Four misconceptions about weight loss debunked

Expert advice: Four misconceptions about weight loss debunked

Personal trainer, Owen Hambulo, the owner of Owen Fitness in Sandton, shares four common misconceptions people have about losing weight.

Overweight woman
Overweight woman/ iStock

Losing weight and living a healthy lifestyle are some of the top goals that people have at the beginning of a new year.

There is also a spike in people joining the gym at this time of year.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, being physically active “can improve your brain health, help manage weight, reduce the risk of disease, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve your ability to do everyday activities.”

Obesity is a global problem. A report by the Western Cape government states that roughly 31% of men and 68% of women in the country are obese.

One of the things that contributes to unhealthy weight loss expectations is misconceptions.

We spoke to Owen Hambulo, the owner of Owen Fitness in Sandton, who shared four common misconceptions people have about losing weight.

READ: Oprah Winfrey warns against weight-loss gummies scam

It doesn’t take time or require much effort

Owen says the first misconception people have is that as soon as they start exercising and eating healthy, they will lose weight quickly. This is not true.

“Losing weight takes time and by slowly changing daily habits, it gets you a step closer.”

The recommended weight loss per week is 1 to 2 kilograms.  

Diet is not important as long as you exercise

“I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying ‘you can’t out train a bad diet’. That’s true,” says Owen.

He says both exercise and healthy eating is what will help you maintain a healthy weight.

“Incorporating a healthy lifestyle and exercise is still the best and safest way to lose weight in the long run,” says Owen. 

However, some people might struggle to give up their favourite junk food.

Owen says it is about taking one step at a time.

“Slowly introduce healthy habits and work on your relationship with food to adapt to a healthy lifestyle.”

Fad diets work

The personal trainer says people need to be careful of trendy weight-loss diets that promise dramatic results, aka fad diets.

“Fad diets often encourage deprivation and the demonisation of foods, which may lead to nutrient deficiencies and disordered eating habits. They also focus on quick results — and almost always on weight loss.”

It is advisable to speak to a dietician or nutritionist before trying out any diet.  

Fat burners

“You must have heard about fat burner supplements? They are mostly assumed to be some magical pill that helps in melting fat from your body. But, the reality is far from what you perceive. They are actually made from ingredients that give extra boost to your fat burning process. But they are certainly not a replacement to your daily diet or exercise regimen that plays a key role in shedding those extra kilos.”

 READ: Personal trainer shares effective weight loss tips for the holiday season

Image courtesy of iStock/ @Antonio_Diaz

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