Here are 4 of the most common fitness cunundrums and the truths behind them.
Restricting calories and doing more cardio is the best way to lose weight.
Truth: It is true that you'll lose weight following this advice. However it will bite you in the butt in the end. Here's why: When you restrict calories your body reacts by slowing your metabolism down. When you resume eating what you normally ate before you started restricting calories, you'll gain that weight back. Performing loads of cardio will help you to lose weight quick but doing too much results in a loss of muscle mass, which also causes a slower metabolism. The combination leaves you with a recipe for disaster. Not to mention you're likely robbing yourself of essential nutrients for your health. Be sure to include strength training and a well-rounded diet for long-term results.
I should skip meals to lose more weight.
Truth: As with the above situation, you'll experience a similar result in a lowered metabolism. Think about this: Our ancestors were hunters and gatherers. They ate all day long. Combined with the fact that they were moving frequently, they kept a rather high metabolism. Here are the keys to this puzzle: Eat smaller, more frequent meals. This in turn keeps your blood sugar stable all day long, saves you from over-eating and keeps your energy stocked.
Eating late at night will make you gain weight.
Truth: Usually the idea here is to not eat after a certain time, most often 7 pm. Yet most people are backwards in the way they should be eating. You need an abundant supply of energy in the morning and the eating should taper off toward the evening when you are winding down and the energy requirements are not as high. In actuality it really doesn't matter what time you eat but rather what and how much you eat.
You've been eating healthy and working out, but haven't lost any weight.
Truth: There are a few reasons why the number on the scale won't budge even when you feel leaner, stronger, and healthier. These include daily weight fluctuation, water intake, hormone and sodium levels. Try a more objective method and use body fat testing or measurements instead. It is possible and very common to change your body composition (body fat percentage versus lean muscles mass) while your weight remains the same. Also judge by how you feel instead. Feeling healthier and happier? You’re doing fine!