Weight Loss Myths That Are Stopping You From Reaching Your Goals

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There are a lot of weight loss myths floating around the internet. Most commercial gyms aren’t any better. Everyone has advice on how to lose weight but most people can’t do it themselves.
I want to go over some of those myths and set the record straight.

‘Super foods’

Articles like:’ Eat these 10 Super foods to lose weight fast’ are popular on the internet. The problem is that no food will ever make you lose weight. Weight loss happens when you eat fewer calories than your body burns per day.
I am obviously not saying that all foods are created equal. Absolutely not. Some foods are more filling than other which will be helpful for fighting off hunger on a diet. Certainly in terms of improving your health there are giant differences between foods. Vegetables that are high in micronutrients, fibre and vitamins are better for your health than eating pizza. But you already knew that without me telling you.
So skip the articles about ‘Superfoods’ and go do some exercise with the time you saved instead.

‘Crunches or sit-ups will make your abs show.’crunch 360

I’m not against doing crunches at all. They are a decent exercise if you want to train your abs directly. However you won’t see your abs unless you lose the fat above them. Crunches will not help you lose belly fat. As I have said before you can’t control where you lose fat.
If you really want six-pack abs you will have to stay in a calorie-deficit for long enough to lose the fat that are hiding your abs. You might say you have already lost a lot of fat and still can’t see your abs.
Well… you probably aren’t genetically blessed in terms of getting a six-pack.

That doesn’t mean you can’t have a six-pack. It just means you have to get even leaner to see them. There is a point where becoming leaner is no longer healthy though. If you get too lean you will no longer feel energetic and you will run into hormonal problems.

You have to decide for yourself if getting a six-pack is worth going through that. Personally I don’t recommend it to anyone who isn’t a fitness model or otherwise makes money from their body.
But don’t let me stop you!
You have to do what YOU want.

 

‘Carbs / Fat make you fat’

If you believe everything you read about weight loss online you would think that just about every food WILL make you fat.
Some say you have to avoid carbs because they spike your blood sugar which makes you fat.
Others say you have to avoid fat because your body is more likely to store dietary fat (that’s the fat you eat) as body fat. The problem is that both groups of people get great results from their diet approach.

But that doesn’t make any sense…
One group eats a lot of fat and almost no carbs and the other does the opposite. Yet they both lose weight!
Well that actually does make sense because how many grams of carbs or fat you consume isn’t the deciding factor in your weight loss success.
What matters is caloric balance.
Do you eat more calories than your body needs? You will gain weight.
Do you consume fewer calories than your body burns? Congratulations, you will lose weight.
This isn’t meant to be a post against low-carb or low-fat diets. I am a fan of any diet that helps people reduce their weight.
You just have to be honest about why the diet works. All successful diet approaches are partly just a psychological trick to get you to eat less.

‘You can’t eat XYZ’

You can eat any food you want and still lose weight. Some foods will make dieting easier because they are more filling. But eating foods that aren’t considered ‘good for dieting’ in small amounts or on occasion will help you reduce your weight in the long run.
That’s right. I am not saying it won’t make a difference. I am going a step further and claiming it will HELP you lose weight.
This is assuming you are responsible and not a binge eater. If you can’t control yourself and end up eating thousands of calories every time you have your favourite food….you should avoid that food completely.
But for a lot people they will have 200-300 calories of something they enjoy and be able to stop there.
If that applies to you I believe you will do better if you don’t go on a strict diet. Track your calories and try to eat ‘good foods’ most of the time. And take your time when eating your pleasure foods. Really enjoy the moment.
You will be far more likely to stick to a diet that way.
More importantly you won’t experience the Yo-Yo effect. Since you can eat foods that you enjoy while losing weight you won’t have any problems maintaining your new body.
What happens when someone tells you that you can’t do something?
You want to do it a lot more than before he said it.

‘Lifting weights will make you big and bulky.’

The truth is adding muscle takes a lot of time and effort. It’s hard. Actually a lot harder than simply losing weight.lifting-weights doesn't make bulky

But for some reason people still choose to believe that they will get big and look like a pro bodybuilder if they touch free weights.
It’s hard enough to gain a lot of muscle if that is your goal… so trust me it won’t happen if you aren’t trying.
Instead you will be able to lose weight easier while eating more food. You will also look and feel better once you reduce your body weight. Not to mention the added strength that will come in handy every day of your life.
I understand that getting ‘bulky’ is a big concern for woman. But unless you use drugs to change your hormones your body simply can’t become ‘bulky’.
If you lift weights, gain some muscle mass and lose fat you will still have a slim, athletic body.

‘You won’t gain muscle doing low reps.’

