There are a whole lot of misconceptions when it comes to weight loss. Information on the topic is abundant so how do we know what’s true and what’s not? I’m about to tell you 🙂 I’m giving you the top five myths I hear when it comes to weight loss and how what to do instead. Let’s just dive right in!
- FOCUS ON CARDIO TO LOSE WEIGHT
Cardio is great for overall health but it is far from being the most efficient way to lose weight. What you eat is what matters most there, but let’s talk cardio.
There’s an old school mentality that we need to stay in the “fat burning zone” when we’re plugging away on the treadmill or elliptical for an hour in order to lose weight. The thought process behind this isn’t totally crazy…more minutes = more calories burned = more weight lost. Makes sense. But what if you could get better results in less time? High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) does just that.
HIIT workouts like those found in my high-intensity exercise Program, Metabolic Meltdown, will give you better and faster results than steady state cardio. You’ll burn a hell of a lot more calories doing this kind of training over steady state. Your body will also continue burning calories long after you’re done exercising whereas with steady state cardio, your body is done working when you are. HIIT is also super time efficient- you can get a better result working out for only 20 minutes instead of 60+ doing steady state.
How to HIIT: On a treadmill, warm up and walk for about 5 minutes or so. Run (or speed walk) as hard as you can for 30 seconds then rest for 45 seconds. You’ll know you’re working hard enough if you’re breathless at the end of each interval. Not into the treadmill? You can use the same formula on any piece of equipment, jump ropes, bosu balls…your options are endless.
- CUTTING CARBS IS IDEAL FOR WEIGHT LOSS
There’s something SO tempting about cutting carbs when we want to lose weight, isn’t there? We’re pretty much guaranteed fast results. Lots of low-carb diets boast something like “lose 10lbs in one week!” I mean hello…who wouldn’t want that?! But this is pretty deceiving. Those 10lbs are not 10lbs of fat. They’re mostly just water weight, not fat. Our muscles store glycogen, which comes from carbs. Glycogen hold water in our muscles, so as carbs are decreased, glycogen is decreased, therefore the water our body retains is decreased. As soon as you begin eating carbs again the water comes right back on. This doesn’t even touch upon the foggy brain, headaches, low energy and bad breathe that can accompany going low carb. So although fast results are always tempting…I’ll pass on all that. Also consider a life without pizza, wine, cookies, chips, pasta…it’s a scary thought!
Instead of focusing eliminating carbs, focus on the total amount of calories you’re eating throughout the day. Choose foods that keep you full and satisfied which provide you enough energy to get you through the day.
- YOU NEED TO EXTREMELY CUT BACK ON CALORIES TO LOSE WEIGHT
Just like with cutting carbs, this is super tempting! The more calories we cut, the more weight we lose, right? Not really… Drastically reducing your calories for an extended period of time can do more harm than good and can actually make it harder for you to lose weight and easier to gain it. When we cut calories too drastically , we also run the risk of losing muscle mass, decreasing bone density, and can also become really moody.
Instead of counting calories, focus on portions and what you’re really eating. Food jornaling for 5-10 days can be reeally helpful here. Journaling puts exactly what you’re eating right in front of you and makes you very aware of what’s going in. Sometimes we forget about the handful of M&Ms we had earlier or we forget about the 4 cocktails we had on Saturday. Journaling helps you remember and helps you make easy tweaks on the fly.
- LIFTING HEAVY WEIGHTS ISN’T IDEAL FOR WEIGHT LOSS BECAUSE IT WILL BULK YOU UP
Unfortunately, the misconception that women will turn into The Hulk if they pick up anything over 10lbs is still alive and well. Ladies, the only thing that will bulk you up is eating too much food. As women, we just don’t produce enough testosterone to get that muscular. It takes years and years of specific diet and exercise to grow lots of muscle so let’s stop being scared of the heavy stuff! Trust me, I’ve been trying to build for almost 4 years now, and while I’ve definitely made progress, I was hoping for a little more size. Building muscle takes lots of time and serious dedication.
Lifting heavy is extremely beneficial and effective when you have a goal of weight loss. Much like HIIT, your body continues burning calories long after you’ve stopped exercising. It also helps add muscle mass over time which means your body will burn more calories at rest. So don’t fear the muscle…invite it in, embrace it, learn to love it!
5. MUSCLE WEIGHS MORE THAN FAT
While we’re talking about muscle, let’s just address this myth, too. Muscle does not weight more than fat. A pound of fat weighs exactly the same as a pound of muscle. Muscle is more dense than fat so it takes up less space which gives a leaner, tighter look. Think of it like rocks (muscle) and feathers (fat).. A pound of fat takes up a lot more space than a pound of muscle.
Today is the LAST DAY you can get my HIIT exercise program, Metabolic Meltdown, at the discounted $19 price! Metabolic Meltdown includes 49 workouts that can be done literally anywhere and all take 20 minutes or less to complete. The only equipment you need is your bodyweight and maybe some dumbbells. There are total body workouts, leg & booty workouts, ab workouts, and upper body blasts.