Weight Loss Myths Exposed

With so many different diet crazes on the market today, it is no wonder that certain diet myths get circulated. At Truestar, it is our goal not only to help you get the weight off, but to keep it off. In addition to providing you with delicious meal plan options, supplements and exercise programs, it is our belief that once you understand what works for weight loss, your results will be considerably more successful. Before putting effort into a diet program that leads to more frustration and weight gain, allow me to clear up the most popular diet misconceptions that hinder the weight loss process.

Higher protein diets are dangerous
Higher protein diets vary greatly. While it is true that too much protein in a diet with too few carbohydrates can cause problems such as high levels of acidity, constipation and a state known as ketosis (where fats are burned as fuel, putting stress on the liver and kidneys), following a higher protein plan for a certain amount of time and for certain conditions can be quite helpful. For most of our meal plan options, our balance of carbohydrates to protein to fats is in a 40:30:30 ratio. However, for individuals who want to lose weight safely and quickly, those with type 2 diabetes, hypoglycemia, high cholesterol or heart disease and body builders looking to build muscle, higher protein diets can be more beneficial over the long term.

Protein stimulates the release of a hormone called glucagon. Glucagon tells fat cells to release fat into the blood, therefore promoting its use. In other words, more fat is burned and more weight is lost when protein intake is increased. For more information on a higher protein diet that is filled with delicious fast food and homemade options, visit Phase I – Metabolic Booster Phase.

All carbohydrates will cause weight gain
This statement is absolutely not true. It is important to remember that we are in the midst of a carb-free craze that is labeling all carbohydrates as bad. In fact, certain carbohydrates are critical to overall health, providing life-sustaining vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.

When thinking of carbohydrates, most people think of white breads, pastas and muffins. While it is true that grain items such as bread, pasta and rice are carbohydrates, so too are vegetables, fruits, beans and legumes.

When eaten, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose (sugar), which is the primary source of fuel for the body. The key to losing weight is to select the proper carbohydrates that do not raise blood sugar levels too quickly. These carbohydrates can be found by referring to a scale called the glycemic index. Carbohydrates rated lower on the glycemic index, such as certain fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, do not spike blood sugar and do not trigger the pancreas to secrete too much insulin. Insulin has the opposite effect of glucagon. Of its many functions, insulin is secreted from the pancreas to facilitate the uptake of glucose from the bloodstream into the cells. If we eat too many high glycemic carbohydrates, such as refined, white sugar and/or white flour products, we secrete excess insulin to deal with the sugar. In short, excess insulin = excess fat storage.

To clear up the carbohydrate confusion, eating as many vegetables as possible and a small amount of fruit, beans and whole grains is good for your health and your waistline!

To lose weight I must strictly reduce my caloric intake
There are a handful of diets currently on the market that strictly reduce caloric intake to approximately 600 to 800 calories daily. While you will initially lose weight, these diets are impossible to maintain and they typically fail, ultimately resulting in significantly more weight gain.

The body is very wise; when you cut your finger, platelets will suddenly rush to the wound and form a scab to properly heal and protect the cut. We have names for the processes that occur, but we cannot really explain the intelligence that lies behind this mysterious process. This innate intelligence also exists for weight loss. If calories are severely restricted, the body resorts to an adaptive mode called starvation adaptation mode. In other words, fearing or thinking it is in a time of famine, the body stores all excess calories as fat. This is why initial weight loss occurs, but once calories are slightly increased, they will be stored as fat.

Research shows that eating a moderate amount of calories, comprised of the perfect balance of macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats and proteins) and eating often (three meals and two snacks daily) is the key to weight loss. On the Truestar Weight Loss Program, once you have completed a personal profile, you will find a caloric range at approximately 1200 to 1500 depending on your height, weight, sex and activity level. Depending on which weight loss program you choose, the Metabolic Booster Phase or Continuum Weight Loss Phase, you will also receive hundreds of delicious meal plans comprised of lean proteins, low glycemic index carbohydrates and essential fats.

Height and weight charts are a good indicator of what I should weigh
There are several height and weight charts available that indicate varying weight ranges. Some of these tables are quite outdated and do not take into account body type, metabolic rate and activity level. Consider the following discrepancies in weight range between tables for a 5’5” female aged 32:

Metropolitan Life tables: 130–144 pounds
People’s Choice Ideal Weight: 124 pounds
Medical recommendations: 114–150 pounds
Devine Formula: 126 pounds

In addition to height and weight charts, I recommend incorporating additional calculations, such as the body mass index, to better map out your weight loss goals. The calculation for the BMI is:

English Formula
BMI = [Weight in Pounds/(Height in inches) x (Height in inches)] x 703

For example, a person who weighs 220 pounds and is 6’3” has a BMI of 27.5.

Metric Formula
BMI = Weight in Kilograms/(Height in meters) x (Height in meters)

For example, a person who weighs 99.79 kg and is 1.905 m (190.50 centimeters) tall has a BMI of 27.5.

BMI categories for body type are:

Underweight = <18.5
Normal weight = 18.5–24.9
Overweight = 25–29.9
Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater
Body mass index may not be accurate for the following: It may overestimate body fat in athletes and others who have a muscular build. It may underestimate body fat in older persons and others who have lost muscle mass.

To better determine weight loss success and your optimal weight, we also recommend using the Truestar body fat measurement analysis system.

Visit the Truestar weight loss section to design your own personalized program. In addition, there are always helpful weight loss articles and tips available for all members in our weight loss archives section that help ensure your weight loss success!