Common Misconceptions about Weight Loss

Dr. Jan McBarron
3 min readJun 17, 2019

The internet is filled with bad weight loss advice. That’s not to say that advice-givers possess ill intentions, but they often lack the experience and expertise necessary to give such recommendations. One person provides false information and soon it becomes a viral misconception that affects thousands of people who are desperately trying to lose weight.

Dr. Jan McBarron, an author as well as award winning physician, experienced her fair share of bad weight loss wisdom on her own journey to lose 50 pounds. “I think it’s important dispel and correct these myths so that people can become more empowered on their weight loss journey,” says Dr. McBarron.

Here are a few of the most common weight loss myths:

Myth #1: All Calories are Equal

They are not. All calories have the same energy content, but not all of them have the same impact on your weight. Different foods can have different effects on your metabolism, hunger and hormones. A calorie from a steak will have a different effect on your body than a calorie from a cupcake.Therefore counting calories alone isn’t enough to help you lose weight.

Myth #2: Weight Loss Supplements are Effective Shortcuts

The weight loss industry is worth a whopping $68.2 billion, so of course they want you to believe that you can buy your way down the scale. But many supplements have not been heavily studied, so there isn’t much evidence to back up their claims. Regardless, your local heath food store may be your best source for reliable supplement information. However, no pill ever works effectively without the proper changes in diet and lifestyle. There are no shortcuts.

Myth #3: Eating Less and Exercising More is the Magic Formula

Fewer calories in and more calories burned can be an effective weight loss strategy. But that’s only part of the big picture. For those with a serious weight problem, these actions aren’t enough. Some people truly can’t lose weight because of their biology.

“It’s like telling someone with depression to be happy,” says Jan McBarron. “It just doesn’t work that way.”

Myth #4: All You Need is Willpower

“Anyone can pass on the chocolate cake or soda for a month, but as soon as you restart your bad eating habits, you’re going to gain back all that weight,” Dr. Jan McBarron notes.

If this were true, it would mean that genetics and other biological factors don’t affect weight, which they certainly do. And those who do lose weight through willpower may struggle to keep it off if the root cause is a genetic issue, not a personal choice.

Myth #5: Once You Lose the Weight, It’s Gone for Good

Rarely does anyone ever lose weight once. Most people lose and gain, repeatedly. It is called roller coaster weight loss. This is because weight maintenance is different than weight loss. Weight loss is never permanent, even bariatric surgery, without a good maintenance plan. Maintenance is not willpower.

Key to Weight Loss According to Dr. Jan McBarron

Dr. McBarron not only lost 50 pounds but has been able to keep the weight off. “I attribute my success to lifestyle changes required for any weight maintenance” she remarks.

Dr. McBarron has a deep calling and passion for helping patients tackle their weight loss issues and hopes to continue shedding light on the myths sabotage weight loss.

For more insights and inspiration from Dr. Jan McBarron, follow her on her blog.



Dr. Jan McBarron

Dr. Jan McBarron of Duke and the Doctor is an award winning Bariatric Medical Doctor, author and popular public speaker.