Everyone everywhere seems to be claiming that they’ve found the solution to weight loss; This one trick! That little habit! etc. Some of these claims can be misleading, and sometimes downright dangerous. We wanted to take a moment to talk about some of these claims and set the record straight. 

Skipping meals helps you “save calories” 

Listen, if you want to indulge in a treat every now and then - fine. But don’t be misled to believe that skipping a meal helps you “save calories” meaning that your indulgence with hurt less. We talk a lot about calories - they count, but you don’t have to count them. But not all calories are created equally. If meeting your calorie count was all that it took to meet your goals, many folks would be living on a diet of donuts, hamburgers, and soda - as long as they hit the magic number. This is wrong. If your body is not receiving adequate fuel, it goes into starvation mode, hoarding any calories you do take in and storing them as body fat. Then your body holds on to that fat for dear life, since it has no idea how long you’re going to be “starving.” Additionally, you want to make sure you get the nutrients you need to preserve (and even gain) muscle, to condition your metabolism to work efficiently, and to supply the energy you need for an active lifestyle. So basically, don’t skip breakfast so you can have a slice of birthday cake at work. Instead, plan some extra activity that day or tighten up on your meals. 

Cheat days help you stay consistent 

So you’ve been good all week and then boom, Cheat Day - the day you get to eat whatever your heart desires. But is this really going to help you reach your goals? In short, we vote no. Cheat days usually lead to overeating, a calorie surplus, rationalizing and the undoing of all your hard work. They often lead to a downward spiral and before you know it, you’re back to old habits and feeling too far behind to even get started again. We want the changes you’ve made to be a sustainable and permanent lifestyle. So if you want to indulge from time to time - go ahead! Treat yourself! But make it a special treat that you only enjoy from time to time. 

Exercise is enough 

Whether you’re the kind of person who loves it or hates it - working out is a part of reaching your health goals. But many folks tend to rely on this when it comes to losing weight. You think, “Well, I go to the gym. I work hard. But I’m still not losing weight. What’s up with that?” In truth, exercise is only about 20% responsible for weight loss. And even then, most people overestimate how much their body is actually working and how many calories they’re burning at the gym. Exercise is an important pillar in reaching your goals and maintaining your success - but it isn’t the only one. 

Eating lots of fruits makes you fat 

Even fruit seems to be under fire when it comes to weight loss claims. And sure, they contain natural sugars. But fruit also contains loads of fiber, vitamins and minerals. If you’re craving a sweet treat, fruit can be an excellent alternative. And if you want to be sure to offset some of the sugar, and make use of the filling fiber content, be sure and pair fruit with a healthy fat such as nuts to slow down your digestion. 

You can only be happy and healthy if you’re thin

Eating and exercising can lead a lot of folks to feel strong feelings of shame, guilt, depression or anxiety. Don’t fall for this. Research has shown that having strong social ties (gathering, traveling, having friends, meditating and maintaining a positive attitude – none of which have anything to do with weight – play a key role in being happy and healthy. We want to help you reach your goals to be a happier, healthier, you. If your goal has to do with a number on the scale, or the measurement of your jeans - fantastic. Just remember, "Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life." —Omar Khayyam