Losing weight is not exactly the easiest thing in the world to do. And it certainly doesn’t help that heaps of misinformation find their way into brains each and every single day. We have all heard of at least a few of the weight loss “fads” that are out there. This TV diet. That cleanse. Hours and hours on the treadmill every single day. Sure, weight may come off temporarily, but more often than not, the weight comes right back on within a matter of weeks! What a constant battle.
Listen, I wish that I had some magical potion or quick advice that would help you to lose weight without needing to put in a lot of effort. Man, wouldn’t that be nice? Unfortunately, I have no such advice, but I can help clear up some of the misinformation that’s out there. Read through the following myths, and never succumb to them again.
Bullshit Tip Number 1: Lifting Heavy is Not Conducive to Fat Loss
I see this one a lot amongst women. Weightlifting has long had a history of misconceptions around its relationship to fat loss. For this reason, I see too many girls walking on treadmills as they simultaneously curl two-pound dumbbells for thousands of repetitions (as I sit there with my trademark WTF expression across my face).
“But Shomo, I’ll get huge! I don’t want to be huge!”. LOL. Listen, I wish that the second you picked up a heavy weight, you’d get huge. I would look like freaking Arnold Schwarzenegger by this point. Alas, I do not. You will not randomly wake up one morning to discover that you have put on 50 pounds of lean muscle overnight!
This myth has been debunked time and time again, and the benefits of heavy resistance training have been accepted over the past few years. It can improve your mood. It can improve your posture. And it can help you burn fat (and let’s not forget… build lean muscle!).
So be sure to train with heavy weight for at least some of the time that you are in the gym. Not only will heavy weight training create a greater calorie expenditure for up to 24 hours post-workout, but it will also help you to build more lean muscle. More lean muscle on your frame enables your body to burn more calories when you are simply resting!
Bullshit Tip Number 2: You HAVE to Work Out While You’re Starving to Burn Fat
Once again… WTF. Ok let’s level set here… I will say that there are pros and cons to training fasted (some of the pros are listed in one of my previous blogposts). But there is no reason that you HAVE to work out while you are hungry in order to burn fat.
The way I see it, if you have not eaten, your body will have low levels of glucose and insulin, which means that it will resort to using fat stores to supply you with energy. This theory sounds great, but when you start to lose weight, it will be hard for you to discern whether you are losing weight from burning fat or from losing muscle. You do not want to lose lean muscle! Without proper nutrition, it is difficult for your body to recover from the protein breakdown that occurs during training (as there are no available amino acids for muscle protein synthesis).
Also, I personally tend to be cranky when I’m hungry and cannot train with as much intensity due to lack of energy. So, suffice it to say, I do not prefer to train while fasted. If you are like me and need a quick fix before a workout, try putting down a quick whey protein shake. Whey protein is great because it is easy to digest, quickly absorbed, and helps to limit insulin spikes (which helps to make sure that fats are still being utilized during your workout).
DISCLAIMER: I am by no means saying that you cannot train fasted and that there are no benefits to doing so. Some folks are actually stronger and can train more intensely when they are fasted. I just do not happen to be one of those folks.
Bullshit Tip Number 3: Use Cleanses to Detox and Burn Fat
This one has popped up pretty recently. I’m sure you’ve heard of all of these miracle cleanses that can supposedly help you to lose weight and flush out toxins. But these cleanses simply just mirror the natural detoxing systems that your body already has in place! Organs such as the liver, the kidney, and the colon are all in place to help process nutrients and remove excessive waste.
Most weight loss that is caused as a result of following detoxes is attributable to a massive reduction in caloric intake. Wow, ground breaking. Yeah, if you stop eating food, you will lose weight. Is this what you want to do? Probably not, especially since it is a short term fix and not a long term solution. Additionally, dramatic dietary changes can cause you to lose muscle mass, feel tired, experience deficiencies in important micronutrients, and even experience degrees of organ damage. Yikes!
You might lose some weight while on a cleanse, but I’ll go ahead and bet that once you resume your normal, day-to-day life, that weight will fly right back on.
So, what to do? Stop thinking short term. There are many long-term lifestyle habits that will help you to realize progress. Get good sleep. Hydrate. Limit your refined sugar intake. Sure, some of these changes may seem like they are really basic and minute, but over periods of time, the benefits will compound and you will begin to notice that you are losing more weight, building more muscle, getting stronger, and helping your body to be as healthy as it can be.
Well there you go. Three myths debunked! I hope that these thoughts have been helpful for you. Have any questions? Feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time, bang bang!