12 Popular Weight Loss Myths and Facts Debunked

Myth 1: I should eat only healthy foods to lose weight.

Eating healthy foods for sure will help you shed pounds faster but you can treat yourself to some junk foods in moderation from time to time without affecting your progress. It won't hurt provided you stick with your healthy nutrition routine most of the time. You should satisfy your cravings from time to time in moderation.

Myth 2: I will lose weight faster only by ingesting weight loss pills.

This can't be further from the truth. Usually these type of people think that a weight loss pill is a magical wand and all that is needed is swallowing these pills and your weight loss issues will get taken care of by itself. Big mistake. While some of these pills are effective for weight loss, they won't produce real results on their own. You still need to exercise and have a proper nutrition in place. There is no healthier shortcut.

Myth 3: I can eat anything I want if I am exercising.

You better not. If you're exercising hard to lose weight and you're eating anything and don't care about calories, you'll be doing all this work for nothing much in return. You will be back to square one.

Myth 4: You can target specific areas of your anatomy to burn fat and lose weight.

Not so fast. Sorry to burst your bubble but you can't specifically work certain areas of your body to burn fat and lose weight. It doesn't work that way. For instance, many people think that they should do endless abdominal exercises if they want to get rid of their belly fat fast and lose weight. The truth is you won't lose significant weight simply by doing situps, crunches or leg raises. So it's a wrong strategy. Ab exercises will strengthen your abdominal muscles but they won't really burn all that fat in your belly area. Same as with arm exercises like bicep curls and triceps extension, you can't specifically reduce fat in your arms with specific exercises targeting these areas. Or doing squats for legs to burn the fat in your legs. To burn the fat in your different body parts, you need to reduce your overall body fat percentage. This can be achieved by doing cardiovascular training like running, swimming, cycling and so on.

Myth 5: Eggs are bad for weight loss as they are fatty.

Wrong. Eggs are actually good for weight loss. The common misconception is the egg yolk is high in fat. The truth is the yolk contains only a mere 1.5 grams of fat plus it has an array of valuable nutrients like vitamins and minerals which are essential for proper bodily function and can aid weight loss as well. Eggs are high in protein, low in calories and have a lot of nutritional value in them which can keep you satiated for hours. So don't throw the yolk away and only use the white as some do. Eating 1 or 2 eggs everyday or every other day won't be detrimental to your weight loss efforts at all. So eat up.

Myth 6: Carbs are bad for weight loss and I should avoid them like the plague.

Carbs itself is not bad for weight loss but excess carbs is. Many people tend to overeat carbs notably simple carbs like white rice, white bread etc… as they are not filling, this is where the problem lies. A surplus of carbs in one meal is bad as your body can only assimilate a certain amount per meal, the rest getting stored as fat. You should not deprive yourself totally of carbs as doing so will result into a drop in energy levels, moodiness and fatigue. But avoid simple carbs and opt for complex carbs instead like wholegrain oats, oat bran, brown rice, wholewheat pasta, wholegrain bread, sweet potatoes, yams. With complex carbs, you don't need to eat as much as these are filling and will keep hunger pangs at bay. Also they get digested slowly and this is good as they get converted to glucose or sugar in your bloodstream slowly. What this means is you get more time to use that energy hence making you less prone for fat storage. When you eat simple carbs, you tend to eat lots and your insulin level spikes and too much sugar in the blood can't be used up as energy and the rest get stored as fat.

Myth 7: I will starve myself to lose weight faster.

Starving yourself would mean an excessive calorie restriction in the hope of burning fat and losing weight. Unfortunately it doesn't work that way. The truth is you're mostly losing muscle mass and not fat by not feeding yourself well. When your body doesn't get the necessary calories for energy, it will break down your muscle mass to be used as fuel. Of course, you'll lose weight but not necessarily getting leaner. For you to achieve a healthy and lean physique, you need to use fat as energy and proper nutrition and exercise burn fat not starvation diet. So starving yourself is a big no no. And the big downside of starvation is this will cause a massive drop in energy levels, mood swings, irritation and can make you gain even more weight. Starvation diet can get you temporary results but ultimately, you'll have huge hunger pangs making you binge on anything after. End result is more pounds on your waistline. A few lettuce everyday won't cut it that's poor nutrition. You need solid nutritious meals and controlled portions. Food itself is not your enemy, it's your perception of food which is wrong.

