From fad diets to unregulated potions promising quick and easy ways to lose weight, there is a lot of mis-information about obesity. A new study, reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, conducted by an international team of doctors, dieticians, and public health experts, and funded by the National Institutes of Health, debunks some of these weight loss myths.
There’s the reasonable-sounding proposition that it’s better to set sensible, attainable goals. You’ll be more successful, this theory goes, because you won’t get frustrated.
The study also undermines presumptions that snacking automatically leads to weight gain, and that eating breakfast protects against obesity. It depends on your baseline breakfast habits. However, as a devout believer in breakfast, I disagree. I also think having a planned healthy snack – like a handful of nuts or a small low fat yogurt- helps stabilize blood sugar and helps keep you from getting ravenous!
The expert panel did not just debunk they fables. They came offered their own list of Fat Facts:
While genetic factors play a role, they are not the whole story. Environmental changes can make a difference.
Combating obesity takes constant attention.
But finally, you’re left with a basic number: the difference between calories taken in and calories burned. Losing weight means using more calories than you consume each day. But the equation has many maddening and complex variables. And as you lose weight, those variables change.
Like a lot of mathematical problems, losing weight is not easy.