I don’t know about you, but my absolute favorite social media site currently is Instagram (by the way, if you’re not already, definitely check out my profile over there!). I love the community, the visual aspect, and the creative challenges that it brings. But within the weight loss community on Instagram, I see a lot of false information being spread by its users. There are tons of myths out there that so many people believe when it comes to losing weight. So much so, that I’ve taken it upon myself to debunk some of these myths. Here are the top 5 weight loss myths I see all the time on Instagram, and the truth behind those myths:
5 Weight Loss Myths You Need to Know About
Debunking Instagram’s Most Common Weight Loss Myths
1. In Order to Lose Weight, You Need to Only be Eating 1200 Calories Per Day
Nope! Not true at all. You need to be at a caloric deficit (burning more calories per day than you consume), but that does not require such little calories. Plus, if you have muscles or are trying to gain muscle, then those burn more calories than fat, but they weigh more per inch, so muscle composition plays an active role as well.
The best way that I’ve found to determine how many calories to eat per day is to head over to the Macro Calculator at iifym.com and fill out the form. Select the “Weight Loss” option at the bottom, and there you go! Note: it will probably be a lot higher than you think it should be. Definitely check out your macros as well and see what they suggest, and if that suggestion makes sense for you, then go for it!
2. Eating Health = Automatic Weight Loss
Like I said above, losing weight requires being at a caloric deficit. Fruits and veggies are a great option, but not a requirement.
I am living proof of that! For the first 5ish months of my weight loss journey, I lost about 35 pounds. I made such healthy choices such as hot dogs, chicken strips, Subway sandwiches, cake, and chocolate chip cookies very regularly. Heck, this year my personal trainer baked me a double-layer brownie-yellow cake. It was amazing. I still have lost 64 pounds to date.
Now, I am not saying that eating healthy food is a bad idea. It’s definitely not! But it is not a hard-set requirement for weight loss if you’re not up for it. Likewise, if you’re eating amazingly healthy foods, but they total to more calories per day than you burn off, then you’re not going to lose weight, no matter how healthy the food is.
3. Exercising is the Only Thing You Need to Do to Lose Weight
If only! I love working out in the gym… But unfortunately for me, the bulk of weight loss comes from the nutritional aspect. One of my favorite quotes is from Pop Pilates Founder Cassey Ho, “Abs are made in the gym, and shown in the kitchen.”
4. If You Don’t Lose 10 Pounds in Your First Month, You’re Doing it Wrong
So, if you’ve been around here for a while, you know that I didn’t hit the 20 pound mark until 9 weeks after I started my weight loss journey. I remember being incredibly upset at the beginning of last February, because I didn’t make my goal only two months into my weight loss. If I only knew then what I know now…
But even more surprising to most is that I gained three and a half pounds in my first months of working with a personal trainer. This scared me at first. I thought I was untrainable, that my metabolism was just too shot to lose weight. But I persisted, and looking back, am so glad that I did.
So even if your numbers aren’t huge in the first few months, keep going. Keep steadily losing weight. They all add up in the end.
5. Losing Weight Makes You Happier
Before you come for me with your “I LOST WEIGHT AND FEEL SO MUCH MORE CONFIDENT NOW” -themed pitchforks, let me explain. The act of losing weight itself does not make you happier, the side effects of the weight loss, however, can.
Feeling more confident in your own body can make you happier. Being able to physically be able to do things that you originally couldn’t, definitely makes you happier. The endorphins coursing through your veins while you’re getting a really good workout makes you happier. Losing fat on your tummy does not.
So there you have it! Have you seen any questionable weight-loss advice on Instagram? Let me know in the comments section below!