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The Most Common Weight Loss Myths

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 08/31/2023

Throughout the years, I’ve noticed that a lot of dieters put too much stake in what are essentially weight loss myths. Most of these myths center around calories, water, moderation, and exercise. Read on to uncover how you’ve fallen prey to these very common weight loss myths.


Calories is a word full of meaning to weight loss “experts”. Their (often faulty) advice puts a lot of emphasis on the a-calorie-is-a-calorie theory.

Their simple formula? Eat fewer calories and/or burn more calories. The myth? It doesn’t matter what diet you do as long as you consume fewer calories.

Well, it isn’t that simple.

As evidence of the so-called diet expert’s inability to differentiate between types of calories: a calorie of white sugar is the same as a calorie of celery. The diet industry is still stuck in basic chemistry class, talking about molecules, thinking that everything is a combination of protons and electrons and therefore, it doesn’t matter if something came from the ground or from a chemical lab. If calories are all the same and this theory were true, how do you explain people cutting calories and not losing weight or very skinny people eating tremendous amounts of food but never gaining an ounce?

The argument breaks down here. However, the “expert” will always jump to genetics in a pinch: “They are just born with a slow metabolism.”

I don’t think so.

Hormone reactions to the different types of calories from foods are VERY different. So, here is a much more effective principle to focus on: Instead of wasting time counting calories, focus on foods with the highest density of nutrients (plant foods). These foods, by the way, have the lowest calories. Don’t let these so-called diet experts tell you, you did not lose weight because of the nutrients—because of the low calories of plant food. Very funny. Nutrient-dense food sends signals to your brain telling it, “That’s enough—stop eating; I’m satisfied.” Low-nutrient-dense food signals never give this message, leading to “I’m still hungry; keep eating.”

Drink your water

When someone tells you to drink eight ounces of water per day, or half your body weight in ounces, be sure to ask them, “Where have you heard this?” I’ll bet their response will be “everyone knows that.” I’ll bet they will also say things like “water flushes the fat out,” or “water burns calories,” or “water satisfies you and makes you less hungry.” The truth is water is necessary, but not for fat reduction. It’s the wrong tool. Drink when you are thirsty and don’t force yourself to drink. Drinking water is a very trivial piece of the weight loss puzzle. There has been way too much emphasis placed on it.

Everything in moderation

I hear this often as the justifier for eating junk foods: “It’s just a little bit—it won’t kill me”; “It’s only a few calories”; and “I’ll just have a small bite.” Here’s a missing piece of important information: It only takes a small amount of Fat Storing Hormone-stimulating carbohydrate to BLOCK all six fat-burning hormones. In the presence of a very small amount of Fat Storing Hormone (sugar or refined-carbohydrate induced), the fat-burning effect from a healthy diet and exercise is nullified. You will not understand this unless you rid yourself of the misconception of the calorie myth. You can do all the right things, yet, if you are consuming, knowingly or unknowingly, hidden sugars in your foods, you will NOT get any weight loss result.

Just to demonstrate this point, weigh yourself and then consume some pure refined carbohydrate food item. Then weigh yourself the next day. You will weigh a few pounds more. You’ll weigh more than the actual food item you ate. WHY? Because, low-density foods deplete nutrients in your body, especially potassium, causing the retention of sodium AND the retention of water. Your body will hold more fluid with refined foods.

Exercise more

If you are trying to solve a weight problem and you don’t see results within a reasonable amount of time, then maybe you are trying to solve the wrong problem. Exercise doesn’t work by melting the fat off your body through heat (thermodynamics). It merely influences hormones, which act a couple of days after you exercise; during the rest period. A lot can happen in between (dietary, stress and sleep-wise) that can block this affect. You might also be doing the wrong exercise for your body type. Adding more exercise, if you are doing the wrong kind for your body type, can result in adding more stress to an already overstressed body. This equals more of the same—no result.

So, let go of the myths, get healthy, lose weight, and feel great!

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