With a medical philosophy that focuses on functional medicine, Dr. Mark Hyman says he treats people's symptoms based on how the body works, rather than creating a diagnosis and treating the diagnosis. In his latest book, Ultra-Metabolism: The Simple Plan for Automatic Weight Loss
, Dr. Hyman says he uses functional medicine to debunk many weight loss myths. Dr. Oz talks with Dr. Hyman about seven common weight loss myths that could be keeping you from losing weight.
- Starvation Myth: Restricting calories or not eating will help you lose weight.
Dr. Hyman says this myth is one of the biggest pitfalls in weight loss. Starving yourself and restricting needed calories turns on your body's survival mechanism, causing you to eat more and gain back weight you may have lost, Dr. Hyman says. "You cannot control the primitive urges and hormones that drive your eating behavior," he says.
- Calorie Myth: All calories are created equal.
Drinking 140 calories of soda versus eating 140 calories of kidney beans is going to have a dramatically different effect on your body, Dr. Hyman says. The beans offer fiber, vitamins, protein and minerals. "Calories from protein affect your brain, your appetite control center, so you are more satiated and satisfied," Dr. Hyman says.
- Fat Myth: Eating fat makes you fat.
Dietary fat restriction does not lead to weight loss, Dr. Hyman says. "We need fats to regulate our metabolism, and the right fats can help us lose weight."
- Carbohydrate Myth: Eating low or no carbohydrates make you thin.
"Carbohydrates are the single most important foods for long-term health and weight loss," Dr. Hyman says. Eating the right carbohydrates is necessary and essential for health. Dr. Hyman advises staying away from processed foods or refined carbohydrates and instead focusing on good carbs, such as whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits, to help you lose weight.
- Sumo Wrestler Myth: Skipping meals helps you lose weight.
Dr. Hyman says many Americans are in danger of following the same diet Japanese sumo wrestlers follow. Japanese sumo wrestlers gain weight by skipping breakfast and engaging in exercise, eating large meals for lunch and supper, and then sleeping soon after eating. Dr. Hyman says eating a breakfast high in protein, spreading out your food intake throughout the day and avoiding sleep for two to three hours after eating will aid you in losing weight.
- French Paradox Myth: French women are thin because they drink wine and eat butter.
French women are statistically thin, but not because of anything magical, Dr. Hyman says. He points to their lifestyle—they eat small meals, shop more frequently for fresh foods than American woman typically do and they eat slowly. Dr. Hyman says their food intake and choices, coupled with the fact that their towns are built for walking, changes their metabolism.
- Protector Myth: Government polices and food industry regulations protect our health.
Dr. Hyman says our economy profits from people being sick and fat. "The food industry profits from providing poor quality foods with poor nutritional value that people eat a lot of," Dr. Hyman says.