipping meals you are putting your body into starvation mode which means it also goes into panic mode. Your body will then hold onto fat as a way to survive. When your body can't find energy in food, it will store fat for energy. Skipping meals is one of the worst things you can do for your metabolism, not to mention your health in general. Eating a clean, balanced diet will allow you to lose weight properly while feeding your body the right nutrients.
6. You can't eat your favourite foods when wanting to lose weight
Life is ALL about balance! If we all couldn't eat our favourite foods, I think we would go crazy. Even Jillian Michaels has a cheat meal–you do not have to feel bad about that. Having a cheat meal actually won't derail your progress, it will help it. When you eat something your body isn't used to, the carbs, fat, and protein will help you a ton in the gym the next day and will actually lead to #gains. Do not be scared of your favourite foods, just eat them in moderation!
7. The only way to lose weight is to work out for hours doing mostly cardio
Girl, have you ever heard of HIIT?! Working out for more than an hour a day, unless you're training for something, is so unnecessary. There is truly no reason for it, and you can get a good workout in less than half an hour. Weight training along with HIIT (high intensity interval training) will give you unreal results while blasting fat. Just doing the elliptical for an hour will of course burn calories, but you're not building muscle while you do it. If you want to use a cardio machine, opt for the stairmaster as it builds muscle and shreds fat.
8. Not being sore means you didn't work out hard enough
I am guilty of thinking this. However, being too sore isn't a good thing either. While it is a great feeling to be sore, it's not the be all end all of workouts. Yes, maybe your weights aren't heavy enough for you if you're never sore, so just up your weights and you'll notice you become sore and you'll see more muscle definition! However, muscle soreness usually comes from doing moves that your body isn't used to working. So next time you have an insane workout and you're not sore at all, don't blame it on the fact that you didn't work hard enough!
9. If someone's diet is working for them, it will work for you too
We are all made differently. If a workout/meal plan is working for a twin, that 100% doesn't mean it will work for the other twin. Your body needs different things, so if someone lost a bunch of weight going vegan that does not mean that's the exact way you should lose weight. In fact, it's best to try out a few different ways if you want to find out what works best for you!
10. The number on the scale is the most important when it comes to weight loss
I hate the scale. When I moved out, I told myself I would not buy a scale and I stuck to it. Growing up, my mom was obsessed with the scale and would freak out if she gained one pound, or if she lost a pound she would be in a good mood. As hard as it is, a lot of the time we gain our views on happiness, health and love from our parents. I found myself to be the same way, but now I could not care less. What matters most is how you feel on the inside and if you're happy with what you see on the outside. Kelly Clarkson has been criticized for her weight for years, but stated a couple of months ago that when she was skinny she 'wanted to kill herself'. She also said "I was miserable, like inside and out, for four years of my life. But no one cared, because aesthetically you make sense." Weight does not matter and it does not define you, neither does the number on the scale. Two people can be the same height and same weight but look completely different.
11. Taking diet pills, drinking skinny teas and doing juice cleanses will help you lose weight fast
Promoting skinny teas on Instagram will bring you money, and that's about it. Skinny teas have never been proven to work, and that's a good thing. I love the quote "If it was that easy, we would all be doing it". It's so true! If taking diet pills, drinking skinny teas and doing juice cleanses actually made us all lose 10 pounds in a week, wouldn't we all do it? There are no benefits to juice cleanses, and your blood sugar drops so low you become hangry and end up binging. Diet pills are hard on your entire body, and can actually have some opposite affects and do damage to your organs. It's really best to stick to a maintainable lifestyle that is balanced, clean and that you look forward to.