You work hard all year sticking to your exercise routine. And then, December gets here.
We all let ourselves relax during the holidays. That’s fine. Enjoy!
Now, when January comes along, you’ll need to make an extra effort. What will get you the best results? It is hard to know how to get back in shape because there is so much misinformation floating around.
We have consulted experts and put together a list of 6 weight-loss myths you need to know.
NO SWEET BEFORE NOON
When you want to lose a few pounds, first thing everybody tells you to avoid is dessert. Well, luckily for us all, the journal Steroids published a study in March 2012 that tested whether eating a low-carb breakfast during four months or a 600-calorie, high in carbs and protein, made you lose more weight. They also tested if the weight came back over a period of four months.
The results: a 600-calorie breakfast which includes dessert not only helps you lose the weight faster, but the weight does not come back!
Now, when we say dessert we don’t mean a couple of chocolate muffins filled with toffee and chocolate chips and topped with cream. My personal favorite is a chocolate, peanut butter, yogurt and banana!
Eating dessert for breakfast helps you not to crave sweets during the rest of the day. It also helps you not to overcompensate for the lack of sweets and eat it all in the evening.
ADDED FIBER KEEPS YOU FULL
Fiber presents naturally in fruits and vegetables in high doses. This makes you take longer to digest them and hold more water, so you feel full for longer. This is a great natural way to lose weight.
The food industry, however, took this and turned it into an obsession. Everything has added fiber: yogurt, bread, and even snack bars. Does added fiber have the same effect on your body as natural fiber?
According to a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, it does not.
Researchers at the University of Minnesota gave a group of people a low-fiber snack bar twice a day, and another group a snack bar with 10 grams of added fiber.
Results: the added fiber had no effect whatsoever on how full people felt and only caused bloating.
If you want fiber in your diet, eat some fruit with a yogurt without any added fiber.
CARBS LEAD TO WEIGHT GAIN
Including carbs into your active lifestyle is important. You cannot workout without them.
We all, however, tend to lower our intake of carbs when we want to lose weight. It seems, we might be shooting ourselves in the foot.
A published study (2012) showed that if you eat a low-calorie diet which is high in whole wheat, you lose more weight than if you eat a low-cal diet high in refined wheat.
This seems to be because carbs help you absorb water, so you might feel heavier, but it is only temporary. In the long run, whole grains are more filling because of the extra fiber.
Eat whole grains and combine them with vegetables, meats, nuts or even dried fruit.
CUT ALL FAT
Fat is very calorie-dense, but it is a nutrient too. The logic seems to be that if you cut fat, you will lose weight faster. Shot again.
The Journal of the American Medical Association published a study that compared three types of diet: low-fat, low-glycemic and low-carb. The low-fat diet lowered the amount of calories your body naturally burns when at rest. This means that you could be doing nothing and losing more weight if you increased your fat intake a bit. Sounds tasty.
Another common side effect of a low-fat diet is to overcompensate for taste with sugars and salt, which prevents you from losing weight and helps you retain water.
Worst of all, a low-fat diet has effects over a hormone that keeps your cholesterol and insulin levels stable.
Next time you have a salad, add some nuts, avocados, eggs or fish. It will add flavor and also help you lose weight!
ONLY USE ZERO-CALORIE SWEETENERS
We all do it. It’s an easy way to cut back on sugars. Isn’t it natural to lose weight if you ingest less sugar?
Well, yes and no. Using a zero-calorie sweetener – stevia, aspartame or sucralose – might seem like the natural healthy way to lose weight, but not for everybody.
According to the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association, there is no conclusive evidence that swapping sugar for zero-calorie sweeteners help you lose weight in the long term.
It’s all relative. If you naturally add a lot of sugar into your diet: coffee, tea or smoothies, for example. Changing to a zero-calories sweetener might help you, but only if you don’t eat other sugar-filled foods afterwards. Having a dessert because you were good and bought the zero-calorie refreshment, is going to have the opposite effect.
ADD MORE LONG RUNS
Running for longer will cause you to lose more weight. The math isn’t hard: you run for longer, you burn more calories, therefore losing more weight.
And then? Then you will feel hungrier and eat more, ending up not losing as much weight as you would have if you had simply run a bit less.
A Danish study published in 2012 showed how found just that. It recommends running for 30 minutes, rather than 60, to lose weight without craving more food.
Well, not that we have tackled these 6 myths, let’s learn to implement them into our healthy lifestyle!