8 myths about losing weight

1. I would lose belly fat if I do exercises for abs.

False. You cannot lose weight from a particular body part. Once you improve your diet and start exercising, the weight will come off evenly from the entire body. Sadly so, but it doesn’t store evenly.

2. I overate today, that means I will gain weight.

False. If you’ve been eating properly for weeks and overeat just one day, that won’t change anything. Even if you overeat 1-2 times a month it won’t influence your weight.

two girls jumping

3. If I starve myself for a coupe of days I would lose weight.

False. Your body is made 75% out of water. When you starve yourself for a couple of days, your body only loses water weight, which is very unhealthy and useless. Once you start eating normal again, the weight instantly comes back.

4. I will go on a diet for a while and once I lose enough weight, I will get back to my old eating habits and the weight will stay off.

False. Many people, before going on a diet, don’t think about what will they do after the dieting period is over. Most diets last from 3 days to 2 weeks. After you can’t take anymore of feeling hungry all the time and unhappy because you can’t eat what you love the most, you quit and start eating even more to catch up with what you’ve been missing out on. Diets don’t work and there is no point going on one.

5. If I eat less than usual and don’t exercise I would lose weight.

True. Your weight depends 80% on your eating habits and only 20% on exercise.

6. I would gain weight if I eat fast food and food high in fat.

True and False. To lose weight you need to eat a wide variety of foods every day so your body would get all the vitamins it needs to function properly. You will gain weight is you eat too much of anything. It doesn’t matter if it’s McDonald’s or a low fat turkey sandwich. Eating fast food once in a while won’t make a big difference.

7. I can’t be skinny because I’m big boned.

False. Having big bones is more of an excuse people have to not try to lose weight. If someone calls them fat, they just say “I’m not fat. I’m big boned”. Like Cartman from South Park.

I have an older sister. She is 1/2 inch shorter than me and yet has much smaller feet, hands and narrower shoulders. She just looks small standing next to me. That doesn’t really change much, because we are both very skinny. Even though she has smaller bones, no one would say she is skinnier than me.

Having bigger bones can only make you look more athletic, stronger or taller, but it’s not an excuse to be overweight.

8. Muscle weighs more than fat.

True. Sometimes when you exercise a lot and eat less, you notice that your dress size is getting smaller and clothes more loose, but your weight stays the same or even increases a bit. That can only mean that you lost fat and gained muscle. Although, muscle doesn’t weigh a lot more than fat, so if you gained 10 pounds and don’t feel any smaller or don’t look any more muscular, that most likely isn’t muscle weight.

How to not overeat

The main cause of weight gain is overeating. Many overweight people would say that they never intend to overeat, it just happens and when it does, it’s usually followed my fatigue, sleepiness and laziness. It also makes them feel stuffed and gross.

 When you overeat, it is often because you are preoccupied or involved in another activity such as watching a favorite TV show, rushing to get back to work, thinking about your busy schedule, or engaging in conversation with company over a meal at a restaurant.

All of these actions make you think about everything else in the world except what you are eating. You are surrounded by food and everything looks really good. Next thing you know, you can’t get up from your seat and feel like you need to unbutton your pants. How did this happen? You don’t even remember eating that much. These become the thoughts spinning in your head.

As difficult as it sounds, when you are eating, you shouldn’t let yourself become too relaxed or distracted from the task at hand. Your head needs to communicate with your body. Especially in your earliest attempts to change your eating habits, you need to listen very closely to what your stomach has to say. As I have mentioned in my earlier posts, to lose weight you can eat whatever you want, as long as you eat less of it than you are used to.

You know how much you normally eat. Now conduct an experiment and put on your plate 20% less of the portion that you usually consume. Eat it very slowly and wait a few minutes after you are done, and then ask yourself: “Did I eat so little that I still feel super hungry, and, if I don’t eat anything until the next meal, then would I feel like I’m starving? Be honest with yourself. Are you really going to suffer if you eat a tiny bit less?

Eating 20% less won’t make you still feel hungry, but it will help you realize that you feel perfectly fine without guzzling down the whole plate. Doing this will not only make you less lethargic, but it will also make you feel proud of yourself for eating less and having a good start to your weight loss journey. After a day or two, or whenever you feel that you have mastered this technique, take the next step and decrease the amount of your food by 30% and see how it feels. Still not starving? If you feel too hungry, then go back to your 20%. Remember, that every time you eat something you need to ask yourself this question.

  You also need to have a cautionary and motivating thought in your head at all times, which will help you make your decision.  It could be something like: If I don’t eat more of this I will be losing weight and if I overeat again and won’t lose any weight and feel stuffed, gross and miserable again.  The inspiring thought could be: If I keep eating less, I will lose weight and look fabulous at my school Prom/Class reunion. Think of anything that motivates you.

As you keep doing this, over time your body will get used to you asking its opinion on if its full or not. It will start sending signals to your brain when to stop. This is the secret how skinny people stay so skinny. Overweight person’s body is not used to being asked. It just knows that that person will stuff lots of food into their stomach and only once there is absolutely no more room, the person will stop, while a skinny person’s body is used to being asked all the time and likes to answer before even hearing the question.

How to work out at the gym

skinny girl working out

What to bring: 16 fl.oz. (1/2 liter) of water, a small towel for wiping sweat and an MP3 player if you get bored easily.

Your body loses water every time you sweat. To keep yourself refreshed and to avoid dehydration, you need to keep sipping fluids, in small amounts, as you exercise. Your bottle should be empty by the end of your workout.

