As a personal trainer and nutritionist, and being in the industry for 10 years, I’ve pretty much heard it all when it comes to weight loss myths. So many of my clients and customers wonder why they can’t lose weight. It kills me because I know that most of the time their trouble can be traced back to one of six myths.
I really just want to put these myths to bed once and for all. No more lies or misinformation. So here are the top six weight loss myths that are keeping you from finding weight loss success.
1. You Can Spot Reduce Problem Areas
This has to be one of the oldest myths out there, and yet I hear this one all the time! Spot reducing is just not possible. Doing more crunches won’t shrink your tummy, doing more squats won’t slim your thighs, doing more pushups won’t trim your arms.
The only way to lose weight in your problem areas is to lose weight overall. As you lose weight it will slowly come off in even the toughest of areas. You just have to be patient with the process and your body.
You can, however, spot tone and spot strengthen. Strengthening specific muscles or muscle groups is a lot different than trying to remove fat from problem areas. If you want to achieve stronger abs, legs, or arms you can focus your exercises on these areas. Once you start burning more fat and shedding pounds, your hard work will start to shine through.
2. Eating Five Small Meals a Day is Good for Your Metabolism
The jury is still out on whether or not eating many small meals a day boosts your metabolism. More and more recent evidence suggests that it doesn’t have any effect on your metabolism! But that doesn’t mean eating five small meals a day can’t help you lose weight.
In fact I eat five to six meals every day. In the IdealPlan I recommend eating five meals a day to help you maximize your weight loss. So to be clear, eating five small meals a day is a good thing. But the reason it’s so effective isn’t because it boosts your metabolism. Instead it’s because it helps you stay full and in control of your hunger allowing you to cut calories and lose weight that way.
Just because you’re eating all day doesn’t mean that keeps your metabolism running at peak capacity. If you want to boost your metabolism for a few hours, exercise is the way to go. Working out creates an after-burn effect that will have your body burning extra calories long after you finished your sweat sesh.
What eating five meals a day does do is help you to continue feeling full and energized throughout the day. In my experience hunger is the number one killer of weight loss (more on this later). When you only eat two or three BIG meals each day you’re likely to get pretty darn hungry in between. That will either lead to bad snacking habits or overeating during your meals. By spreading your meals throughout the day, you avoid this reaction and are able to stay in control of your nutrition and calories.
Another big bonus is you’re constantly refueling the tank. Low-energy often leads people to drink sugary sodas, fattening coffee drinks, or high-cal energy drinks. Or maybe you reach for a candy bar for that extra shot of sugary energy. Either way, trying to boost your energy with these things only lead to energy crashes, which lead to more unhealthy snack choices and eventually weight gain. By keeping your energy high and your blood sugar steady, you are once again able to avoid these diet ruining pit falls.
So even though eating five meals a day won’t keep your metabolism’s pedal to the metal (sadly a myth) it’s still a great strategy when done right. Just don’t go eating five burgers a day thinking you’re doing it for your metabolism.
3. You Can “Out Exercise” a Bad Diet
I can’t count how many times I’ve heard someone tell me that they’re going to start exercising so that they don’t have to diet. The goal is to burn off those extra calories and then some. It seems like a great idea. You can have your cake and eat it too. You get to keep eating whatever you want and yet still lose weight because you’re busting your butt in the gym.
Unfortunately, this isn’t really how it works. You would have to exercise for HOURS everyday to lose weight while still overeating. It’s just not realistic. From my experience, healthy weight loss is about 80 percent nutrition and 20 percent exercise.
So while exercise is important to maintain your metabolism and build lean, calorie-burning muscle, exercise alone won’t do it. But make sure you don’t cut your calories too low though because that would also be bad. I don’t recommend dropping your calories below 1200. Anything less than that is unhealthy and could kill your metabolism even if you’re working out.
If you’re ready to lose weight safe and effectively, check out our free 15 day weight loss challenge to jumpstart your results. It’s a fitness and nutrition program that’s designed to help you lose weight. You’ll balance your workouts and nutrition and actually see real results.
4. There Are “Bad” Foods
“Protein makes you bulky.”
“Carbs are the enemy.”
“Fat makes you fat.”
If all of these were true then there would be nothing left to eat! It’s true that if you eat too much of any one food group, your health and weight are likely to suffer. But when eaten as part of a balanced diet, all three of these elements are completely necessary.
Protein supports lean, calorie-burning muscle. Carbs fuel your activity. And fat is packed with energy, plus it helps you feel full. In my personal experience with weight loss and when working with clients, a balance of 40/30/30 is the most effective for weight loss: 40 percent of your calories should come from carbs, 30 percent from protein, and 30 percent from fat.
If that sounds a little complicated, I have a simple solution. IdealShake meal replacement shake is designed and balanced with the right nutrition to maximize your weight loss. It works and, the nutrition work has been done for you, and they’re super easy to prepare!
Take it from Sarah who lost over 100 pounds with IdealShake and she’s a professional cake maker! She learned to balance her food choices and control cravings with IdealShape products. Take a look at her inspirational story below!
5. You’ll Lose Weight Just By Eating Clean
Eating clean is a great habit. It typically means you’re eating a lot of fresh fruits and veggies, lean proteins, complex carbs, and healthy fats. These are all great things. The problem with this myth is the idea that eating as much healthy food as you want will still result in weight loss.
You can still overeat healthy foods. Too much chicken, brown rice, and olive oil will prevent you from losing weight. Calories are still calories even when they come from healthy foods.
You can gain or lose weight eating healthy or unhealthy foods. Just ask John Cisna. He lost 56 pounds eating ONLY food from McDonalds. He proved that you can lose weight just by controlling your calories. But healthy and effective weight loss is about more than just counting calories.
Cut your calories and keep your hunger in check with delicious diet shakes from IdealShape. It’s low in calories but tastes so good you won’t believe you’re on your way to your ideal shape. Plus with a combination of protein, fiber, and the proven hunger-blocker Slendesta®, you can feel full for up to three hours.
6. You Have to Feel Hungry to Lose Weight
I know that a lot of people dread starting a new diet because they KNOW that they’re going to feel hungry all the time. If that’s the case, you’re doing it wrong. Weight loss isn’t about feeling hungry all the time. In fact, feeling constantly hungry will most likely lead to your diet failing.
That’s one reason no one has ever found long term success doing one of those starvation crash-diets. Feeling overly-hungry leads to overeating and snacking. No matter how hard you try to resist, in the end, hunger always wins.
I know you know what I’m talking about. I’ve been there myself.
When I wanted to lose the baby weight and finally reach my ideal shape, I tried and failed multiple times. I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I thought I was doing everything right. But the diets I was choosing left me hungry and desperate for food. So I would end up snacking all day, never feeling satisfied and adding hundreds of extra calories to my diet.
Hunger isn’t a sign of success when trying to lose weight. It’s not even the necessary evil that most people think it is.
Hunger is actually the thing that’s keeping you from finding weight loss success!
Let me tell you, there are tools out there that will help you cut calories, enjoy delicious food and feel full all at the same time. The primary tool to do that is IdealShake.
Putting Weight Loss Myths to Bed
There are a lot weight loss myths out there. These are just the big six that I see the most often. They’re also ones that do the most damage. Holding onto these weight loss myths will only keep you running in circles.
When you’re ready to give up on these myths and find a weight loss tool that really works, join my amazing friend, Trainer Kami’s free 15 day IdealShape for life challenge. You can cut through the myths and get straight to immediate, effective weight loss!
P.S. Have you fallen for one of these weight loss myths? Do you have a weight loss myth to add to the list? Let me know in the comments below!