Weight loss myths are among the most common form of sabotage to dieters’ efforts to reach their goals.  After all, weight loss can be a very challenging undertaking, but this struggle is only worsened when you have been misled by a myth. There are hundreds of common dieting and weight loss myths that are constantly in circulation. Making sure that you can identify as many of them as you can is important to ensuring that your own efforts go as easily as possible and aren’t hindered unnecessarily.

The following are the three most commonly believed weight loss myths that are currently derailing the efforts of dieters. Make sure that you haven’t fallen victim to their false guidance.

Myth: Healthy eating has a high price tag.

Truth: A University of Washington study recently revealed that if the average American family were to make sure to consume foods that followed the USDA Dietary Guidelines for America, 2010, nutritional standards every day, they would pay an average of $100 more per year. That said, the lead author of the study, Pablo Monsivais, explained that it is possible to eat very well on a considerably lower budget.

Though potassium was the nutrient that was identified as being the most expensive (contributing to $380 per year), there are many affordable options to receive more of it, including in milk, bananas, low sodium tomato juice, potatoes, and unsweetened dried fruit. He recommended changing your food choices instead of adding to them in order to remain cost effective.

Myth: You only need to exercise for 20 minutes per day, three times per week.

Truth: The majority of people won’t find that this is enough exercise to either lose weight or keep it off, based on what they are eating. A study conducted in 2010 and that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that the best way to prevent long-term weight gain among women who were already in their healthy weight zone was to take part in 60 minutes of daily moderate-intensity activity.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to try to jog for the full hour. You can still hit the treadmill for 20 to 40 minutes, as long as you also add weight training, yoga or Pilates, or other flexibility routines.

Myth: You’ll gain weight if you eat after 8pm.

Truth: This is one of the most common dieting rules, but the truth of the matter isn’t quite that direct. The justification behind this myth Is that all of the calories that are packed on in the evening through snacking won’t have the chance to be burned off because you’ll be headed to bed soon; a time when your metabolism slows down considerably.

However, if you are extremely hungry because you haven’t had much to eat since lunch, or if your dinner wasn’t enough to fully satisfy you, then you can still eat in the evening. The key is to keep things light and low in calories so that you don’t inhibit a good night’s sleep. Research has indicated that calories consumed in the evening are no more likely to cause weight gain than calories eaten at any other time of the day.

How to Avoid Weight Loss Myths

As you can see, there are many unsuspecting weight loss myths.  These can be exceptionally damaging to your efforts.  Therefore, its’ vital to be able to avoid them when you can.  It’s true that you have become aware of 3 of the top myths, but there are many more out there.

The first step that can help you to know that you’re avoiding misinformation is to consider your source.  For instance, social media can be your best friend or your worst enemy.  When it is quoting a genuine trustworthy source, it can bring you fascinating and accurate information.  However, it’s always important to double-check everything you read. Even if it looks like an official source has been quoted, verify it with that source’s official account or website. Moreover, a meme is not a reliable source, as accessible as it may be.

That said, the most important step is to speak with your doctor.  He or she is, by far, your topmost reliable source of medical information.  This is also one of the best ways to avoid weight loss myths that could otherwise trip you up.  Your doctor can give you weight management information that is not only backed by research and professional medical experience, but that is also customized to your unique needs.

Curious about more weight loss myths that may be holding you back? Check out this article that will definitely interest you: “Most Damaging Fad Dieting Myths“.