This guest post was written by Michael Volkin, inventor of Weight Loss Stack 52, the most unique and fun way to lose weight.
Are you tangled in a web of weight loss fads and endless amounts of contradicting information on the web? Hopefully you haven’t fallen victim to one of these fad diets, wasting money and time in the hope of losing a few pounds, only to regain the weight afterwards. I know; it’s frustrating, and millions of people share your pain.
Fad diets are so popular because they promise quick fixes to an extremely frustrating problem, but in this post I’ll explain several myths that may be hindering your progress. By exposing these myths, you’ll be able to stop wasting your time and money, and invest in a long-term plan that will help you lose weight and, most importantly, keep it off.
Myth #1: Losing Weight Requires Hunger Pains
The fact is that what you eat is more important than how much you eat. If you don’t eat enough, your metabolism will slow down, making your body want to store fat. As a result, your initial weight loss will come from water and muscle, instead of fat.
You should try to make healthy food choices and save those foods (and beverages) that are high in fat, sugar and calories for special occasions. Yes, you can have those unhealthy foods from time to time; in fact, it’s encouraged. Without a cheat meal or snack every now and then, you will get frustrated and lose sight of your goal. Please note though, that I said a cheat meal and not a cheat day. I see too many people doing entire cheat days, which involve a calorie intake that is just too much for your body to handle on a weight-loss plan. Cheat days will actually cause you to gain weight because you will consume three times the normal calories you would have otherwise.
If cheat meals are a part of your diet plan, remember that a cheat meal is not about how much you can eat, but about eating something you enjoy. So pick something sweet (if that’s what you enjoy), eat it slowly, and enjoy it. Don’t go overboard.
Myth #2: The Less Fat You Eat, The Better
This is a very old and popular myth, but in fact your fat intake should be at least 15% of your overall daily calorie intake. Fat is needed in any diet to lubricate your joints, keeps your skin smooth and elastic, provide a source of energy, help your nervous system function properly, and much more. Olive, flaxseed and fish oils are good sources of fats, while fats to avoid include saturated and hydrogenated fats (also known as trans fats).
There are two main types of ‘bad’ fat: saturated fat and trans fat. Both these types of fat are typically referred to as solid fats because they are solid at room temperature. Typical examples include beef and pork fat, butter, and margarine.
There are several main types of ‘good’ fat: monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat and omega-3 fatty acids. These fats are typically liquid at room temperature. Typical examples include olive, peanut, corn and fish oils, and ground flaxseed, walnuts and sunflower seeds.
Myth #3: Carbs Should be Avoided At All Costs
You’ve almost certainly heard it said that carbohydrates are bad for you and should be avoided. This myth has been trending lately as fad diets such as the Atkins Diet (and its copycats) have become more and more popular. The truth is, however, that carbohydrates have only moderate amount of calories (about half as many as fat). Simple carbohydrates (such as sugar) should be limited, but complex carbohydrates such as wholegrain and starchy foods are high in nutrients. However, the problem with carbohydrates is often portion control. Too many people eat at restaurants that serve huge portion sizes, and eat five times the appropriate serving of carbs. The best way to control your carb portions is to cook for yourself.
Myth #4: Meat is the Only Way To Get Enough Protein
Meat is a great source of protein, but it is certainly not the only source. Meat can also be high in fat and sodium, so many people may want to look for alternative sources of protein. Egg whites are an excellent source of protein, as are various vegetables and legumes such as peas, spinach, Brussels sprouts and broccoli. When trying to reduce your caloric intake, you may want to start a ‘Meatless Monday’ tradition, where every Monday you only cook meals that are meat-free.
Myth #5: You Must Exercise For Thirty Consecutive Minutes for a Good Workout
Adults should engage in a regimen that involves working out for at least thirty minutes a day, four days a week. Research has shown, however, that the activity does not need to be done all at once. The thirty minute routine can be split into two fifteen minute training sessions and provide the same health benefits. And no, you don’t need a gym to get a good workout, so leave your excuses at the door! With just your two arms and two legs you can do hundreds of different bodyweight exercises, mixing and matching any way you like for a complete full-body workout.
Myth #6: Vegetarians and Vegans Have Healthier Diets Than Carnivores
On average, vegetarians eat fewer calories and less fat than carnivores (non-vegetarians). However, vegetarians can still make food choices that contribute to weight gain by eating large amounts of high-fat, high-calorie foods, and foods with little nutritional value. Vegetarianism is not synonymous with good health.
The best way to be sure you are eating a well-balanced, nutrient-rich diet is to eat more whole foods, eat less pre-packaged processed food, and avoid eating out as much as possible. Eat out for an occasional treat, but if you prepare most of your meals yourself you will be on your way to living a healthier, leaner lifestyle.
Well, there you have it; six weight loss myths. And guess what? There are many more. The internet is a tangled web of weight loss misinformation, so beware!
Michael Volkin is the inventor of Weight Loss Stack 52, the most fun and unique way to lose weight. With your new found knowledge of weight loss, grab yourself a deck of his new invention: Weight Loss Stack 52 weight loss cards.