Losing weight successfully and keeping it off requires 3 areas of consideration. Weight-training, cardiovascular exercise and complete, mini-meals with whole, unprocessed foods every 3 hours. Unfortunately, there are many beliefs and partial truths and somehow they end up as the end-all truth only to disappoint many. We have all fallen for one myth or another over the years so read on for clarification and good health. The weight loss will come.
Myth #1: You can't eat anything after 6 pm.
As a Nutritionist, this myth has driven me crazy over the years because many people do not get home until after 6 pm and to ask them to not eat anything the rest of the evening is not feasible and downright cruel. It is WHAT you eat after 6 pm that can get you in trouble and cause more weight gain.
The important thing to remember is to eat complete, mini-meals every 3 hours throughout the day utilizing whole foods, fresh fruits and vegetables with good quality protein which will stabilize blood sugar levels
Fitness Myth #2 - You have to be sore the next day after a workout.
You have heard the old adage "No pain - no gain" however the muscle soreness you might feel the next day is from tiny muscle tears that will heal on their own with a little rest and good quality protein. If you are sore longer than 2 days, you probably overdid it and depending on how much damage was done, it might take 4-6 weeks to heal.
Myth #3: Abdominal crunches will get rid of belly fat.
Unfortunately, belly fat is brought on by a lack of weight-bearing exercise and cardio plus unhealthy, processed food and drink. The sculpted abs you see on people in those ab crunch ads on television did not get that way from simply doing crunches all day. They eat whole-foods every 3 hours and lift weights on a regular basis. The body burns fat from all over, just the abdominal area. Also, if you deal with chronic stress, the stress hormone Cortisol is released more often which unfortunately ends up in the lower abdominal area. Find ways to de-stress. This doesn't mean give up doing crunches because they will make you stronger and help tone that area giving you a slimmer waistline.
Myth #4: A short 10-minute workout will not make a difference in my weight loss goals.
You don't have to spend hours in the gym to reach your weight loss goals. A short workout of 10 minutes even twice a day can be just as effective as a non-stop 30 minute workout but it is important to keep the intensity high to rev up your metabolism and heart rate. You can do a variety of exercises that are intense like push-ups, jumping jacks and the plank.
Myth #5: If I exercise - I can eat what I want.
Yes - exercise does burn calories, but not enough to make up for eating french fries every day. Weight loss requires burning more calories than you take in. It's just easier (not to mention smarter) to control what you take in. The good news is regular workouts help balance an occasional high-calorie splurge.
Myth #6: Lifting weights will give me large muscles.
Lifting weights is one of the fastest ways to see weight loss results because muscle is an active tissue and for every pound of muscle you have, you will burn approximately 50 calories more per day. So if you put on 6 pounds of muscle, you will burn 300 more calories per day just sitting here reading this article. Plus it is one of the best ways to prevent osteoporosis and stay strong.
Fitness Myth #7: It is best to exercise in the late afternoon.
Any time of day is the best time to exercise based on your schedule and lifestyle. Some people do well getting up super early before they start getting distracted with family and work obligations. Others can't fathom the idea of getting out of bed at 5 am and exercising. Choose a time of day when you have the most energy and schedule your workout.
Fitness Myth #8: I must judge my weight loss progress by the scale.
Forget the scale. Go by how you look, feel and how your clothes are fitting. As you lift weights and put on lean muscle, the results will not always show up on the scale. It is not an accurate measurement of your health and weight loss efforts
Sherry L. Granader is a Sports Nutritionist, National Speaker and Spokesperson, Author of 2 healthy cookbooks, Writer, Ghost Writer, Nationally Certified Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer. She has shared the stage with such celebrities as Whoopi Goldberg, Suze Orman and the late Governor Ann Richards and served as the On-Air Nutritionist for QVC television in the United States and the UK. She has cooked for her favorite bodybuilder, Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk) and his family, shared her nutrition expertise with Chuck Norris on the set of his movie "Sidekicks" and appeared on 8-time Mr. Olympia, Lee Haney's Championship Workouts on ESPN. Sherry hosted her own "Healthy Living" show on PBS for several years. For more information on Sherry, visit www.sgfit.com or write to Sherry at firstname.lastname@example.org.