While it’s true that there are no shortcuts to losing weight, many people also tend to believe that trimming off their waistlines requires drastic action. For this reason, they end up believing certain weight loss myths to be truths, when in fact some of these fallacies would only end up hampering their efforts to lose calories.
Yet we hear of such myths about men’s and women’s health time and again, to the point that we actually end up believing them. Well, we’re here to shed light on some of the most common misconceptions about weight loss:
The Myth: Lose Weight Fast by Drastically Cutting Down on Calories
The truth: You shouldn’t. As a matter of fact, you’re working against your goal of losing weight when you resort to extreme dieting. Why? Because when you deprive yourself of too much calories, you’ll only end up switching on your body’s conservation mode.
The conservation mode is when your system enters a state of slowed metabolism, and it’s your metabolism that’s primarily responsible for burning fat. So the harder you cut back on calories, the slower your metabolism becomes; as a result, your body won’t be able to burn fat efficiently.
The Myth: You Get Fatter by Eating Starchy Food
The truth: Not true. Carbohydrates serve as the main source of fuel for your body, and carbs come from starchy food such as potatoes, pasta, and breads. And yet, these types of food are actually what your body burns the fastest.
In fact, many dieticians and nutritionists recommend that to maintain women’s health, as well as that of men’s, the daily food intake should consist of 60% carbs. Says Dr. Adam Drewnowski, Human Nutrition Program director at the University of Michigan, “Only a tiny percentage of carbohydrates is ever converted to fat in the body”.
Myth: Burning Off Calories Requires Intense Exercise Daily
The truth: Not really, as almost any type of exercise can burn fat. In fact, most physiologists say that you can lose a pound each week by merely upping your level of activity by a notch, or perhaps two. Mowing your lawn, taking a morning stroll, or chopping wood – these are a few simple activities you can include in your day-to-day routine.
While intense workouts can increase your overall fitness, it’s at lower intensity levels that the fat burning actually occurs. Besides, you’re only putting yourself at risk of injury if you push your body to its limits with non-stop exercise.
The Myth: You Need to Let Go of Your Favorite Foods
The truth: You don’t have to. Dr. Susan Kayman, a nutritionist, has this to say, “There’s something called the abstinence violation effect, which says that if you insist on completely avoiding something, human nature makes it likely that you’ll break your resolution.”
This is similar to holding your breath for too long – when you do start breathing again, you’ll probably gasp for dear life. You see, when you deprive yourself too much of the things you want, you’ll only crave for them more than ever. And when you do give in to your desires, you’ll overcompensate by eating even more than before.
The Myth: Aerobic Exercises > Weightlifting
The truth: Not necessarily true. Yes, aerobic exercises do burn more fat than weightlifting ones; however, such benefit ends once the exercises are over. Whereas in weightlifting, your metabolism keeps on going even after you’ve finished working out.
The trick, therefore, is to achieve a balance between both, just so long as you schedule your routines properly; otherwise, you’re only risking fatigue and injury by overdoing them, and that’s sans the weight loss benefits (as was mentioned earlier).