Many of us struggle with losing weight, and have little knowledge behind it. Test what you know with Dr. Ali Zentner's true or false statements below, and you may be surprised with what you learn.
Drinking eight glasses of water a day helps you lose weight.
False! A large-scale trial published out of Germany shows drinking two glasses of water before a meal does not result in weight loss in people under the age of 65. Within those 65 and older, the trial showed a benefit of only about 4 extra pounds in all over a 6 month period.
Exercise is a great way to lose weight.
False! Exercise is amazing for cardiovascular fitness and for preventing muscle loss while we lose weight. It's also amazing for weight maintenance. But in order for exercise to truly be responsible for weight loss, you have to exercise about 90 to 120 minutes a day. Do the math: 500 calories a day deficit is one pound a week. You have to run for almost an hour to burn that off.
Drinking diet soda causes weight gain.
True! One trial tested on rats shows artificial sweeteners increase caloric consumption in rats when compared to no sweeteners at all. There's emerging evidence showing that our brain perceives sweet as sweet and may prompt us to eat more. As well, a study done in San Antonio showed people who consume diet sweeteners gain weight compared to those who do not consume any sugar laden or diet pop at all. Diet pop may be better than sugar pop, but it's not as good as water.
Weight loss is all about balancing calories.
False! Bodies regulate certain calories differently and we now know that certain hormones such as insulin and Ghrelin play a bigger role than we think. For example, 500 calories of sugar may not be processed the same in all bodies as 500 calories of fat.
Quick weight loss will always be gained back
False! Quick fixes tend to result in more rapid weight gain because even if we adopt a new pattern we tend to revert back to our old ways. But if you stick to whatever made you lose weight, you will indeed keep it off.
Obesity is genetic.
True! Thus far 450 genes have been isolated that are linked to obesity. But genetics is not destiny. How we interact with the world around us can determine which genes we turn on and which stay dormant.