Debunking Common Weight Loss Myths: Get the Facts Straight

by Mara Welty September 10, 2023 7 min read

 Debunking Common Weight Loss Myths: Get the Facts Straight

In a world inundated with information and advice about weight loss, it’s easy to fall victim to the allure of quick fixes and trendy diets. But in the pursuit of a healthier and fitter self, it’s vital to distinguish between fact and fiction.

Fortunately, arming yourself with the truth about several weight loss myths can empower you to make informed decisions and embrace sustainable food choices for weight loss support and to improve your overall health.

Myth #1: Skipping Meals Helps Support Weight Loss

The overarching knowledge surrounding weight loss is: eat less. And generally, this is true. When attempting to lose weight, it’s critical to create a calorie deficit. Calories are a unit of measurement used to measure how much energy we get from food. In other words, calories are a good thing.

They provide our body with the needed energy to perform basic physiological processes such as breathing, circulating blood and maintaining body temperature to allow for more complex tasks like walking, running and exercising. They also play a role in supporting vital organs, including:

  • Brain. 
  • Liver. 
  • Kidneys.

All that said, a calorie deficit refers to consuming fewer calories than your body uses. When a calorie deficit exists, your body will get energy from the stored fat in your body, thus potentially leading to weight loss.

However, the key to creating a calorie deficit does not involve skipping meals. In fact, skipping meals is rarely the solution for long-term, sustainable weight loss since it can negatively impact your metabolism — namely, slow it down.

Your metabolism refers to the chemical processes that burn the calories your body needs to function properly. The higher your metabolism, the more calories you’ll burn throughout the day. Most often, metabolism is genetic, meaning you don’t have much control over whether you have a fast or slow metabolism. 

That said, you do have some control, and skipping meals may slow your metabolism. It can also lower your blood sugar levels, which can lead to:

  • Irritability.
  • Confusion.
  • Fatigue.

As a result, it may become more difficult to lose weight when skipping meals. Instead, it’s often recommended to practice:

  • Mindful eating.
  • Intermittent fasting.
  • Intuitive eating.

So, be sure to learn what foods boost metabolism and how to eat mindfully. 

Myth #2: Losing Weight Is Linear

This diet myth suggests that the more effort one puts into dieting and exercising, the more weight one will consistently lose over time. And amidst your own weight loss research, it’s easy to come across before and after pictures that make it seem as though an individual shed pounds consistently over the course of six to 12 months. 

However, weight loss is rarely linear, steady or predictable and will often ebb and flow depending on:

  • Stress levels.
  • Physical activity levels.
  • Medications.
  • Mental health.
  • Food availability.
  • Hormonal fluctuations.

Typically, people will experience more rapid weight loss at the beginning of their journeys, but this will often slow down over time. While some weeks you may find yourself dropping pant sizes, other weeks you may notice stagnation or even weight gain, which is perfectly normal. The weight on the scale may not even reflect your body’s fat content at all. 

Oftentimes, weight gain is a result of increased water intake, food in the digestive system or muscle growth.

In people assigned female at birth (AFAB), the menstruation cycle can also significantly affect water weight.

When embarking on your own weight loss journey, it’s critical to set realistic expectations and focus on bolstering your overall health, rather than the numbers on the scale. Replace daily body checks with full-body scans, in which you assess how your body feels after starting your new workout regimen or developing a healthy morning routine and packing your plate with plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables. 

If you notice that your knees have become sore or that your body doesn’t react well to a daily head of broccoli, adjust your health routine accordingly to ensure you’re putting your wellness at the forefront of your fitness and healthy weight loss goals. 

Myth #3: Unhealthy Weight Is a Cause of Lifestyle Choices

Oftentimes, unhealthy weight is associated with the glutinous consumption of cakes, chips and fast food. However, while eating more calories than your body burns can lead your body to create fat deposits and gain weight, it’s rarely the only cause. 

In fact, genetics and hormonal imbalances can play a large role in weight gain — and are often out of our control. Research has found that there are over 400 different genes associated with excessive weight, and they can be passed down from parent to child. These genes can impact:

  • Appetite and food cravings.
  • Satiety.
  • Metabolism.
  • Body-fat distribution.
  • Stress levels (and food-associated coping mechanisms).

Hormone issues that may cause excessive weight also include:

  • Cortisol increase– An increase in cortisol, the stress hormone, over a long period of time can lead to weight gain and stretch marks.
  • High androgen levels– Among people AFAB, an increase in androgen levels can impact reproductive organs and cause weight gain, irregular menstrual periods and blemishes.
  • Leptin resistance – Leptin is a hormone that signals to your brain that enough fat is stored in the body. If you’re resistant to leptin, however, your body will constantly feel as though it's starving, and your appetite levels can increase.