I recommend you use StrongLifts if your goal is to lose weight. On StrongLifts you will be doing sets of 5 reps.
A lot of people say you won’t gain muscle if you ‘only’ do 5 reps. This myth comes from what bodybuilders call ‘the hypertrophy rep range’.
If you have spent anytime reading about weight training online I’m sure you’ve seen people say: You have to do 3 sets of 8-12 reps if you want to gain muscle. They will say that StrongLifts is good for increasing strength but not muscle mass.
What those people don’t understand is that gaining strength and gaining muscle can’t be separated.
Under most circumstances if you gain muscle you will also gain strength. A larger muscle is simply stronger than a small muscle.
That’s one of the reasons there are weight classes in sports like weight lifting, powerlifting and even boxing.
Keep in mind that I am talking about strength comparisons in the same person. It is possible that someone with less muscle is stronger than someone who is bigger.
These genetic differences between people is what separates elite athletes from the rest of us.
But if you get stronger you will also gain muscle.
So since we know that StrongLifts is a good program for getting stronger, it is by definition also good for gaining muscle.
As I have covered before, having more muscle makes it easier to reduce body fat.

‘You don’t have to train arms, legs, abs,etc.’

For whatever reason some people always want to avoid training a body part. Often it’s their weakest body part already. They don’t enjoy training it and always find an excuse to skip those exercises. You can skip isolation work (Curls, Crunches, etc) if you don’t have much time.
But you do have to train every muscle group in some way.
Since legs are a popular body part to skip I’ll explain why you have to train them too.
I have covered all the benefits of weight training for weight loss, health and well-being. If you want to get all of those benefits (which you do!) you should train your legs.
It makes logical sense if you think about it.
Weight training comes with so many benefits, why would you want to cut the results in half by only training half your body?
If you don’t train your legs you won’t gain nearly as much muscle and will make fat loss harder. Exercises like Squats and Deadlifts aren’t just leg exercises either. They work your whole body as a unit. That’s why they are great for improving real-world strength.
That’s also why they burn a lot of calories.
If you skip Squats and Deadlifts because they are hard or because you don’t want your legs to get too big, you are simply missing out.
I can immediately tell that someone who doesn’t use them doesn’t take their weight loss goal seriously.
Maybe they just don’t know any better. Now you do know better so go train your legs.
Actually train your whole body while your at the gym.
Disclaimer: Speak to your doctor before doing any new exercises. If you have a legitimate medical issue then that might be a reason to skip these exercises.

squat-deadlift-bench-press-only-better-graphics-2

‘Sales pitch: Lose 10 pounds in 3 days without diet or exercise!!!’

Is it possible to lose 10 pounds in 3 days?
It actually is. But that won’t be 10 pounds of fat lost. By manipulating your body’s storage of water and consuming hardly any calories you can lose weight very quickly. However that’s completely pointless because you will gain it all back within a couple of days once you go back to a normal diet. (This isn’t sustainable.)
It’s also not at all healthy to lose weight that quickly.
I’m sure you have seen sales pitches that lead with bold claims of weight loss in a very short time. Just remember that the person is trying to sell you his or her product/service.
This doesn’t mean that the product or service is good or bad. The program may be excellent and help you lose weight at a reasonable price.
You just need to have reasonable expectations of what is and what isn’t possible.

‘Don’t eat sugar because it will spike your blood sugar and make you fat.’

Alright this myth has a couple of problems.sugar
Assuming you don’t have a medical issue (Diabetes) you don’t need to worry about your blood sugar levels. If you do have a medical problem then you should go see your doctor instead of taking advice off the internet.
Everything you eat spikes your blood sugar. Some things might spike it more than others but sugar won’t make you fat any more than other calories will. The Glycemic index is an outdated method of determining the effect of carbs on your blood sugar levels. A high GI (glycemic index) food was considered bad and low GI foods were
considered good.
Some of the results didn’t make much sense though.
People then made the connection that foods that have a low glycemic index are more filling and will fight off hunger. That is often the case but the ‘Glycemic Index’ doesn’t actually measure how filling foods are.
The point is that there are better ways to judge how filling food is than the Glycemic Index.
The Fullness Factor is far from perfect but certainly a better start if you want to find out which foods are filling.

‘Don’t eat carbs after 6pm because they will be stored as fat.’

It makes sense because carbs are used as energy and your body doesn’t use as much energy when you are sleeping.
But over the course of 8 hours (or however many hours you sleep) your body will still burn calories. (If it didn’t burn any calories you would die.)
You shouldn’t think about losing and gaining fat over short periods of time. Even on the best weight loss diet you will still gain fat at some point during the day.
That isn’t a problem at all. What matters is that in the long-term you end up burning more fat than you store.
Thinking about if you are burning fat right now is just a waste of time. Results should be measured over the course of days, weeks and months; not minutes and hours.

Closing Thoughts

That was a long post and I’m glad you made it to the end. There are far too many myths going about on the topic of losing weight. Hopefully you learned some new things from this post that you can apply to your own weight loss journey. I will be adding more content to the site over time so stick around.

PS: Until then I highly recommend taking a look at our weight loss guide. I have only included the essential information that will really make a difference in your life. This book is all you need to read in order to reduce your weight. It will save you hours of reading compared to trying to find correct (free) information on the internet.

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