Weight Loss Myths

There is a ton of free advice seen in the media these days and if taken seriously, can it really set you forward on your weight loss endeavors? I doubt it! This can lead to the kind of frustration that makes people think they are “destined to remain fat for life”. This is not true. Have a look at the Weight loss myths below and draw your own conclusions.

1 – Exercise on an empty stomach and burn more fat
Effective weight loss is the total amount of calories burned during the day, not how or when they are burned. It doesn’t matter if it is night or morning, so exercise early in the day has no advantage to exercise later in the day. Studies have shown that eating right is essential to losing weight via exercise and working out. The body is stressed by exercise, be it aerobic or anaerobic, and will hold on to fat rather than burn it, if it is not fed a balanced meal both before and after.

2 – More exercise is better
Every exercise session is beneficial to each individual, however more is not always better. It depends on what is trying to be achieved. There is a level and frequency required to achieve results. After this level is reached, additional exercise can have the opposite effect, not allowing the body to recuperate and adapt to the stress induced by the exercise, which can be detrimental to your results.

3 – After stopping exercise muscle will turn to fat
This in not possible, Muscle and fat are two different types of tissues in the body and you cannot convert one into the other. This is like trying to turn water into milk. If you stop training, the muscles will shrink in size – but do not disappear. The excess calories consumed and that are not burned off will be deposited as fat.

4 – If you’re not sweating, you’re not working hard enough
Sweating is the body’s way of cooling itself down. Many factors contribute to body temperature, including room temperature, types of exercise done, body-fat levels, clothing, and exercise intensity. The intensity for exercise can’t be judged by the amount you sweat. A well-trained person will often sweat a lot because their body can more efficiently regulate heat.

5 – Taking sugar before exercise to raise energy levels
Ingestion of sugar will lead to a rapid rise in blood sugar levels. This rapid rise stimulates a release of insulin, which quickly removes the excess sugar from the blood system, often causing your blood sugar levels to drop, sometimes below the level that it started at, leading to faster exhaustion.

6 – Gaining weight is just a part of getting older
Getting older is not an excuse for gaining weight! As we age and begin a more sedentary lifestyle we start to lose muscle mass. The efficiency of your metabolism is directly linked to how much muscle you have on your body. The most efficient way of maintaining your body’s muscle mass and keeping your metabolism from dropping is by doing a high intensity strength training workout once a week.

7 – X is the best form of exercise
Claims like this are usually based on marketing strategy and personal bias. Even when claims are based on factual information, they have little practical value to the average exerciser. The most important thing is to choose an activity that you like, and perform it properly and consistently.

8 – If it’s fat free I can have as much as I want
Unfortunately fat free doesn’t mean calorie free. The word fat free is misleading because if you overeat on anything, even fat free foods and you don’t burn off those calories, your body will store the excess as fat.

9 – Don’t drink water when you exercise or you will get cramps
By drinking liters of icy cold water in one go while exercising you will probably suffer from cramps. This is why it is important to drink water continuously before, during and after exercising to replace the fluid you’ve lost and avoid any discomfort. Ironically I have witnessed Experts & Trainers instruct their clients to restrict water consumption else they will bloat and add more water weight.

10 – By not having a personal trainer I won’t make gains
Hiring a personal trainer is one way you can use to reach your goals, but you are an adult capable of making decisions and setting your own goals once you have the knowledge of how to go about it. Following a good exercise program and eating plan does not require someone standing over you and telling you how to do it.

11 – By exercising my abs I will lose my pot belly
Exercising your abdominals will help to tone and firm the abdominal region, but it will not reduce fat deposits that are responsible for a pot belly. Fat reduction comes from burning more calories than you take in. Fat is reduced uniformly throughout the body there is no such thing as spot reduction.

I know that this post barely scratched the surface of a complex subject. And I am sure that I will be writing more about it in the coming months. But, if you have any questions, feel free to comment or shoot me an email.


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