All that said, if you’re having issues losing weight, consult with your healthcare provider to explore potential underlying factors and develop a personalized weight loss plan. While genetics and hormonal imbalances can influence body weight and metabolism, it's essential to remember that weight loss is still achievable through appropriate lifestyle or medical modifications.

Myth #4: Carbohydrates and Fat Can Deter Weight Loss

Carbohydrates are one of three macronutrients our bodies need, and they act as the primary source of energy for the body. 

The idea behind limiting carbs from your diet has gained popularity in various weight loss communities. And while reducing carb intake can be an effective short-term strategy for some individuals, it’s essential to approach low-carb, low-fat diets with caution.

Limiting carbohydrates can lead to a state of ketosis. This refers to when the body relies on stored fat to get its energy, rather than carbs. As a result, people may experience rapid weight loss initially, which can make low-carb diets appealing to those looking for quick results. However, this is not sustainable — and not all carbs are created equal. 

Highly processed and refined carbs, such as sugary snacks, pastas, white bread and pastries, offer little nutritional value and can cause rapid spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels. As such, these types of carbohydrates are best limited in any diet, whether you’re looking to lose weight or not. 

On the other hand, whole and unprocessed carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and other beneficial compounds. Restricting these healthy sources of carbohydrates may deprive the body of essential nutrients and may not be sustainable in the long run.

Additionally, fat-free diets are also very common. However, like carbs, we need to eat a certain amount of fats to provide our bodies with energy and help them absorb vitamins, such as:

  • Vitamin A.
  • Vitamin D.
  • Vitamin E.

While fat-heavy junk foods won’t support weight loss, there are plenty of healthy fats to add to your diet, including:

  • Avocados.
  • Cheese.
  • Dark chocolate.
  • Whole eggs.
  • Fatty fish.
  • Nuts. 
  • Chia seeds.
  • Extra virgin olive oil.
  • Yogurt.

Myth #5 Gluten-Free Foods Can Support Weight Loss

The gluten-free diet has gained tremendous popularity as an alternative pathway to weight loss, and the gluten-free market has expanded significantly, filling shelves with a variety of gluten-free products. 

However, eliminating gluten from your diet will not lead to weight loss.

Gluten is a protein found in certain grains, such as wheat, barley and rye. These diets are formulated for people who have an intolerance to gluten, which can manifest as:

  • Diarrhea.
  • Constipation.
  • Bloating.
  • Stomach aches.
  • Fatigue.
  • Skin reactions.
  • Iron deficiency.
  • Joint and muscle aches.
  • Headaches.
  • Brain fog.

All that said, people who are tolerant of gluten will not benefit from a gluten-free diet.

In fact, gluten-free products often contain alternative ingredients to mimic the texture and taste of traditional gluten-containing foods. These substitutions can sometimes be higher in calories, added sugars and unhealthy fats, leading to potential weight gain rather than loss. 

Moreover, many gluten-free products are highly processed to improve their taste and shelf life, stripping them of the essential nutrients and fiber found in whole grains. As a result, individuals may miss out on vital nutrients, leading to nutritional deficiencies if gluten-free choices aren't balanced and carefully selected. 

Weight loss ultimately hinges on maintaining a calorie deficit, which means burning more calories than consumed. Merely cutting out gluten without considering overall calorie intake and the quality of food choices won't guarantee weight loss. Successful weight management is best achieved through a well-rounded, balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-dense foods and appropriate portion sizes.

Fact: INVIGOR8 Can Help Support Healthy Weight Loss

When embarking on your weight loss journey, it’s critical not to fall victim to popular fads. Instead, prioritize the essentials: physical activity, mental health and nutrients.

For the latter, INVIGOR8 has you covered. Our complete weight loss kit includes delicious Superfood Shakes, natural burner pills or weight loss supplements, and unflavored collagen peptidesto help support consistent weight loss and healthy living. 


Medical News Today. How many calories do you need?

Healthline. What Is a Calorie Deficit, and How Much of One Is Healthy?

Healthline. Top 12 Biggest Myths About Weight Loss

Harvard Health Publishing. Does metabolism matter in weight loss?

Piedmont. What happens to the body when you skip meals?

Harvard Health Publishing. Why people become overweight

Mayo Clinic. Underactive thyroid.

Healthline. 9 High-Fat Foods That Offer Great Health Benefits

About the Author

 Mara Welty
Mara Welty

Mara Welty is a copywriter who specializes in health, wellness and CBD topics. With a background in journalism, she aims to deliver engaging, research-based content that builds trust and engages readers through informative storytelling.

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