If you are a regular reader of health articles, magazines and books then you are likely to come across multiple weight loss tips. Many of these tips are valuable and will help you drop the excess pounds. However, some are nothing more than myths and misleading information. In this article I will be discussing three of the most popular weight loss myths and how they can actually be quite damaging to your health.
1) SPOT REDUCTION OF FAT IS POSSIBLE:- Some weight loss articles and products claim that you can reduce fat on specific areas of your body. For example, there are certain gels on the market which claim that they can reduce abdominal fat simply by being applied to the stomach area. Some articles also claim that doing body specific exercises such as crunches for the stomach, bicep curls for the arms etc, will spot reduce fat in those areas.
Unfortunately,it’s not that simple and these myths are simply untrue. Ask any weight loss expert or even take a look at these Google search results for “is spot reduction of fat possible?” and you will quickly see that the unanimous opinion is NO.
There is only one way to reduce fat in areas such as your abdominals, your legs or your arms and that is to reduce your overall body fat levels. By eating a healthy diet and following a sensible exercise plan you should be able to do just that.
2) DRASTICALLY REDUCING YOUR CALORIC INTAKE WILL REDUCE OVERALL BODY FAT:- This myth is one of the reasons that fad diets are so popular. As I discussed in my article 5 Reasons to Avoid Fad Diets this method will work in the short term. However, in the long term can do some serious damage to your health. Furthermore, by starving yourself your body is often pushed into starvation mode meaning that your metabolic rate will slow down and your body will burn muscle instead of fat.
Sensible dieting is much more effective than crash dieting when burning body fat. Instead of drastically reducing your caloric intake try a more moderate approach and trim 100 or 200 daily calories from your diet. That’s still a reduction of 1400 calories per week and pretty soon you will start to realise positive weight loss results.
3) CARDIO IS THE BEST METHOD FOR LOSING WEIGHT:- Whilst it is correct that cardiovascular exercises help you burn fat you should not neglect the other components that make up an effective weight loss plan.
Weight lifting is not directly as effective as cardio for burning body fat However, it is indirectly more effective because muscle mass requires more energy and more calories to maintain. Therefore, by building your muscles through weight training you will burn more calories each day to maintain them.
Also, don’t forget the importance of diet. You may be burning 1000 calories per day on the exercise bike but if you are then going home and eating a large pizza every night your efforts are being wasted. You need to be eating a sensible, calorie controlled diet and then using cardiovascular exercise to burn excess calories and help you lose weight.
There are a lot of untrue weight loss rumours circulating. However, if you stick to the general rule “if it sounds too good to be true it probably is” you should be fine in picking out fact from the fiction. Weight loss is a long term process which requires you to consume a healthy, reduced calorie diet and perform regular exercise. It is not something that can be solved with a quick fix.