Weight Loss Myths

Alternative Medicine - - Health News & Tips -

Mak­ing healthy choices is dif­fi­cult when we're con­tin­u­ally bom­barded by ad­ver­tise­ments for pro­cessed foods or shamed on so­cial me­dia—and it turns out, those ex­tra pounds aren't en­tirely our fault. Eleazar Kadile, MD, di­rec­tor of the Cen­ter for In­te­gra­tive Medicine, says poor at­ti­tudes and lack of un­der­stand­ing con­trib­ute sig­nif­i­cantly to the na­tional health­care cri­sis—and she de­bunks th­ese four myths about be­ing over­weight.

“It’s your fault.” Obe­sity is caused by com­plex im­bal­ances within a per­son's body and his or her en­vi­ron­ment. Some im­bal­ances are ex­ac­er­bated by poor di­etary choices based on bad di­etary in­for­ma­tion, per­sonal his­tory, and psy­cho­log­i­cal pat­terns. To­gether, the phys­i­o­log­i­cal, psy­cho­log­i­cal, so­cial, and en­vi­ron­men­tal causes of the dis­ease of obe­sity cre­ate a predica­ment that obese peo­ple are drawn into and un­able to get out of.

“You just need the right diet.” There's no short­age of di­ets promis­ing amaz­ing re­sults, but what and how one eats is just one part of an ex­ces­sive body mass in­dex level. Other im­por­tant fac­tors in­clude good in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing one's health, sus­tained mo­ti­va­tion to change, con­tin­u­ous learn­ing, vig­i­lance, and an abil­ity to be ex­tremely hon­est.

“Food is not your friend; ex­er­cise is.” Eat less; ex­er­cise more; lose weight—those have been the com­mand­ments in the re­li­gion of weight loss. But more than be­ing a source of plea­sure, com­fort, and sur­vival, food is medicine. Some­times you need to eat fat—the right kind—in or­der to burn fat. You can't im­pose cookie-cut­ter so­lu­tions to this com­plex prob­lem and ex­pect them to work.

“You need to ‘just do it’—lose weight.” This at­ti­tude is not based in re­al­ity; it's an over-sim­plis­tic re­sponse to a frus­trat­ing prob­lem. You need to pre­pare to lose weight. Eat­ing, sleep­ing, and ac­tiv­ity pat­terns, as well as med­i­cal con­di­tions, emo­tional pat­terns, and stress his­to­ries, are all im­por­tant things to dis­cuss with your doc to de­ter­mine an ef­fec­tive and safe strat­egy to ap­proach weight loss.

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