How to start. Start your every workout with 15-20 minutes of warming up. The best way to do that is using a treadmill, elliptical trainer, training bike, stair climber or a jump rope. At the end of the warm up, your body should feel warm and starting to sweat. This is how you get into the calorie-burning mode. Calories start burning only after 20 minutes of any workout. When muscles are warm, they get more flexible and prepared for hard work. It’s important to warm up, so you don’t hurt yourself lifting weights or stretching later.

How to work out. If you want to get a cut and toned body, the best exercises to do would be those that don’t require any machinery and where you can use nothing but your own body weight for resistance, like push ups, pull ups, squats, lunges, crunches, etc.

1. When you use machinery, you should also do every exercise very slowly. That way muscles will get the maximum workout. Never use inertia. If you feel that it’s too hard to do it slowly, that means you need to use smaller weights. It’s better to use fewer weights and do more reps, than go fast and heavy. The perfect weight for you is the one that you can do about 15-17 reps with at a time. People, who use weights they can barely lift, end up getting bulky and round, which a lot of times just makes them look fat.

2. Every time after completing an exercise, you need to take a 40-90 second break. That way you will bring your heart rate to normal and gather strength for your next challenge. It is very important not to lie on the floor or sit in one place during your break. When you were doing your exercise, your heart was beating really fast and imagine what would happen if all of a sudden you completely stop what you were doing and your heart had no more pressure to beat fast. Doing this long term might cause serious heart and general health problems or even a heart attack. That’s why you need to gradually bring your heart rate to normal. Walk around the gym. Go from one end to another or just do a circle. If you feel too tired to walk, at least get up and stand in one place while deeply breathing. Don’t wait too long between exercises. If you wait for 5-10 minutes, your body would cool down and your heart would completely relax, making it harder to get back to work again.

How to end a workout. After completing your workout, take 5-10 minutes to bring your body to its default mode. Since your muscles are warm, this is the perfect time for stretching. Start the stretching from your feet and legs, gradually going up to your back, arms and neck. If you don’t have enough time or/and patience for this, at least stretch the muscle groups you were just working on. Stretching will help you relax and your muscles will be less sore the next day.

Don’t drink calories

A lot of people trying to lose weight only concentrate on the calories they are getting from food, while completely ignoring all beverages. Just because it’s liquid, it doesn’t mean it won’t count.

People have the wrong perception that fruit juice is healthy. It is quite the opposite. Sometimes there’s more sugar in a glass of juice than in a candy bar. If you’re trying to get that extra dose of vitamins, then just eat the fruit. Eating an apple or an orange will be much more nutritious and filling than any drink.

Sodas are another issue. If you can’t give them up, then try to find a diet version of your favorite flavor. It will save you hundreds of calories daily. Replace Coke with Diet Coke, Sprite with Sprite Zero, Fanta with Diet Sunkist etc.

The best drink of them all is ofcourse water. You should drink as much water as you can. ½ gallon (2 liters) every day would be perfect. Without drinking enough water you can’t lose weight. If you just hate the plain taste, try adding something to it. Squeeze in a lemon or some other fruit that you like. I even recommend to carry a bottle around with you, wherever you go and take a sip once in a while throughout the day. That will get you “hooked” fast. You don’t even have to keep dragging home those 12 packs of little bottles from the store all the time. Get a Brita filter for your home and some bottles for refills to take with you, so you could enjoy fresh clean water at any time.

Don’t underestimate protein shakes

    I have three male friends: Eddy, Jay and Dale, who have been drinking protein shakes but are getting very different results. Eddy works out at the gym at least 5 days a week. He also plays basketball pretty often. At the gym this guy likes to do everything from cardio to lifting heavy weights and he really enjoys it. Eddy drinks protein shakes before every workout. He also takes food seriously. Every time I come by his house and say “Hey, Eddy what’s cooking?”, his answer is usually “Chicken breast with veggies and rice.” He could eat the same dish for days, along with other foods high in protein. That’s why he’s very well built, body toned and cut. Since he takes protein shakes, that gives him extra muscle mass. In football terms I would compare him to a wide receiver. Keep up the good work Eddy!

  My friend Jay would be more like an offensive lineman. He’s very big and muscular, but has more body mass than he would like. He drinks protein shakes before every workout and also in the morning with his breakfast. He doesn’t have a strict diet, but tries to exclude any kind of fat from his meals not really paying attention to other important aspects. Jay goes to the gym almost every day. He doesn’t do any cardio, but spends his time around a lot of weights, which he can barely lift. Because of the combination of overdose of protein shakes, no cardio and lifting too heavy weights, he can never get his body to be cut. Jay grows in mass, but keeps looking a bit like a blown up balloon.

  Dale is a whole different story. He’s a good old American boy who can’t resist eating burgers and pizza while playing beer pong with his buddies. Since I’ve compared the other two guys’ physiques to football players, I guess this one would be the coach. If Dale could “talk that food talk”, he would go into a restaurant and just say “Carb me, baby!” Even though he loves bread, this guy really wants to lose weight and build some muscle. That’s why he started running on the beach and taking protein shakes. He might go to the gym once in a while, but that doesn’t happen on a regular day basis. Dale thinks the protein shakes that body builders use are some kind of magical supplements, which burn body fat and instantly turn it to muscle. What he doesn’t know is that if you drink the shakes without working out a whole lot, they might turn you into a big flabby monster like Jabba the Hutt.

  Now I’m not talking about those diet shakes like “Slim Fast” which you are suppose to take with or instead of your meals. I’m talking about the protein shakes that athletes use to build muscle mass. Protein to a muscle is like a brick to a house. That’s what it’s made of and that’s the only way to build it. Now if you just throw a bunch of bricks into a pile, there won’t be any house, but the bricks won’t go anywhere. They will still be uselessly taking up your lot space. Just like protein without working out will pile on your body as a big layer of fat.