When the topic of fat loss is brought up, usually the first thing that comes to mind is lots of cardio and eat only salad. While yes, a combination of diet and exercise is crucial for fat loss, extreme drastic measures aren’t needed. How about these marketing tactics: “Lose 20 lbs in a month by starting this product!” “Eat pizza every day and still lose weight by following this program!” “Spray this product on your stomach and instantly reduce belly fat!” Sound familiar?? But how realistic are they?
I’m here to bust myths of fat loss, and provide facts to help you. Whether you’re just starting on your journey, or have been at it for a few months but seem to be hitting a plateau, I hope some of these tips help get you on the track for success!
First let’s start off with some knowledge- muscle weighs more than fat. 200 lbs on a bodybuilder that is pure muscle looks a lot different than 200 lbs on someone who isn’t fit. This is where your body fat percentage comes in handy. Body fat percentage is just what it says it is, the percentage of your weight that is fat. Keep in mind, both women and men have what’s called essential fat, which is a percentage of fat necessary for a healthy body. Women have more essential fat because of all the hormones needed to be produced and maintained, whereas men have more skeletal muscle and less of a need for fat.
MYTH To lose weight, you must eat as little as you can.
FACT In order to lose weight, the goal is not to eat as little as you can. Eating too little can actually cause more harm than good and put your metabolism in a bad position. You should eat so you’re in a bit of a calorie deficit, but not a drastic one. It’s all about calories in vs. calories out, to lose weight you must expend more calories than you consume. In order to lose the recommended 1-2 lbs a week, you could decrease your total calories eaten per day by 500 calories. (1 lb= 3,500 calories) It’s a good idea to get a general idea of how many calories you’re consuming. Consider writing down what you eat and how much, or better yet, download a good calorie tracking app like My Fitness Pal to help you out!
Click HERE to calculate your caloric needs.
MYTH The more cardio I do the better!
FACT Sometimes more is better, but in this case, more is not always better! Doing a reasonable workout 30 minutes- 1 hour is awesome. Thinking that you need to be on the treadmill for 2-3 hours a day is insane and not needed!!
MYTH In order to lose weight, I can’t go out to eat with my friends or on a date with my spouse because that will ruin my progress.
FACT Go out and have fun! If you are truly eating well all week, going out and having one “treat meal” on the weekends is totally okay! The biggest thing to make sure you DON’T do is get in the mindset of “well I ate this meal I might as well get ice cream after, eat a cookie or two or even the whole box.”
Enjoy one meal and get back on track of eating healthy as you had been! Life is too short to say no to family and friend gathering
MYTH Restaurants only have unhealthy foods and will ruin my progress even eating one bad meal!
FACT More and more restaurants now a days are starting to offer a variety of healthy items on their menus. Before you go out to eat, look online at the menu if you can. Rather than crispy chicken, can you get grilled? Rather than a side of rice and potatoes (two carb filled foods) can you get one of them to be a salad? Get a salad BEFORE your meal, and drink water so you aren’t completely starving which tends to lead to overeating. Save calories, do you NEED all of the sauce that is full of calories and sodium? Do you absolutely HAVE to have the sugary beverage? Most importantly- LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! When you’re full stop! Just because it tastes delicious doesn’t mean you need to eat every last bite.
MYTH There’s all these “quick fixes” for weight loss, which one is best?
FACT There is no “quick fix” for weight loss. There’s no way to get abs overnight. It takes hard work, determination, and most importantly- consistency. If you diet strict and exercise for three days straight, then fall off the wagon for the rest of the week, yes, you won’t get the results you want.
Be consistent and stick to it. The results WILL come!