Three Most Common Weight Loss Myths Debunked
By Justin Devonshire
We have a problem. More and more people are becoming obese and diabetic every year. What’s more, heart disease is still the world’s biggest killer and isn’t slowing down. Yet there is an enormous amount of fitness and weight loss advice out there; in the media, magazines, websites, articles (such as this one), books, TV shows and DVDs.
So why do statistics still show that 90% of people who start an exercise or diet program will fail to lose weight in the long-term?
A big reason is because much of the information you find in the media is often regurgitated and recycled from years ago in the past. Many professionals still advise clients on methods and strategies that are simply out-dated and no-longer effective. Scientific research and real-life case studies have come leaps and bounds since the issue of weight loss was first discussed decades ago.
Today I’m going to expose the most common weight loss myths – the bits of advice you’ve likely heard that are actually no good for your weight loss efforts and are holding you back from success.
Myth #1: Running is the Best Way to Lose Weight
This is by far the biggest weight loss myth in the world, and still has an enormous stranglehold over many people today. When you decide you want to lose weight, the first think most people think of is running. The recommendation of running for weight loss was first made over 30 years ago.
However, since then, studies have shown that over 65% of people who take up running will become injured within 6 months (particularly females). This is because running is actually an advanced exercise which puts huge stress on your joints, leading to ankle, knee, hip and back problems. Most people who start running are either unfit, overweight, or both. If you are unfit then your muscles and joints are not conditioned to tolerate the repeated trauma of impact on your joints that running produces. If you are overweight, then the trauma is multiplied due to the weight you are carrying.
Studies have also recently showed that compared to other forms of exercise (such as lifting dumbbells, performing body-weight exercise, or boxing fitness) running burns very little calories and does not have a strong effect on your overall metabolism. In fact, just 30 minutes of bodyweight exercise or circuit training will burn up to 9 times more fat than an hour of running.
The proof is in the pudding. The top trainers from all over the world have their clients performing resistance exercises, circuit training and boxing fitness, with very little or NO running whatsoever (I don’t even let my clients go near a treadmill during my exercise sessions!): “You Don’t Run to Get Fit – You Have to Get Fit to Run!”
Myth #2: You Must Avoid Eating Fat
Once again, decades-old research blamed fat for the rise in weight gain. As such the government recommended that we eat little to no fat, and instead make up most of our food intake with cereals, bread, pasta and rice. This is still taught in schools as the ‘Food Pyramid’, and in my own (some say controversial) view, this is the very reason we have a diabetes epidemic today.
We were led to believe that carbohydrate foods (sugars) could be eaten in vast amounts – as long as there were no fats then there was no problem. However, science has now discovered that there are good and bad types of fat. The good fats help us lose weight faster by increasing our metabolism and shutting down ‘fat-storing’ hormones. Unfortunately, we have been told to avoid all fat for years and most good-fat products have had the fat removed in favour of ‘low-fat’ options.
The worst part is that these low-fat options usually have more sugar put into them! Now you are aware of this, it’s not difficult to see why the ‘low-fat revolution’ of the 1980’s wasn’t successful.
Sugar is the real enemy, and the government have told us to eat huge quantities of it every day for over 30 years!
Myth #3: Weight Loss is All About “Calories In vs. Calories Out”
This is where most diets go wrong. We first need to realise that weight loss isn’t often the goal – fat loss is.
Weight can be lost from the body in many forms. Some of the weight may be fat, some may be water, some may be muscle, and some can be bone tissue. The real goal you should look at is losing weight from body fat whilst preserving the right amount of water, muscle and bone tissue.
Let’s look at this a different way: imagine there were a pair of twins, each identical in size, weight and shape, wanting to lose weight. Let’s say we had them both eat a 2000 calorie a day diet.
The ‘Calories In / Out’ theory would suggest that after one month both twins would have lost the same amount of weight, right?
What I didn’t tell you was that the first twin was eating 2000 calories a day of ice cream and chocolate. The other twin ate 2000 calories of green vegetables, fruits and lean meats. I’m pretty sure that the latter twin will have lost far more weight than the first, don’t you agree?
Our ancestors never counted calories (I don’t think Weight Watchers was around 5000 years ago anyway...) and never had a problem with obesity or diabetes. It is only in the last century that this problem has become widespread – around about the same time as intensive working labour was swapped for sitting in an office all day, and the same time that natural green food was replaced by processed microwave meals and manufactured low-fat snacks.
Coincidence? I’ll let you decide.
(Our ancestors never jogged for miles and miles without stopping either. They lifted rocks, threw heavy objects, jumped and sprinted short distances – and they stayed perfectly lean and healthy!)
CyprusNewsReport.com contributor Justin Devonshire is a Fat-Loss Expert, author and trainer living in Paphos who runs the Bodyshape Bootcamp. Go to his website www.BodyshapePlanet.com for more information.