With all those skinny girls running around town dressed in skirts the size of face towels, I’ve decided to get back in shape. Not because I want to wear itty bitty clothing, but because I’d like to climb a flight of stairs without passing out afterwards. In my quest to find the perfect fitness regiment, I discovered four myths about weight loss that everyone should now.
Crunches Will Give Your Rock-Hard Abs
Easy there, tiger! While doing crunches and ab exercises will strengthen your muscles and give you the abs you’ve dreamed about, you won’t be looking like the Beckhams anytime soon. That’s because those abs won’t be visible with a layer of fat covering them. No matter how many crunches you do, you’ll have to lose the fat before anyone sees your marvelous 6-pack.
The only thing that will help you melt the fat away is cardio, and lots of it. It is recommended that you get 60 minutes of cardio per day. Don’t hate on us, that’s what the American Heart Association suggests. Cardio gets your blood pumping and makes you sweat. When you sweat, you’re burring calories. When you burn more calories than you consume, you’re on your way to burning off the bulge.
Tip: If you’re just starting out try to lock in 3-4 days of cardio for as long as you can bear. Each week add more time to your work-out; eventually reach the 30-45 minute mark. Once you accomplish that you can add another day of training to your schedule.
This is probably one of the worst game plans, ever. Not to mention that this method is a first class ticket to anorexia-town, where psychologists are your only best friend. There is no quick fix to losing weight, unless you have a couple thousand to spare for lipo. All jokes aside, when you cut corners the extra weight is bound to catch up with you sooner or later.
Take skipping meals for example. When you skip meals, your body thinks it’s starving (because you are) and so the metabolism goes into energy conservation mode. When this happens, the body tries to keep the energy, burning fewer calories. Do you want even more bad news? When your body needs energy it won’t use the energy from the body’s fat deposits. If you thought skipping your meals couldn’t result in any more side effects, think again. Not only have you not lost weight, but now the next time you eat (or binge), your body will hold those calories hostage, expecting you to starve again. Mission: Failed.
Tip: Instead of eating three large meals a day, try eating 5-6 smaller meals. When you eat smaller portions more often, your body knows that you are giving it energy and therefore doesn’t feel the need to store calories as fat. This also eliminates the need to binge eat, which never ends well anyways.
Eating Only Vegetables Will help You Shed the Pounds
Often, people think that going vegetarian will help them shed the pounds quicker. However, not all of us end up looking like we belong in an ad for Peta. The truth is, that our body needs protein and eliminating dairy products and meat may not make you lose the pounds any quicker.
Protein allows your body to fight stomach fat by increasing your metabolism. Your metabolism is your body’s ability to convert calories into energy. When you limit the amount of calories you consume (less than 1000 calories per day) your body actually tries to conserve energy, resulting in a slower metabolism.
Tip: Eating foods high in protein gives your body a boost. While you can get your protein without eating meat – beans and tofu are high in protein as well – meat lovers should be aware of the fact that there is no need to go vegan for the sole purpose of losing weight. If losing weight is your goal, opt for low-fat yogurt, chicken breast, turkey, fish, and lean red meat.
Low-fat or non-fat food items will help you Lose Weight.
Not true, mon ami. Unfortunately ‘low-fat’ & ‘fat-free’ doesn’t always mean ‘low in calories’. These so-called ‘light’ versions might have less fat than the regular version, but they often have more calories – which defeats the purpose, no? On top of that, sugar is added to make these non-fat foods taste better. Foods high in sugar eventually turn to fat. Take diet sodas for example. According to msn.com there isn’t any scientific evidence that drinking them will help you lose weight.
Tip: Check the labels for calorie, sugar, and fat content. Research suggests that ‘low-fat’ foods should have less than 3 g of fat per 100g. In addition, foods that are low in fat but high in sugar will lead to weight gain. The solution is simple: Just eat smaller portions and get educated. The best way to lose weight is to simply calculate your portions correctly and now what you’re eating. One cup of pasta instead of four will go a long way in your battle against the bulge.