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25 Weight Loss Myths You Need to Stop Believing STAT

I have a slow metabolism, so I can’t lose weight

legs of woman running on treadmill in the gym which runner athletic by running shoes. Health and sport concept background, Healthy lifestylesAlex Violet/Shutterstock

True, if you have a slower metabolism, then it will be more difficult to lose weight, but there are a variety of ways to boost your metabolism, says Derocha. Exercising regularly and consistently fueling your body with healthy foods are two ways to increase your metabolism, she says. “Think of including both cardiovascular and resistance training exercise in your normal workout routine—for every pound of muscle you gain, you are able to burn 50 more calories per day.”

Cleansing is the best way to rid my body of toxins and jump-start a diet

Cropped shot of woman making fruit juice using juicer machine at bar counter.Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

While the cleansing and detox diets are all the rage, they do not help with weight loss over the long-term, says Derocha. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, there isn’t any convincing evidence that detox or cleansing programs actually remove toxins from your body or improve your health. Practicing these types of diets can cause health problems such as electrolyte imbalance, dehydration, hunger pains, and headaches. “You do not need to do a juice cleanse/detox to help rid your body of certain toxins because our body has natural ways to detox—we have kidneys, a liver, and other organs,” says Derocha. While cleansing diets may be popular with celebrities, Derocha says consistency is the key to long-term weight loss. “I like to ask my clients, ‘if a diet works, then why are you on a new one every year or every other month?’” Don’t miss the 13 things experts won’t tell you about weight loss.

Dietary supplements are a quick way to lose weight

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Dietary supplements come in many forms—pills, powder, liquids, and bars—and contain a variety of natural and manufactured ingredients. While approximately 15 percent of the adults in the United States have used some form of weight-loss dietary supplement, they are not a long-term solution for weight loss, says Derocha, because they play a part in yo-yo dieting, which has been proven to increase the risk for cardiometabolic disease. Using diet supplements creates false weight loss and increases your chances of gaining the weight back, as opposed to being consistent and living a healthy lifestyle, she says. According to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act, dietary supplement firms do not need FDA approval before they start marketing their products. While it is the company’s responsibility to ensure its products are safe, seeing them on store shelves does not mean that they are. The FDA has reported that some weight-loss products have been associated with increased blood pressure, heart palpitations, stroke, seizure, and death. “Many supplements contain ingredients that give you the feeling of a caffeine boost, which can be bad for your heart, make you jittery, and cause sleeplessness, says Derocha. “And lack of sleep can increase cortisol or sustain cortisol, a hormone in the body that may increase weight or sustain abdominal fat.”

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