Why These 8 common weight loss tips are MYTHS
Let us explore the mythical creature I like to call, Diets! Keto, low fat, fasting, weight watchers, and noom. It can get very confusing and you may find yourself jumping form one to the next. You may not know what information is correct and what is FALSE because most contradict each other. You are either on the Keto train or the pro carb train. There’s no grey area diets even though that’s where you want to be, Living in the grey area. In this post I am going to share my top 8 weight loss myths I have done and you are probably doing right now!
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Disclaimer: This is not medical advice and should not be taken as such. I am not a doctor and do not claim to be as these are solely based on my experiences. Please consult your family doctor before considering any recommendations listed in this post. Thanks!
Before I get into the myths, I would like to mention that one of the diets I mentioned above may work for you! The only issue with most of these diets are the sustainability. Its very common to hear “keto worked wonders! But I couldn’t stick to it”. Sticking to a diet has nothing to do with your will power. You are very strongly willed its just not sustainable to cut out all carbs and have a social life. Carbs, such a touchy subject and will bring me into the first Myth.
Weight loss Myth #1: Carbs are the Devil
Carbs (carbohydrates) are a major source of energy for humans, the brain uses about 130g per day just to function! When carbs are taken out of one’s diet completely, you can experience brain fog, low energy, and poor performance in the gym. In addition, studies have shown low carb diets lead to increased risk of death from coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, and cancer.
“low carb diets might be useful in the short term to lose weight, lower blood pressure, and improve blood glucose control, but our study suggests that in the long term they are linked with and increased risk of death from any cause, and death due to cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, and cancer.”
To me, the increased risk of disease suggests that low carb diets are not a natural way to fuel the human body. They are defiantly not a sustainable way to lose unwanted body fat. However, this is not me telling you to go eat candy because they are a form of carb. Complex carbs from whole food sources and minimally processed with allow you to have sustainable energy and reduce risk of heart disease and cancer.
Weight loss Myth #2: no days off
Recovery is incredibly important for weight loss! I usually take one 1-2 days where I do lighter work because I do like to be active but also give my muscles a break from the weights. Cardio such as walking, biking, and swimming are safe exercise to do everyday to get your body moving BUT if you include weight lifting in your workout schedule (which you very much should) it is important to include rest days. Rest days will help with sound sleep, muscle development, stress management, and give you time do some of your favourite hobbies☺ like blogging!
Weight loss Myth#3: its calories in vs calories out
Calories in vs calories out is true, however, is a very complex question and no calorie counter or watch can accurately calculate energy burned. However, you can estimate calories needed per day and track your food in a food diary for about a week, the average calories would be your maintenance if there is no change in weight. If your goal is to loose fat, cut about 250-300 calories off your maintenance and monitor progress for the next 2 weeks. You should see a slight decrease in weight so continue on those calories until progress halts. Then decrease again. Be wary of a weight loss plateau and never cut calories below 15%-20% of maintenance.
The quality of calories you put in your body also matters for weight loss. Firstly, protein is the highlighted macro all dieter praise because your body uses more energy to break protein down than it does carbs or fat. Secondly, fibre is essentially “calorie-less” as it just goes through your digestive system. If you read nutrition labels you may notice the carb count does not include fibre because fibre is a type of carb that cannot be broken down into sugar molecules. It simply passes through the body undigested.
Weight loss myth #4: Its all about will power
Will power is the biggest myth anyone can ever tell you. Will power does not exist, it boils down to motivation and discipline. When you are on a weight loss journey there will be days where you feel like you’re on top of the world! You’re productive, on track, and motivated to do the work. Then, there are days where you are not. These are the days that separate you from achieving your goals or not. Being able to work on the hard days is one of the most valuable skills one can learn. Especially when you are trying to achieve weight loss, and any other goal for that matter.
I read a few very insightful books on self discipline, I suggest you give them a read! Or listen to the audio version☺
Weight loss myth #5: there’s an end date
Many dieting programs suggest an end date like 8-week summer body to be in the best shape of your life! BUT if you really want to lose the weight and keep it off, you need a more sustainable approach. Your weight loss journey should be based on changing little habits in your day to day life to BECOME the person you wish to be.
95% of diet fail within one year of losing the weight. This is because people think they can just go back to their normal ways of eating after the diet is done. However, it was those unhealthy habits that got you overweight in the first place, no wonder they got you back to the starting line…
Weight loss myth #6: lifting weights will make you bulky
Weight lifting for women is essential for weight loss. Ladies, it will not make you look like Chris Bumstead posing on the Olympia stage for bodybuilding, so relax. As women, we have about 1/10 of the amount of testosterone in our bodies. Testosterone is a major factor in the ability to build lean muscle! Due to our lack of it, its almost impossible to naturally build a substantial amount of muscle.
Weight lifting does increase muscle mass, but that’s exactly what you want! 10lbs of muscle has less surface area than 10 lbs of fat, so you will look “toned”. Muscle also need more calories to maintain so your metabolism will be boosted the more muscle you have!
Weight loss myth #7: you need to calorie count to reach your goals
Calorie counting can be toxic for some people, such as myself. I got caught up in being perfect with my macros and calories. Then, when I went over id say “F** it” and binge or overeat and tell myself id be perfect tomorrow. This is a very dangerous mindset to have. No matter how hard I tried to accept imperfection, I was still uneasy with seeing that number highlighted in red.
So, I decided to delete the app. It was an amazing tool to learn what is in food and portion sizes but it has on use for me. You don’t need to calorie count to reach your goals! just follow a few of these rules consistently and you will see the changes you want
- Protein at every meal
- Be mindful of portions sized
- 80/20 rule (80% whole food, 20% fun foods)
- Move your body in way that feel good
Weight loss myth #8: you can spot reduce fat
Have you ever noticed how some people hold more weight in different parts of their body? Maybe Suzy carries fat in her arms and back, Karen carries fat in her legs and lower body, and Casey carries fat in her abdomen area. There is a reason for this! That is genetic makeup, everyone has a different body type and build which determines where you carry fat. If you look at your family members, you will typically see your body type in one of your relatives. Obviously, Gender also plays a role as men naturally carry less fat and if they do, its mainly in the abdomen area while women will carry it in their lower stomach and thighs (for reproductive reasons) due to the genetic make up of your body, you cannot choose where you loose fat, nor can you choose where you gain fat. So stop the crunches! Just keep to your calorie deficit and eventually your body will shed lbs where it needs to.
Wrapping it up
In conclusion, there are many sources of false information on the internet. Unfortunately, these myths are still cycling around and poisoning people just starting on their fitness and health journey. I know when I first started I fell victim to almost all of these myths. I cut out carbs, did loads of cardio, and thought I was weak every time my “will power” ran out of gas. Believing these 8 myths lead me to an unhealthy relationship with food and my body, something I hope I can help you avoid☺
I hope you benefited from this post in some way xoxo
The one I am most tired of hearing is the carb myth. I know people who continue to think that cutting carbs will make them lose weight. They consume high levels of fat and protein calories instead, yet they don’t lose weight. And they still insist that carb reduction is the ONLY way to diet!
im with ya on that!