Debunking weight-loss myths

It something seems too good to be true, it probably is. So, if you hear of a shortcut that promises to help you shed pounds quickly and with little or no effort, it’s probably wise to view it with some skepticism. The truth is that losing weight is a challenging task that requires determination and willpower to succeed. Here are four myths about weight loss quick-fixes.

Diet pills require no exercise
Many dieters think of weight loss pills as an easy and hassle-free way to lose weight that will allow them to continue making unhealthy lifestyle choices. However, this assumption is completely false, says nutritionist and chef, Diane Hendricks.

“There is no pill, powder or supplement that can be a substitute for healthy eating and physical activity,” she says. “The health benefits of exercise go far beyond weight loss, and healthy eating fuels a healthy body.”

While certain weight-loss supplements can help accelerate the process, they should by no means be viewed as a long-term solution to your weight problems.

All over-the-counter weight loss products are safe
While most of us assume that every drug on the shelf of your local pharmacy has been rigorously tested to ensure it is safe, this simply is not the case for some diet pills. In fact, some weight loss products might have made it into American stores without being approved or tested in the U.S. at all. As a result, the Federal Drug Authority sometimes issues warnings about tainted or unsafe weight loss pills on the market. In addition, even the most common supplements can have serious drawbacks.

“Every diet pill that I have heard of has side effects and negative implications for long-term use,” Hendricks says.

Passive exercise equipment replaces traditional exercise
Working out without working out is the concept behind the modern wave of exercise equipment that facilitates “passive exercise.” Unfortunately, most experts agree that, while exercise techniques like whole body vibration and chi machines may have some small benefits, they aren’t sufficient to promote significant weight loss.

Calorie-burning foods
Though it is still a source of debate among the nutrition community, calorie-burning foods are generally viewed as a myth. The idea is that certain foods, like celery, increase your metabolic rate, allowing you to burn more calories faster which should lead to weight loss.

Unfortunately, most of these foods may, at best, accelerate your metabolism slightly, but the difference usually would not be sufficient to promote significant weight loss. Of course, that’s not to say that these foods won’t help you stay healthy, Hendricks notes.

“Green tea and grapefruit are two incredibly delicious and healthy earth given foods, but for calorie burning to the extent of achieving a weight loss result, no they don’t work,” she says.