As a gym-goer of many years and personal trainer, I see the mistakes in the gym, talk about them during consultations and am bombarded like a meteor shower by them everywhere I go.
Let's put an end to the months or years of time-wasting weight-loss fads. At least for the fortunate readers of this article!
First Weight Loss Myth: Stop trying to lose weight!
Need to get this one out of the way because all else depends on it.
I hear this mistake being talked about most often. You're trying to lose fat but keep your muscle. Your muscle is synonymous with your metabolism, so you need to keep it and ideally increase it, not lose it!
To lose fat alone is a lot harder but if you lose a lot of muscle with a lot of fat (i.e. to lose weight), be prepared to put that fat back on due to a loss in metabolism!
Second Weight Loss (fat loss) Myth: Trying to 'lose weight' from your stomach!
Your body stores fat and burns it generally, not locally.
Meaning, you can't (despite those annoying commercials) get a flatter tummy by any stomach exercise.
And anyway, it's usually your stomach that's the last place it will go from.
Sit-ups don't get fat off your tummy.
Third Weight Loss (fat loss) Myth: Zero carb approach to weight loss.
Remember, we like muscle, we need muscle.
If your body is low in carbs (or has none!) it will often resort to breaking down muscle tissue for energy.
Avoid having less than about 75g (roughly) of carbohydrates per day. If your job is physical, have more!
Fourth Weight Loss (fat loss) Myth: Trying to keep your fat content as low as possible.
While the previous rule says that we must not adopt a zero carb approach for 'weight loss', keeping our carbs fairly low is the key.
As such, our daily calorie intake will be quite low. We might think this is great but if our intake is too low, we'll lose muscle and slow our metabolism.
Fats to the rescue! Good fats can help us actually burn fat and are calorie dense. A diet high in protein and low in carbs often leaves us with a huge calorie deficit that fats can help soak up.
Good fats: Olive oil (cold pressed), oil from fish and seeds, rice bran oil, oh and nuts too!
Bad fats: Animal fats on the whole, fats from dairy, hydrogenated fats or just about anything solid at room temperature.
Get no less than 75g of good oils per day.
Fifth Weight Loss (fat loss) Myth: Go as hard as you can on the treadmill to lose weight!
Yes you will lose weight. Muscle weight!
Your body burns fat at low intensities and bodybuilders have used a low intensity approach to fat burning for decades.
Your body uses it's stored carbohydrate for energy at high intensities. When your carbs are low it will eat muscle for fuel!
Try 20 minutes of power walking before breakfast, then another 20 minutes before dinner/after your weight training session. Do this for 3 months and then look at yourself in the mirror.