If you search the web, you’ll find thousands of tips and advice to help you lose weight - but much of what you read and hear, isn’t always true.
And if you’re working hard at your gym or sports club to build your ‘summer body’, you want to be sure that you are in possession of the facts.
But which weight loss myths should you be aware of? Here are some of the myths that we’ve heard at Marsden, that you need to know.
1. You can only lose weight by having a radical exercise routine
According to the NHS, “successful weight loss involves making small changes that you can stick to for a long time.” To lose weight you need to burn more calories than you consume. You can burn more calories through increasing exercise, and reduce the calories you eat by tracking their amounts beforehand.
2. Healthier food is more expensive than unhealthy foods
This isn’t necessarily the case, if you are smart with your shopping. Cheaper-yet-healthier alternatives can always be found if you consider your options.
3. By eating carbohydrates, you will put on weight
If carbohydrates are eaten in moderation and as part of a balanced diet, weight gain will not automatically occur. Carbohydrates feature on our calorie intake poster which recommends the food you should eat - and it can be downloaded here.
4. Starving yourself is the quickest way to lose weight
By opting for a ‘crash diet’, you may end up harming your body as you may miss out on essential nutrients. In turn, if your body is low on energy, you may begin to crave high-fat and high-sugar foods. Our body still needs a certain amount of fats to be healthy. See our body make-up poster here.
5. Food labelled as ‘low fat’ is always a healthy choice
Legally, food which is labelled ‘low fat’ does not have to contain a specific amount of fat. Yes, it should contain less than the low fat version, but you should check the label for the facts and figures.
6. Cutting out snacks and meals will help you to lose weight
Cutting out snacks and meals will reduce access to essential nutrients and can also lead to tiredness and other side effects.
7. Drinking water helps you to lose weight
Water is essential for hydration, health and well-being - but it does not help you to lose weight.
8. Some people can eat what they want and still lose weight
To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you eat and drink, so even if some people appear to be losing weight without any effort - this is still what they are doing.
9. Fast foods are always bad for you
Nowadays, fast food menus include options which are high in nutrients, low in calories and are available in small portions. It is up to you therefore, to chose the healthier option.
10. Lifting weights will help with weight loss
When lifting weights, your muscle mass can increase and the knock-on effect of this is an increase in total body weight. It stresses the importance of being conscious of all areas of body composition to provide a full picture of your body health. Find out more in the body composition white paper here.
We also spoke to 5 fitness experts to find out the most ridiculous weight loss myths they'd heard in their time. We've listed them below:
11. Don’t eat carbohydrates after 6pm - Akram Khan, fitness expert
“This rule suggests our body’s fat burning mechanisms is aligned with an external clock and closes shops after 6:00pm.
“It is 5:59pm, alarm bells sound, the fat stockpiling shift prepares to clock in at the factory. 6:01pm, You consume carbs, that’s it, we warned you! This will all be shuttled to your love handles. That will teach you.
“Would that infer I can ferociously indulge on 1000g carbs before 6:00pm and get leaner?”
12. Don’t eat X food if you want to lose weight - Ivan Miller, Fitness, Nutrition, and Strength Training Coach
“It’s so ridiculous that there is any sort of fixation on not eating a particular thing to lose weight. I’m not a fan of restricting any particular type of food unless you can live without it in the first place, but weight loss is a function of how many calories you consume.
"Eat less than your body requires for energy, you will lose weight regardless of where those calories come from.
“It’s just obnoxious that people make it way more complicated than it needs to be.”
13. Ab machines can solve all your problems - Tim A Ernst, Founder of TurnAroundFitness.com
“I see people all the time ask about what ab exercises will give them a flat stomach. I usually tell them they would have to do 22,000 crunches in order to lose just one pound of fat.
“I’ve seen guys who have big bellies in the gym doing ab exercises by doing crunching away on machines. This is completely ridiculous.
“Crunching away on some ab machine or other cheap gadget is beyond ridiculous to me, yet people still buy these products.”
14. Burn more calories than you eat - Belldon Colme, Author
It's not true that you will lose weight by eating less. Some people actually lose weight while eating a lot.
To explain this, theorists have come up with something they erroneously call “starvation mode.” This is the metabolic process, wherein people gain weight while eating nearly nothing. Our bodies have a mechanism where they will, in the face of malnourishment, hoard everything it can get, and store it as body fat. This phenomenon is well documented, and proves that calories and body fat are not linearly connected. In fact, they are not connected at all.
The opposite of this phenomenon is also true; when metabolism is thoroughly nourished with the proper balance of the many nutrients it requires to keep its body at optimal wellness, it will quite literally catabolize and throw away unneeded excess as waste. It throws away excess cholesterol, excess proteins, and… it throws away excess body fat.
15. Whatever worked for me, will work for you - Stephanie, Sport Dietician
"Our genetics play a MASSIVE role in how we respond to different forms of exercise. Some people are naturally very lean. They don’t put on muscle mass as easily compared to others who can gain muscle with relatively little effort."
To browse Marsden’s range of gym scales, click here. To find out more about any of the weighing scales you can use to track your weight loss progress, you can call us on 01709 364296 or contact us here.