When it comes to losing weight, everyone’s an expert. In fact, the weight-loss business is a multi-billion dollar industry full of suggestions, but are any of them right for you? If you’re just about to embark on a new journey to lose weight, here are some things to keep in mind before you buy good weight loss pills, or start running laps.

1. Sit-ups and Belly Fat

If you’re troubled by a particular problem area, it’s natural to want to target that specific area to achieve the fastest results. For some people, that means climbing stairs to shrink the butt, for others it’s doing sit-ups to shrink the belly. Neither works. When you lose fat, you lose it from all over, so you can’t aim at particular areas and expect a dramatic change. Stairs and sit-ups are great for building up muscle in those areas, but aren’t particularly effective at shedding excess pounds where you want it. Sadly, everyone loses weight in different places at different times, and there’s nothing we can do about that.

2. Is Eating before Bed a Problem?

It sure seems like it is. Nothing feels less productive than eating, and going right to sleep afterwards. However, there’s no indication it makes any difference when you eat. The problem is what you eat late at night. A healthy dinner or fruit isn’t a problem, while binge-eating a tub of ice cream will definitely contribute to weight gain.

3. Carbs Aren’t Always Bad

One reason people lose weight when they give up the carbs is because they’re simply avoiding wasteful calories. Enriched white bread, or unhealthy carbs – such as desserts or sweets – are indeed devoid of nutritional value and can lead to weight gain. Sticking with whole grain breads or steel-cut oatmeal which are high in fiber, however, are good for you, and contribute little to the waistline.

4. Avoiding Fat

For years, it was thought fat was a bad thing. But while saturated fats and certain kinds of animal fats can lead to health problems, vegetable fats, and monounsaturated fats – such as the kind found in olive oil – actually help reduce cholesterol. The fact is a good Mediterranean diet rich in healthy fats can actually contribute to weight loss.

5. Can Breakfast Help You Lose Weight?

It’s a common misconception that skipping breakfast can lead to weight gain. While a healthy breakfast can speed up your metabolism, breakfast affect people differently, so it’s not unlikely that forgoing breakfast is a harmless option for some people.

Often the key to weight loss is moderation. No one solution works for every person, so find the combination of exercise, diet, and natural weight loss supplements that work for you, and try to remember that it’s not all about weight. It’s about your health.