Losing weight is a hard thing to do at the best of times, and there are so many diets and different rules out there for us ladies that it is hard to know what is fact and what is a myth. Here are the 10 most common weight-loss myths for women out there right now and how to avoid them.
1. “Eating less will help you lose weight.”
This is not true! Well not exactly – of course it is a good idea to eat less, but eat less of fatty and foods that are bad for you and are full of empty calories, like chocolate (sadly) and other treats. But you still need to eat a normal amount of food so that your body will have energy and be able to do what it needs to do. Skipping breakfast is a big no-no.
You need to eat first thing to kick-start your metabolism. Waiting to eat until later in the day may mean that you will be overly hungry and eat too much.
2. “Long cardio sessions are best for weight loss.”
You may think that spending hours on the treadmill will help you to lose lots of weight and burn that fat. Sadly, this is not the case. Variety is key when it comes to working out, and there is no escaping this, I am afraid!
Make sure to mix it up and do cardio, weight training, yoga, pilates, and the lot – you need to keep your body guessing!
3. “Cut out all treats and alcohol to lose weight.”
Look, by doing this, you are just setting yourself up for a fall. Think about it: if you go cold turkey and cut everything out, you will last a week, maybe two, and then gorge yourself, ruining all that hard work.
The key is moderation: have one day a week where you can indulge yourself a little bit, that will make the other six days easier to deal with.
4. “Cleanse your body to get rid of toxins.”
Sounds great in theory, but really detoxing just mimics what your body does already. Your body already has the tools to detoxify itself. The liver, kidneys, and the colon are all involved in processing nutrients and removing excess waste. Any weight loss experienced by detoxing is short lived as you will most likely be reducing your calorie intake, which will return to normal once detox is over.
Forget about quick fixes; cut out things like sugar and salt in the long-term, and you will notice a subtle change over time.
5. “Carbs are evil.”
Carbohydrates are an essential part of a healthy diet. If you eat them in the right quantities and without throwing lots of fats substances on top of them, like butter on your potatoes, they will not cause you to gain weight.
Switch to whole grain and wholemeal carbs instead: stuff like brown rice and wholemeal bread. Also, if you leave the skin on potatoes, you will increase your intake of fiber.
6. “Low fat labels are always the best choice.”
I know, scary right? Foods labelled low-fat might contain less fat than the full-fat version, but sometimes only marginally. Also, they may contain more sugar to compensate on the taste.
Read all the labels carefully before buying anything. A bit annoying at the start, but once you get used to what is good and what is not, you will feel safe buying certain foods.
7. “Going to the gym on an empty stomach burns more fat.”
Crazy talk. Some people think if you go to the gym and have not eaten, the body will use more fat stores for energy as you have none from food. Not so: the body will more likely lose weight from your muscles, which is not a good thing. Also remember if you go to the gym tired and hungry, you won’t be able to give your all and really work out.
Eat something light just before you go, so you are not weighed down by food but have some energy for the workout. Something like a protein shake is a great idea. You have made it there; it’s best to be prepared to give it your best shot!
8. “You need to cut down on calories for weight loss.”
Even though it may seem like a great idea to slash your calorie intake to lose weight, what it does in reality is cause metabolic problems which in turn will make it harder for you to lose weight and easier for you to put it on. The body will compensate for the lack of calories and slow down your metabolism and ability to burn fat quickly. You may also suffer from fatigue and headaches.
You can drop your calorie intake by about 300 per day and not suffer any complications. The best thing to do is to keep a food diary and keep track of what you are eating every day.
9. “Some foods will magically speed up your metabolism.”
Wouldn’t it be great! But no, this is not true. It is claimed that there are certain foods that will burn more calories and cause rapid weight loss. But in truth, they probably contain more caffeine and sugar which will cause you metabolic problems instead of solutions.
Watch what you eat and avoid any quick fix fads; if it claims to help you to lose weight fast, chances are it won’t actually work and will cause you more damage that good. Keep at it. You will see results eventually.
10. “Single-food diets work.”
Celebrities – where would we be without them. Of course, if you only eat white foods, you will lose weight – no, no you won’t. There are so many fad diets out there right now. The best way to eat is to combine all different kinds of foods and food groups. This helps your digestive system to work properly and do what it needs to do and rid your body of excess waste.
Trust your body and stop listening to fads or diet trends. Your body is perfectly capable of breaking down all types of foods, and plus, if you follow a single food diet, you are more likely to get bored and eat some treats!
Featured photo credit: from the film via sev.h-cdn.co