3 Obesity Myths That Could Be Preventing You From Losing Weight

Myth #1: Weight loss and maintenance is as simple as calories in vs. calories out.

If you are struggling with your weight and you are interested in getting help with it, you should feel comfortable talking to your doctor or getting a referral to an obesity doctor. There are also number of resources available on websites like:

My weight, What to know or Obesity Canada 

Myth #1: Weight loss and maintenance is as simple as calories in vs. calories out

  • Obesity is a complex illness caused by several different factors, including your environment, genes, emotional health, lack of sleep, medical problems or even some medications.
  • The body is complex. When you try to lose weight, it will begin to fight against this by triggering hormones to prevent you from losing weight. These hormones can cause:
    • Your metabolism to slow
    • Feelings of increased hunger, more enjoyment from and awareness of food
    • Your body to hold onto, or put the weight that you’ve lost back on in order to preserve itself

Myth #2: People who struggle with their weight have a lack of will power

  • Excess weight is the result of an evolutionary mismatch. Our brains are designed for a hunter-gatherer lifestyle and our brain is still wired to this behaviour. In other words, we are genetically pre-disposed to overeat.
  • There is also a genetic component to obesity which makes it considered a chronic condition. In fact, if both parents have excess weight or are obese, you have a 70 per cent risk of also struggling with excess weight.
  • Due to these factors, many organizations including the Canadian Medical Association recognize obesity as a chronic disease that warrants proper treatment like other conditions such as heart disease or diabetes.

Myth #3: BMI is the best determinant of your overall health

  • New studies are finding that BMI is not the ONLY appropriate indicator of obesity / weight as it doesn’t provide information about distribution of fat / muscle mass.
    • As a result, physicians are looking at other determinants of weight including body fat percentage, waist circumference etc. to establish one’s risk of developing comorbidities of obesity, such as diabetes or heart disease.
  • The good news is that a weight reduction of just 5 – 10 per cent can have significant improvements on your overall health.
    • It can reduce the risk of diabetes, heart attack, stroke, arthritis and even death.
    • It can also improve your fertility.
    • Finally, your overall quality of life is likely to improve.
  • It’s also important to look at non-scale or non-BMI wins as a part of your journey. Other measures of success can include how you feel, both mentally and physically. Are you sleeping better? Do you have more energy? Are you able to do activities that you previously were unable to? These are all great indicators that your overall health is improving!


I’m responsible for my weight gain, so it’s on me to lose the weight and keep it off

  • Many organizations including the Canadian Obesity Network, the Canadian Medical Association, and the World Health Organization recognize obesity as a chronic disease. This means that obesity warrants proper treatment like any other chronic condition such as heart disease or diabetes.
  • As like any other chronic condition, the treatment and management of obesity requires a multimodal / multi-faceted approach, which is why it is important to speak with your doctor to help you find an appropriate treatment plan
  • It’s important for Canadians who struggle with their weight to know and understand that real and effective treatment for weight loss requires a village of support including help from family, friends and medical professionals.
    • Yet, according to the new ACTION study, we know that almost 75 per cent of people who struggle with excess weight feel that the management of their condition is solely their responsibility.
    • Recruit help in the form of a doctor or obesity specialist, dietitian, or even a psychologist who can help retrain and reframe your relationship with food.
  • If your weight has been a constant struggle overtime and you have exercised all other options for management, psychotherapy, medication or even surgery may be necessary.

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