Thursday, 24 May 2012

Common weight loss myths debunked

Common weight loss myths debunked

Common weight loss myths debunked

Keeping FIT
By NADINE WILSON All Woman writer
Monday, May 21, 2012

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YOUR biggest challenge to losing weight might very well be your own misconceptions. But then again, it can be hard to decipher between facts and fiction, considering that there is so much health and fitness advice coming from every direction -- from your friendly cashier in the grocery store, to the medical experts armed with studies.
It's hard not to feel overwhelmed, but losing weight doesn't have to be as mind-boggling as you think; instead of spending your days deciphering the numerous studies on weight loss and second guessing informercial claims, apply the facts. And the facts as they relate to dropping those pounds are working out regularly and eating a proper diet.
Here are some common myths.
MYTH: You can get a flat stomach by doing ab routines. You might have heard that the best way to get a flat stomach is to spend hours in the gym doing numerous repetitions or crunches or investing in one of the latest ab machines that's being advertised on television. But the fact is that the best way to see your abs is to lose the flab around your belly. Instead of focusing on your stomach, do more cardio exercises and eat right so that you can burn calories.
MYTH: Carbs make you fat. Most get-skinny-quick diet schemes promulgate the premise that you need to cut out carbs to lose weight. But the truth of the matter is that avoiding carbs will help you to miss out on the nutritional benefits of fruits, whole grain products and starchy vegetables and legumes. The best diet to go on is one which you can stick to; unfortunately a low carb diet is most times unsustainable because it will make you very lethargic. "You need your energy to complete your exercises if you are exercising, and without carbs you won't have any energy," said nutrition consultant Tiffany Powell.
MYTH: You must drink eight glasses of water per day. We are sure you have been told to drink eight glasses of water per day to help with weight loss. But you might want to put away your measuring cup, as this bit of H2O advice has no scientific basis. True, water is essential for the sustenance of life, but your body won't calculate whether you have gobbled down eight cups or 10 for the day. However, Powell cautions that you ought to try and drink as much as possible.
MYTH: Low-fat foods will cut the flab: If you are one of those persons who believe that fat-free foods will make you skinny, then you are wrong. The fact of the matter is that you can still put on weight by gorging on fat-free food items because the calorie content might still be too high, even without the fat. Cutting back on saturated fats is great, but you will still need to eat foods with mono-unsaturated fats to help lower bad cholesterol. "Reading food labels is very important," Powell said.
MYTH: Your genes determine your body weight. "Genetics play an important part in how you are physically, but you will have to be the one to change this," said Powell. Genetics might determine which area on your body you are more prone to gaining weight, whether it be your stomach, hips or thighs, however, it cannot be blamed for you being 100 pounds overweight. If you have poor eating habits and do not exercise, then you are solely to be blamed for that.
MYTH: You lose more weight by skipping breakfast and lunch. This myth has been believed because people naturally reason that cutting out meals will lead to a reduction in weight. But experts continue to advise that having a diet consisting of breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks is more likely to fuel weight loss than fasting. When you skip meals your metabolism slows down, so you burn fewer calories. "Remember that your body is working constantly, so you need to have fuel for whatever is there to be burnt," Powell noted.
MYTH: You burn more weight with morning exercises. Morning exercises are great because it means that you get your routine out of the way from early before you are bombarded with the day's activities. But you will lose the same amount of calories during an hour long elliptical workout in the evening as you would in the morning. The machine can't really tell the difference between the hours.
MYTH: It's more expensive to eat healthy foods. While non-processed foods might be expensive, they are not necessarily the only healthy foods available on the market. You can plant your own vegetable garden where you can reap supplies of fruits and vegetables to make healthy meals.

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