People on and off the internet have a lot to say about weight loss. There are many myths so much that trying to find out whom to listen to can be overwhelming,and it’s difficult to be sure what’s true. One undeniable fact is that being overweight or obese can contribute to numerous health problems
such as diabetes and heart disease. But losing the excess pounds is not rocket science and, unfortunately, there is no single solution that works for everybody. 24/7 Tempo consulted several nutritionists and fitness trainers to identify more than two dozen myths about weight loss that can actually result in weight gain. There is no denying that weight loss is hard work, whether you’re trying to get rid of 5 or 25 pounds. The key to long-term success is how you approach that goal and whether you manage to avoid some common myths. The short answer is that people should achieve weight loss in a safe, smart, and sustainable way, which usually involves not believing everything you read online and consulting with a professional. Eating a balanced diet is key, but not all foods and drinks are created equal – these are some “healthy” foods that are actually ruining your diet. Eating a lot of fruit leads to weight gain
Not even fruits can survive being blamed for gaining weight. The culprit in fruit is sugar. Fruits do contain sugar that is not refined or processed. They also contain a lot of fiber, which the body needs. Fiber keeps you full for longer, which is beneficial for weight loss or maintaining a healthy weight. “Fruit won’t make you fat,” Brown added. They certainly make for a healthier snack. But, as is the case with almost any food, you shouldn’t overdo it.
Lifting weights will make you bulky
People don’t want to be extremely thin anymore — like they did in the 1960s when the popular model Twiggy was the beauty standard — but they don’t want to be bulky, either. Unfortunately, women especially think that lifting weights to build muscle will make them look that way, Fink noted. “This will not happen.” Women don’t have the same hormonal structure as men, she added. They have a lot less testosterone, which is the hormone that makes building muscle easier.
Losing weight is all about will power
“Will power is overrated in its importance,” Hirshberg said. Being overweight or obese has a huge hereditary component, she noted. Taking certain medications plays a significant role, too. Other factors such as stress, poor sleep, and emotional issues can contribute to weight gain. “It’s never just a failure of one individual; that’s just utterly unreasonable,” she added. By and large, however, exercising some will power over what we choose to put in our mouths certainly can’t hurt.
Eliminating an entire food group is a good idea
There have been many diet fads over the years and some of them have been about cutting all fat or all carbs. But these diets have never lasted, and the reason is simple — they don’t work, Brown noted. “We need protein, carbs, and fats.” The body won’t function properly if it’s missing one food group and will go into survival mode trying to make up for the loss. “Such extreme changes never lead to long-term results,” Brown added.
Intense workouts are better for weight loss
Intense workouts will get you more bang for your buck at the beginning of your weight loss journey, Fink said. “But you can’t do it every day — it’s not a healthy way to lose weight.” You have to vary the workouts and you have to give your body time to rest. Otherwise, your risk of injuries and not recovering as well increases significantly, she noted. You’re probably going to gain all the lost weight back once you’re injured and unable to work out for weeks.
Healthy foods are unaffordable
There is a famous comparison between a $5 fast food menu item or, say, a pound of apples that can easily cost as high as $4 — and we’re not even talking organic. But healthy foods don’t always have to break the bank. “Beans and rice are a very affordable option,” Hirshberg said. “You get cheap protein along with carbs and amino acids you need.” While fresh produce can be expensive, you can buy frozen or in-season fruits or vegetables, which are much less expensive.
Cardio is the only way to lose weight
Doing cardio is an effective strategy for reducing overall body fat, but it’s just one of many components. The real picture is a bit more complex. “Most people don’t work out enough to maintain muscle mass, which is important for weight loss as well as maintaining a healthy weight,” Fink said. “You don’t have to lift weights every day — twice or three times a week is enough.” A Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health study found that combining cardio with strength training was the most optimal way to lose weight. According to the research, men who increased the time they spent lifting weights gained less weight around the waist than men who focused on aerobic exercise.
You need sports drinks after working out
Sports drinks are a popular beverage among fitness enthusiasts. They replace the lost water and electrolytes while working out. But water is enough, according to Fink. “Most people don’t work out hard enough to need all the sugar in these sports drinks,” she said. A single sports drink can have as many as five teaspoons of sugar and a total of 90 calories, undoing much of what you’ve just achieved working out. Experts at the Nutrition Source and the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health advise to only drink those “infrequently and sparingly, if at all.”
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