Fat loss myths are as abundant as mosquitos in the summer. The little things are everywhere, causing people grief for no reason. While it’s hard to get rid of thousands of pests at once, we’re going to try and start with 7 fat loss myths you believe and tell you why they’re myths. Stop doing these 7 things and get on the right track to healthy weight loss. Remember, although it’s googled 550,000 times per month, there is no fast track to weight loss. It doesn’t go up in a day, and it won’t go down in a day either. So, let’s get into it;
Myth #1: You can spot reduce fat
Buster; you can’t. Studies largely show that it is not possible to reduce fat in one area by exercising that body part alone. Instead, fat is lost from the entire body as a result of diet and regular exercise. Muscle growth in the abdominal region does not reduce fat in that region. You can, through regular diet and exercise, loose overall body fat, but some areas will be harder to drop the fluff than others. This is why many people believe working that area of the body more will help spot reduce.
Myth #2: You CAN out-train a bad diet
Buster; you CAN’T. Once that love affair with spin classes finally takes off and you’re working hard, it’s tempting to treat yourself as a reward. However, the amount of calories you burn from exercise is often modest when compared with the calories you can influence by changing your diet. (Thirty minutes of running, for example, burns around 320 calories—you could cancel that out with one frozen margarita!) “It’s important to develop healthy habits that involve both nutrition and exercise.”
Myth #3: Healthy food doesn’t taste good
Buster; it’s mostly delicious. You’re just used to pepperoni pizza. Experts recommend that you try a food 10 times before concluding that you don’t like it. No, seriously: A 2010 study found that children offered the same veggies once a week over the course of 10 weeks reported liking items they’d enjoyed less in previous weeks. Also, if you’ve been eating a lot of processed foods, their hidden additives can mess with your palate, making you crave more salt and sugar (and making whole foods taste dull in comparison). Retrain your taste buds by gradually cutting back on packaged food and cooking at home as much as possible.
Myth #4: Skipping meals will help you cut calories
Buster; it won’t. In fact, it just makes your body store more next time you eat. Skipping breakfast (or lunch, or dinner) will just make you hungry and cranky, and you’re likely to blow through those “saved” calories (and more) when you’re ravenous later in the day.
“It’s easy to overeat quickly and make poor food choices when you’re starving and exhausted,”
Dr. Krikhely notes. In fact, a 2012 study found that women who missed meals lost eight fewer pounds over the course of a year than those who ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. So eat all 3 meals, plus some small snacks if you need, and lose weight in a healthy way.
Myth #5: To lose weight, you have to get used to feeling hungry
Buster; you don’t have to feel like you’re in a concentration camp. If your belly is rumbling all day, you’re probably not making smart food choices. Meals that are too low in protein and high in refined carbs can cause blood-sugar spikes—as well as crashes that will leave you feeling depleted and ravenous. Pick diet-friendly filling foods that are high in fiber (such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, beans and seeds) along with high-quality proteins, and you’ll feel full longer (even on fewer calories!). Plus, your blood sugar will be on a more even keel throughout the day.
Myth #6: Alcohol is out
Buster; thank goodness, not all the way. If you’re trying to lose weight, yes, chances are you’re going to need to cut down on alcohol consumption. Aside from the empty calories in alcohol itself, drinking can mess with your willpower, making you more likely to overeat or indulge in greasy, high-calorie foods (hello, midnight chili cheese fries!). But you don’t have to cut booze out of your life completely. Limit yourself to just one drink, and go for lower-carb beverages like light beer or a dry wine—and skip the sugary mixers.
Myth #7: You don’t need to track your food intake
Buster; you’re probably eating wayyyyyy more than you think. Most people underestimate how much they eat. In a 2007 study in which diners at an Italian restaurant were filmed on a hidden camera, 31% couldn’t remember afterward how much bread they ate, and 12% who were filmed eating bread said they hadn’t had any at all (how’s that for selective amnesia?). Giving a food diary a try—and comparing your notes to what you recall eating after, say, a week—will help you put a stop to mindless munching. Counting calories may be tedious and depressing, but try it for a week and you’ll be shocked at just how many extra you eat every. single. day. all. day.
That’s it for today’s fat loss myths. trust us, there are many, many more. Like pesky mosquitos, they’re swarming around the internet causing people to become more helpless and confused. Let us know if you believed any of these myths and what you think of them now.