You’ve tried virtually every “diet” you can think of and still haven’t lost weight. Or, perhaps you’ve lost weight only to quickly gain it back. You feel like you are in a never-ending battle that you can’t win. Does this sound familiar? Stop beating yourself over the head in frustration!
More than likely, you just aren’t armed with the right information to help you be successful in reaching your weight loss goals. There are so many diet misnomers floating about that it’s easy to feel like your drowning. The first step toward success is the distinguishing fact from myth and using the power of knowledge.
To help you get started on the path to permanent weight loss and healthy living, read below to learn what’s true and what’s false in the world of diet and fitness. Take the quiz below to test your knowledge and you’ll learn what it takes to beat the scale. Read each question and answer true or false. Then read below to find out whether or not you guessed right.
1. Skipping Meals Is a Good Idea
2. You Can Spot Reduce Certain Parts of Your Body
3. Eating Late At Night Makes You Fat
4. If Something Is Fat-Free, You Can Eat As Much As You Want
5. Eating Less Than 1200 Calories Will Accelerate Weight Loss
6. Salads Are Always A Great Eating Out Choice
7. You Can Lose and Maintain Weight Without Exercise
8. If You Only Lose One Pound A Week You Need A New Diet
9. You Shouldn’t Exercise Every Day
10. You Should Wait To Strength Train Until You’ve Lost Weight
1. False. The idea behind this myth is that you’ll consume fewer calories in the entire day. The reality is that you probably will consume at least the same amount, if not more. Skipping a meal lowers your blood sugar. Low blood sugar usually makes you very hungry. In return, you end up eating quickly and probably making poor food choices when those hunger pains come a-knocking. Eating several small meals per day helps you stabilize blood sugars and control your appetite.
2. False. If you slave over 200 sit-ups a day, it still isn’t going to get rid of your spare tire. Fat is lost evenly throughout the body. You can’t focus on one body part and only work it in an attempt to reduce that fatty area. To help a trouble spot you must focus on overall fitness – aerobic workouts, strength training, good nutrition and more. That’s the only way to reduce extra fat.
3. False. Your body doesn’t determine your weight based on WHEN you eat. It just cares how much you eat. What’s important is determining how many calories are coming in versus how many are going out. You need to find the right balance based on how much your eating and exercising. If you take in more calories than you burn, then the extras will be stored as fat. That’s true whether you eat at night or not.
4. False. For the most part, a calorie is a calorie. Sure, it is a little more complex than that but just keep in mind that for every extra 3,500 calories that you take in and don’t burn off, you will gain a pound. Does it matter if all of those 3,500 calories are fat-free? No! Your body just cares that the extra calories were consumed. Plus, fat makes you feel full. If you don’t eat enough of it, you may find yourself constantly hungry and you may end up consuming more calories than if you had eaten something with fat in it, to begin with.
5. False. In fact, it may have the opposite effect. Too few calories per day cause your body to adapt to a minimal amount of food and slows down your metabolic rate. The body may think it’s “starving” and actually hold onto every bit of food to ensure survival. Then, when you begin to eat normally, your calorie needs are reduced and you end up gaining more weight even though you are consuming less food.
6. False. Sometimes you’d be better of eating a burger than a salad. Many restaurant salads are dripping in high calorie, high-fat dressings. Plus, they often add fatty toppings like croutons and bacon bits. If you are going to choose a salad, be sure the dressing and extras don’t sabotage your calorie counting.
7. True. When it comes right down to it, weight loss is about the difference between intake and output. As long as you are burning more calories, then you are consuming, then you should be able to lose weight. So, exercise isn’t a necessity but it certainly is the best approach. Study after study has proven that groups that both maintain an appropriate calorie intake and also exercise have better weight loss successes and are better at keeping it off. Plus, exercising provides SO many health benefits; it would be crazy not to include it as part of a healthy lifestyle.
8. False. Losing 1-2 pounds per week is actually an excellent weight loss rate. If you lose more than that, then it’s very likely that it won’t be permanent. You’ll just end up gaining it back. When you lose at rapid paces, typically you end up losing water weight and lean mass. You want to lose fat. So, even though the scale may show less, you won’t be as healthy and won’t look as good.
9. True. It’s not necessary to exercise every single day of the week. Sure, it’s great if you can get some type of physical activity in on a daily basis. But, it also is important to give your body rest time to recover and improve. For example, you don’t want to lift weights every day working the same muscles. They need time to rest. And, intense cardio workouts daily can wear you down. Resting one day a week can actually help you.
10. False. Strength training is an essential part of good fitness. Virtually everyone should include some type of strength training in their weekly workouts regardless of whether they are wanting to lose weight, just maintain it, or build muscle. And, muscle actually helps your metabolism (e.g. helps you burn calories), so you should do it as part of a weight loss program.