Common Myths of Weight Loss, and What You Should be Doing Instead | H4 Training

Mar07Common Myths of Weight Loss, and What You Should be Doing Instead

Weight loss often has so much misinformation surrounding it. You’re eating too many carbs, eating at the wrong times, eating the wrong foods, not enough cardio, etc. And some in the fitness industry are guilty of passing along this misinformation.

The truth is, weight loss doesn’t have to be an insurmountable obstacle. It can be much easier if you were armed with some good information. Below we’ll go over some common weight loss myths – and if they hold any truth –  and what to do instead.

Starving Yourself

One common myth is that you need to starve yourself to lose weight. It is true that you need to consume fewer calories to lose weight – that is just basic science. But what you don’t want to do is be in a huge calorie deficit, because you’re basically digging yourself a hole that is very hard to get out of.

A big deficit can help you lose a lot of weight quickly – but what happens when you increase your food intake after losing weight? You gain it back. It’s like a boat in the water; rock too hard to one side, and the other side will match it. Lowering your calorie intake too low gives you no breathing room, and that is not sustainable. You’ll feel like the only way to keep the weight off is to eat like a rabbit, and many people will find that they can’t keep that up forever.

Instead, aim for a slight decline in your food intake. It may seem slower – and it is – but slow weight loss is much more sustainable. It’s much less of a shock to your body physically and mentally. The slower the better. Another benefit is that you’ll be preserving lean muscle mass while losing actual body fat, not the other way around. A good rule of thumb is to aim for a 200-300 calorie deficit – or if you don’t like to count calories, cut out one snack or liquid calorie per day.

Eating Boring Food

Let’s get straight to the point: boring food is not necessary to lose weight. Long gone are the days of unseasoned chicken, watery over-steamed broccoli, and plain grainy brown rice. We know that eating like that isn’t necessary – and actually, you’re missing out on other crucial nutrients by not getting a varied diet.

What matters is moderation. You can enjoy food when going out, you can eat ice cream, drink a glass of wine, just save it for %10-20 of your diet. So the majority of the time you are eating better foods – lean proteins, veggies, fruit, etc, and enjoying other things in moderation.

Following Fad Diets

There are many within the health & fitness industry that would sell you the idea that you are eating wrong. All the foods – including the ones that you thought were healthy – are actually making you fat, causing inflammation, and making you unhappy.

Things like juice cleansing, all-meat diets, and eating strictly ice and nothing else (we hope that’s not a real thing) are all fad diets. They are made to grab attention so that those who are authorities on it can sell you their package/plan/thing.

The best diet is – drum roll – a balanced diet. One that consists of lean protein sources, plenty of veggies and fruit, and other carb sources if you want.

Doing Grueling Workouts

Another common myth is that you must completely destroy yourself at the gym. Make no mistake:

Training must be challenging.

You must produce the effort.

You have to be consistent on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis.

But just like all things, there is a balance. You don’t have to leave the gym in a wheelchair, beaten and bloody like you just went to war. Training has to challenge you, you will get a little sore (especially if you’re new to it), but you should be able to do it again in a day or two. If you’re training so hard that it takes you a whole week to recover, you’re doing too much.

Think of workouts as PRACTICE. It must be repeatable to get better at it.

So to reiterate, some common myths for weight loss are:

  • Starving yourself. It doesn’t have to be so drastic; decrease food intake by a small amount.
  • Eating boring food. Eat the rainbow! And enjoy your food.
  • Following fad diets. Eat a balanced diet instead.
  • Doing grueling workouts. It has to be hard, but manageable.