Weight loss: myths and reality
Myth 1: The number on the scale is your ultimate goal
Weight loss is not a linear process. You may even find that you are gaining weight after you have started working out, so the number on the scales is not necessarily an accurate reflection of the work done.
When you exercise, you provoke small “tears” in the muscle fibers. As your body recovers, it retains fluid (temporarily), so what you see on the scale is most likely the weight of water.
Weight can also fluctuate depending on how much fluid, food and salt you take during the day. Scales cannot show you the difference between actual weight (fat, muscle, etc.) and temporary weight (food and drink).
However, do not throw the scales out of the window. Studies show that regular weighing help keep you on track, informing you of your progress and motivating you. So keep weighing yourself, but just know that the number you see is not the “last word”.
Myth 2: Sugar in fruit contributes to weight gain
Eating too much of any, even wholesome, food can interfere with the process of losing weight. But eating a couple of pieces of fruit every day, as part of a healthy balanced diet, will not affect your figure.
What you really need to watch out for is regular sugar in foods like salad dressings, pasta sauces, granola and ketchup.
Myth 3: The less calories you eat, the faster you will lose weight
Eat too many calories, and over time, your body will convert excess energy into fat. Eat less and lose weight. But if there are few calories for a long period of time, then progress in weight loss will stop.
This seems counterintuitive, but prolonged malnutrition can make your hormones go crazy. Metabolism will slow down to save fat, because the body does not know when you stop to be malnourished.
Instead of constantly restricting calories, set aside a day or two a week to eat more. This will help you lose weight efficiently and safely.
Myth 4: Cardio is the best workout for losing weight
Continuous cardio training is not the most effective strategy for weight loss. At first, you may notice positive changes, but over time (and relatively quickly) progress is likely to stop.
There are two reasons:
Secondly, it is low intensity, and it targets slow muscle fibers. To accelerate weight loss, you need to use fast fibers – they are larger and have greater growth potential. Ideal training for weight loss would be strength training or high intensity training (HIIT). HIIT not only burns tons of calories, but also speeds up your metabolism.
Bottom line: muscle recovery and growth require a constant increase in energy expenditure, and these processes are triggered to a greater extent with high-intensity training than with low-intensity (for example, running).
Myth 5: All you need to lose weight is willpower
The idea that success in weight loss depends solely on willpower (that is, the ability to withstand unhealthy impulses) is erroneous. Studies show that relying solely on willpower only works in the short term.
There are many factors that can affect weight, including hormones, stress, and genetics. Weight gain and weight loss are complex processes, so do not blame yourself for the “lack” of willpower, as there are also biological or environmental factors that you cannot always control.
Put your sneakers in a visible place, so that you don’t forget to exercise. In other words, change the rules of the game, so as to avoid temptations and win in circumstances that usually challenge your willpower and self-control.
Do you know other weight loss myths? Feel free to share them in the comment section below.