Weight Loss Myths Busted

NatashaBird By NatashaBird, 13th Mar 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/jpdlh-uv/
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Exercise & Fitness

With so many theories springing up about the best ways to lose weight it cn be difficult to determine which are true and which are nonsense. This article reveals some of the most commonly believed myths for what they are, using a combination of fact and simple logic.

The Myths

Myth – Strength training won’t burn fat.

Facts – Many people believe that strength training (sit-ups/press-ups/weightlifting etc) does not burn calories or fat, but rather that it just builds muscle under the fat. This however is entirely untrue. Firstly, any type of physical exertion, be it an intense cardiovascular workout or simply dusting the living room, will burn calories. Looking at it logically before we get into the technical aspect, when doing any kind of exercise such as running or cycling, we burn more calories because our muscles need the energy to support our body’s movement. During strength training muscles are being used and so will need energy, which is gained in the same way as if you were doing some cardio, by burning calories and fat.

Following on, the maintenance of muscles requires more calories, which simply means that you are constantly burning more calories, even when you’re just sitting down. This is known as a boost in your metabolism and so actually, regular strength training will help increase you weight loss.

Myth – You can concentrate fat loss on one area.

Facts – Despite the claims of several products popping up on the internet, that they can “reduce your stomach fat”, this is in fact impossible. Without the means of surgery such as liposuction you cannot target which part of your body to lose the most fat from. Our bodies naturally store more fat in some places than others, and subsequently lose it faster in certain areas as well, but it is not possible for us to direct this loss to an area(s) of our choice.

Myth – Skipping meals is a good way to lose weight fast.

Facts – Whilst skipping meals, and consequently the calories they would provide may seem like a good logical way to lose weight quickly it has side effects and consequences. Primarily, if you choose to skip breakfast then you are missing a chance to start up your metabolism early in the day, which means you’re not burning as many calories as you could and you may subsequently actually gain weight. It also leaves you hungry, which makes you more likely to give in to cravings. Tracking calories is easier when sticking to planned meals, rather than trying to calculate the sum of calories in each little snack, which by default makes it easier for you to exceed your daily calorie allowance, ultimately hindering your weight loss and even possibly causing you to gain weight.

Myth – Cutting out certain food groups – i.e. carbohydrates – is a healthy way to lose weight.

Facts – It is a well known fact that the best way to lose weight is by eating a healthy balanced diet. This cannot be achieved by cutting out one or more of the major food groups. The body needs all these foods to provide nutrients to keep it functioning properly, without which you may become ill.

Myth – Eating after a certain time can cause weight gain.

Facts – This is entirely untrue. Without going into technicalities simple logic can explain this myth away. The only part of our body which knows the time is our brain, the rest of our bodies don’t know whether it’s morning or evening, especially if we consider that not every one gets up or goes to bed at the same time. Perhaps this myth came around with the idea that since we don’t move much when asleep, we don’t burn enough energy to sufficiently burn off the meal. However, this can be easily compensated for by simply sticking to a regular exercise regime. Of course, if you are eating an actual meal late at night, then it might be said that you have already burned the equivalent energy during the course of the day.

The only real side effect of eating late is that it will kick start your metabolism which may keep you awake during the night.

Myth – BMI is an accurate indicator of health and fitness.

Facts – BMI (body mass index) is used to estimate a person’s level of body fat in relation to their height. It works by dividing their weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared. The problem with BMI is that it doesn’t take in to account muscle mass or naturally larger bone mass. This is evident in the case of my brother who, as a body builder, has a lot of muscle mass. One of the fittest people I know and his BMI shows him to be obese. Of course you don’t have to be an extremely muscular person such as this for the BMI to be inaccurate, athletes of any sort or people with any amount of extra muscle will have a higher BMI. Likewise, the BMI is likely to underestimate for older people or people with disabilities that cause muscle wastage.

In truth the best way to measure health in terms of size and weight is to measure body size, primarily the waist.

When starting up a new weight loss programme, it is important to always research the techniques and latest fads to ensure that they are medically verified and not a risk to your health. Hopefully this article has helped you and I wish you the best of luck.
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Tags

Bmi, Body Mass Index, Body Weight, Fitness, Health, Obesity, Weight Loss

Meet the author

author avatar NatashaBird
A college student studying Psychology, Sociology, Physical Education and English Literature and Language. An avid fantasy writer and reader, hoping to have a novel published someday. I generally write health or how to articles along with article rela...(more)

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Comments

author avatar Marion Licchiello
16th Aug 2011 (#)

Natasha.. I am a Personal Trainer and Fitness Counselor and this is a great article for people to read. GOOD JOB

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