There are literally thousands of resources out there designed to help you lose weight. The weight loss industry is booming in this country, so you’d think every American would be able to lose weight and keep it off... right?
The truth is, there is an abundance of misinformation about weight loss. If you feel like you’ve tried everything you know you’re “supposed” to do to lose weight and it’s still not working, chances are your information is wrong. Read on for some insight into 3 common weight loss myths that could be holding you back.
Myth #1: You Have to Count Calories to Lose Weight
Truth: Counting calories will drive you crazy!
Yes, people who follow calorie-counting programs (such as Weight Watchers) do lose weight in the short term. And yes, it can be a great starting point, especially if you’re new to your weight loss journey. There’s nothing more motivating than seeing a drop on the scale right away.
The problem comes in when we start talking about long-term success, because you simply can’t count calories forever. It will drive you insane if you have to write down how many calories you’re eating at every meal until the day you die.
Try this instead: Long-term success is largely based on meal planning, food prep and being kind to yourself (consuming yourself with guilt will only make things worse). Some general rules to get you started are: create a healthy grocery list, shop the perimeter of the store and only go down aisles when necessary, don't cut out food groups entirely, limit processed foods, eat veggies and protein at every meal, eat healthy fats, and keep water and healthy snacks in your bag to keep fast food temptations at bay while on the go. Another option to keep track food intake is to keep a picture food diary - who wants to have photo evidence of the ice cream they are last night? Not me!
Myth #2: You Must Slave Away on the Treadmill to Lose Weight
Truth: Wasting hours on cardio machines is just that – a waste of time!
Cardio is a very important part of a well-rounded exercise program, however, if you want to lose fat it’s not the main answer.
At some point people started to believe that if they want to lose weight, they should grab a magazine and hop on a stationary bike (or treadmill or elliptical machine or...). This is simply not true. If you can read or pay attention to a TV program - you’re not working hard enough. Cardio machines can be used for interval training or on rest days.
It’s possible that you will see a change on the scale by doing ho-hum cardio workouts. However, that weight loss will also include muscle loss.
Try this instead: Put some pizazz into your cardio routine with interval training exercises, or better yet, hop off the cardio machine and do some bicep curls to build lean, body sculpting muscle. Which leads me into Myth #3...
Myth #3: Women Will Bulk Up If They Lift Weights
Truth: It’s physiologically impossible for a woman to bulk up like a man.
I hear it all the time: my female clients don’t want to lift heavy weights because they believe it will make them bulk up and look masculine. The fact is that women simply don’t have enough testosterone to bulk up like men do.
Yes, some women train to bulk up and they do this by eating a lot of food and specifically targeting their daily weight lifting program. They also take supplements to help them achieve these gains. This is not you. You are lifting weights in order to stay lithe and sculpted, and that’s completely different.
Try this instead: Lifting weights can only benefit your body. It will increase your metabolism, define your muscles, help your bone density, and help you lose fat faster. I promise that there’s no way you will start to look masculine unless you specifically seek that out.
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