If your New Years Resolution included losing weight or changing your body composition, consistent healthy habits will be the most efficient way to reach your goals. Here are 8 myths and misconceptions about diet and weight loss, to help you avoid habits that can hinder your progress as you work towards your goals.
1. Lifestyle changes – It is often thought that once you get to your desired weight or body composition, you no longer need to keep your habits. This is one of the biggest reasons people are seen “yo-yo dieting” or going up and down in weight. Weight management is not a quick fix, but instead involves permanently changing your lifestyle to include healthier nutrition choices and more movement.
2. It’s all or nothing – Changing lifestyle habits is often seen as having to change everything, or nothing at all. A healthy lifestyle is quite the opposite. Getting movement in daily doesn’t have to be working out at the gym, you can simply go for a walk outside, do some stretching, or even just take the stairs more often. As for nutrition, try the 80/20 rule. 80% of your diet should come from whole foods, such as proteins, unrefined grains like quinoa, and fruits & vegetables. The other 20% can be your treat foods, such as that donut calling your name. Don’t be afraid to enjoy the foods you like, just eat them in moderation!
3. Nutrition vs. Exercise – Exercise or nutrition, which is more important for weight loss? While moving daily is important for overall health and body composition, nutrition will have the biggest impact on your weight loss goals and long-term health and wellness. You can’t out train a poor diet!
4. Fat loss can be targeted – Although it would be nice, we can’t choose where we lose fat. However, targeting specific areas when strength training can help to build the shape we want, making it appear we’ve chosen where to lose fat.
5. Cardio is the best option for fat loss – Cardio is a great tool for weight loss and overall heart and lung health, but adding strength training to your program will be the most efficient way to lose fat. Cardio often burns more calories during your workout, however the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you’ll burn while at rest.
6. BMI is the best measurement of metabolic health – While BMI can be a helpful tool in recognizing possible diseases you may develop such as diabetes, it’s often only useful in conjunction with other tests. The BMI scale doesn’t consider lean muscle mass and is therefore not reliable if you are using it simply to see your metabolic health. A more reliable option is looking at your fat to lean muscle ratios using calipers or specialty scales.
7. If I can’t exercise at a high intensity or for a long time, it’s a waste of time – Any movement is better than no movement! When starting to exercise for the first time or getting back to a fitness routine, go slow and work your way up; jumping into the deep end with a 7-day gym routine can cause burnout and fatigue. Everyone starts somewhere, that could be walking for 10 minutes twice a week.
8. Cutting out carbs will help me lose weight – While yes, cutting some carbs can help to reduce calories, cutting out too many can be disastrous. When making food choices, look to eat more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and cut down on processed foods and refined sugars. Bodies need carbs to function at their best, cutting too many can cause:
• Dysregulation of hormones.
• Low energy levels.
• Decreased metabolic function.
• Suppressed immune function.
• Decreased growth hormone production.
If you have questions or want help getting started either a personal trainer or nutrition coach, contact one of our Health & Fitness professionals today at email@example.com