Myth: Lifting weights is not a good way to lose weight because it will make me “bulk up.”
Fact: Lifting weights or doing activities such as push-ups and crunches on a regular basis can help you build strong muscles, which can help you burn more calories.
To strengthen muscles, you can lift weights, use large rubber bands (resistance bands), do push-ups or sit-ups, or do household or yard tasks that make you lift or dig.
Doing strengthening activities 2 or 3 days a week will not “bulk you up.” Only intense strength training, along with certain genetics, can build large muscles.
Myth: Physical activity only counts if I can do it for long periods of time.
Fact: You do not need to be active for long periods to achieve your 150 to 300 minutes of activity each week.
Experts advise doing aerobic activity for periods of 10 minutes or longer at a time. You can spread these sessions out over the week.
Myth: If I skip meals, I can lose weight.
Fact: Skipping meals may make you feel hungrier and lead you to eat more than you normally would at your next meal.
In particular, studies show a link between skipping breakfast and obesity. People who skip breakfast tend to be heavier than people who eat a healthy breakfast.
Myth: Eating healthy food costs too much.
Fact: Eating better does not have to cost a lot of money. Many people think that fresh foods are healthier than canned or frozen ones.
For example, some people think that spinach is better for you raw than frozen or canned. However, canned or frozen fruits and veggies provide as many nutrients as fresh ones, at a lower cost.
Healthy options include low- salt canned veggies and fruit canned in its own juice or water-packed. Remember to rinse canned veggies to remove excess salt. Also, some canned seafood, like tuna, is easy to keep on the shelf, healthy, and low cost.
And canned, dried, or frozen beans, lentils, and peas are also healthy sources of protein that are easy on the wallet.
Myth: Eating meat is bad for my health and makes it harder to lose weight.
Fact: Eating lean meat in small amounts can be part of a healthy plan to lose weight.
Chicken, fish, pork, and red meat contain some cholesterol and saturated fat. But they also contain healthy nutrients like iron, protein, and zinc.
Myth: Dairy products are fattening and unhealthy.
Fact: Fat-free and low-fat cheese, milk, and yogurt are just as healthy as whole-milk dairy products, and they are lower in fat and calories.
Dairy products offer protein to build muscles and help organs work well, and calcium to strengthen bones. Most milk and some yogurts have extra vitamin D added to help your body use calcium.
Most Americans don’t get enough calcium and vitamin D. Dairy is an easy way to get more of these nutrients.
Myth: “Going vegetarian” will help me lose weight and be healthier.
Fact: Research shows that people who follow a vegetarian eating plan, on average, eat fewer calories and less fat than non-vegetarians.
Some research has found that vegetarian-style eating patterns are associated with lower levels of obesity, lower blood pressure, and a reduced risk of heart disease.
Vegetarians also tend to have lower body mass index (BMI) scores than people with other eating plans. (The BMI measures body fat based on a person’s height in relation to weight).
But vegetarians—like others—can make food choices that impact weight gain, like eating large amounts of foods that are high in fat or calories or low in nutrients.
The types of vegetarian diets eaten in the United States can vary widely. Vegans do not consume any animal products, while lacto-ovo vegetarians eat milk and eggs along with plant foods.
Some people have eating patterns that are mainly vegetarian but may include small amounts of meat, poultry, or seafood.
News source: NIH. The content is edited for length and style purposes.
Figure legend: This Knowridge.com image is for illustrative purposes only.