5 Weight Loss Tips that Actually Work (And 5 that Don’t)

by | Jun 5, 2019 | Last updated Feb 15, 2022

The Noom Team

There’s a lot of information out there about how to lose weight, but not all of it is helpful. Here’s a quick run-down of some common weight loss tips and myths.

Myth #1: The only way to lose weight is to deprive yourself.

Sure, maybe you can radically cut calories and avoid your favorite treats for a week or so, but this kind of dieting is not sustainable long-term. Restrictive “crash diets” can actually slow down your metabolism, stop you from getting important nutrients, and make you constantly hungry—and no one’s happy then!

Tip: A key way to lose weight is with a sustainable, healthy diet.

The focus here is on the long-term: What healthy eating habits can you maintain as a lifestyle? When you log food with Noom, you track what you eat by categories: fruits, vegetables & whole grains; proteins & dairy; or sweets & fats. You can eat food from each category—nothing is off-limits!—as long as you maintain a healthy balance overall. So you can still treat yourself and lose weight. The goal is not deprivation, but instead long-term success.

Myth #2: There’s only one way to lose weight.

According to many diet books and plans on the market, there’s one “best” way to lose weight—but don’t be fooled. The perfect diet for your friend may not work for your lifestyle, and that’s okay.

Tip: Each person has different needs.

There are a variety of ways in which people can adjust their lifestyles to lose weight and keep it off, and the goal is to find a good balance for you. Finding ways to incorporate healthy eating and exercise into your life works better than changing your life to fit someone else’s agenda. Noom offers personal coaching and feedback so that you find strategies and resources that work best for you.

Myth #3: Dietary supplements can speed up your metabolism.

Metabolism refers to how your body processes foods and turns them into energy. Everyone’s metabolism is different based on their age, sex, body size, and body composition. The higher your metabolism is, the more calories you convert into energy—and the fewer calories get stored as fat. But there’s no dietary supplement that can speed up this process. Diet pills and supplements can actually cause more harm than good, especially since they’re not required to prove their safety or effectiveness. It’s best to stay away from products claiming to affect your metabolism and instead focus on healthy eating habits and regular exercise.

Tip: Exercise can support your metabolism.

Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat. Thus the more muscles you have, the more calories you burn, even while resting. Strength training is a great way to develop more muscle—and to enjoy feeling strong in your body! Also, aerobic exercises like biking, running, and swimming turn up your metabolism too, since your body needs energy during these activities.

Myth #4: Focus only on cutting calories.

While it’s important to know how many calories you consume daily—and keeping a food log with Noom can be a great tool for this—if you only concentrate on calories, you’re missing the bigger picture. To nourish your body, you need foods that provide vitamins, protein, fiber, calcium, and other important nutrients. Having a low-calorie diet is not necessarily the same as having a healthy diet.

Tip: Focus on a nourishing diet, including lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Which sounds like the healthier choice: a snack of diet soda and sugar-free gum, or blueberries and Greek yogurt? The former may have fewer calories, but the latter is better aligned with your overall wellness goals. Also, consuming nourishing foods will boost your energy levels so that you feel fit and ready for exercise.

Myth #5: You just need more willpower to lose weight.

It takes time to change habits, so even if you’re eager to be healthier, it’s a challenge. Beating yourself up about self-discipline will only make you discouraged. So instead of expecting an instant turn-around, continue to work on new skills and strategies to replace old habits.

Tip: You need support and a clear plan.

Since you can’t always rely on your own discipline (especially when there’s dessert involved!), instead have accountability systems in place. Keeping a food log and checking in with a Noom coach can nudge you in the right direction at moments when you might feel like giving up. Also, having smart, achievable goals will encourage healthier habits.