Myth 8: I should not eat fat because I will get fatter.

This is a common and wrong misconception which many people still believe. It makes sense for them that eating fat is the cause of belly fat. But you won't get fat simply by eating some fat, you'll get fat by eating a surplus of calories and doing so regularly. Protein, carbs and fats all have calories although fats have more. 1 gram of protein = 4 calories, 1 gram of carbs = 4 calories and 1 gram of fat = 9 calories. Of course, if you eat foods high in fats regularly, you'll gain excess weight faster as it's more calorie-packed. But not all fats are equal. You'd better avoid saturated fats like animal fat, trans fats and opt for monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats like olive oil, fish oil, flax seeds, nuts which are healthier. Of course moderation is key on good fats as they have calories as well. Your body needs healthy fats to function properly so you can't omit them from your diet. Healthy fats are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids(EFAs) and they can actually ignite and boost your fat burning metabolism.

Myth 9: Drinking water alone will help me lose weight.

Drinking water alone won't help you lose weight if you don't follow any proper nutrition plan and exercise routine. But if you drink adequate water while eating right and exercising regularly, you will lose weight faster. Water hydrates your body, flushes out toxins and impurities and maintains an effective bowel activity. If you don't know, constipation is bad for weight loss.

Myth 10: Don't eat 2-4 hours before sleeping.

Many people will tell you not to eat 2-4 hours before sleeping because you will get fat. Well that's just part of the story. You can eat a few hours before sleeping even one hour before sleeping but it depends what you eat and how much you eat. There are several factors to take into consideration. If you just had a big and heavy meal, then it's not a good idea to go to sleep even after one hour. This is why you need to wait for it to digest. Pre-bed snacks should mostly focus on protein like cottage cheese, greek yogurt, natural peanut butter, micellar casein protein shake or simply a glass of milk. There is no need to eat much here. These high-protein foods are rich and filling and will keep your body into anabolic mode(building muscle) while you are asleep.

Myth 11: Resistance training is a waste of time.

Many times you will see weight loss gym goers performing cardio as their goal is to lose weight and when you ask them why they don't perform resistance training like weightlifting or bodyweight exercises, they will tell you that they don't want to get a bulky physique like bodybuilders. This false notion stems out from images of "muscle heads" and "strength athletes" lifting weights, so for them, weight training is naturally associated with a bulky muscular physique. Well ladies and gentlemen, this is downright false and inaccurate. Don't worry you won't get Mr Olympia sleeve ripping 22+ inch arms simply by doing a few bicep curls or a huge pair of legs by doing squats. This is irrational. To build huge muscles, you need to lift heavy weights and increase your calorie intake from nutritious foods progressively. This takes a lot of time talk about years and years. It doesn't happen over night.

If you perform resistance training exercises, you'll mostly be shaping, toning and sculpting your body which is aesthethically pleasing. Building lean muscle also kicks your basal metabolic rate(BMR) into high gear which means your body burns more calories while doing its natural bodily functions even at rest. So having a more active metabolism means you'll burn more fat and lose weight faster.

Myth 12: Slow-paced jogging is the best way to lose weight.

This is the most common way for many people to exercise, for example slow-paced jogging by running miles and miles. This technique is called "the high duration low intensity" running method. Well if you can do the contrary ie "the low duration high intensity", you'll reap better results. While the former will burn a great amount of fat during the actual exercise, the latter will burn an even greater amount well beyond the initial exercise. The primary reason is that the latter will spike your fat burning metabolism to a higher degree causing your body to expend more calories even hours after exercising. The former will not trigger a serious spike in metabolism hence the fat burning effect is weaker.

The "the low duration high intensity" technique is commonly known as HIIT(High Intensity Interval Training) and usually consists of alternating between different paces ie fast, medium and slow. The good thing about HIIT is it takes much less of your time while having a bigger impact on your weight loss goals. Who wants to run for 45-60 minutes of long, boring and tedious cardio sessions when they can run 10-20 minutes using varying speeds and achieve better results? HIIT is more challenging and not monotonous at all.

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