Summer weight loss myths: busted

We may have heard the same thing from Pauline from HR, Sophie from run club and even Auntie Belinda, but that doesn’t make it any truer. But it can be hard to discredit something when so many people assume it’s true – especially when we’re working hard to try and lose the lbs. So we decided to finally settle the score on what’s true and what isn’t.

Myth: Small amounts don’t count

Truth: Whether it’s a miniature pack of digestives or the last of someone else’s portion, we’re guilty of polishing it all off quicker than someone can say ‘calories’. But that’s exactly what leftovers and little bites are: calories. And however mini the morsels are, it all counts.

Tip: Make an effort to be more conscious of what you’re consuming. Ask yourself whether you’re actually hungry, or whether you will enjoy eating it or are just eating for the sake of it.

Myth: Drinks don’t count

Truth: Many of those who are health-conscious will eat clean but then guzzle down a glass of lemonade or wine without thinking about it. Did you know that there’s more calories in a Starbucks’ Tall Chai Tea Latte (with whole milk) than one Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut? Unless it’s water, it counts, so don’t forget to factor it in!

Tip: Cut back on sugary drinks and spice up your water with slices of fruit or cucumber instead.

Myth: Healthy food can be had in big amounts

Truth: We’ve all heard the saying ‘too much of one thing is bad for you’ and not only is it true, it also applies to healthy foods too. Nuts are a great way to up your protein, fibre and essential fatty acids (and easily add flavour and crunch to porridge and salads), but if you consume more than a handful then you could be eating too much fat, even if it’s the “good” kind. The snack is calorie-dense, so it’s important to remember to eat in moderation.

Tip: If you find it hard to stop at just a few bites, tell yourself you’re only trying it. That way, you’ll be able to ‘try’ other things without feeling bloated and guilty for finishing the other.

Myth: Exercise isn’t working

Truth: Getting your body moving always works – even if the changes aren’t immediately visible. What you won’t see happening until a while after, is your muscles getting stronger and leaner, which ultimately boosts weight-loss as you burn the calories faster.

Tip: The key to weight loss is to make sure you’re burning more cals than you’re banking. No one else will know the culprit better than yourself, so if you are snacking more than necessary. or eating way after you’re already full, acknowledge it and make an effort to change your habits.

Myth: Weight tells all

Truth: The scales don’t take into account your fat or muscle ratio, which means that extra pounds on the scales could be down to the extra muscle mass you’ve gained from the gym.

Tip: Focus on the change in your overall health rather than your weight. Have you noticed an improvement in your energy? Have you been able to progress in particular exercises or weights at the gym? If yes, you’re headed in the right direction.