As spring draws near and the days are getting longer, I know I’m itching to get back into a fitness routine to help with weight loss. As my long-time readers know, this is something I’ve battled with all my life.
I moderate an online fitness forum on an adult website that I’ve been part of since 2008-2009. I’m mainly there for the groups I moderate. The group has nearly 11500 members around the globe. But as a moderator, I often grow tired of the same old arguments.
So today, I wanted to talk a little about some common misconceptions when it comes to weight loss. Or what I like to call “myths”.
It’s Just Math
For some people, this may be true. If you’re a heavy person who has a lot of weight to lose, weight can be lost rapidly in early stages by reducing consumption of fatty or greasy foods, foods in high carbs like breads and pasta or even just by cutting out sugary drinks. But for others it’s not that easy.
A diabetic for example requires a special diet. Ketosis is often used to manage diabetes. I have one friend who aims for under 30 grams of carbs per day while others aim for 21 grams or less. For me, this was impossible to do. I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and arthritis, which can really impact or stall my weight loss progress. Factor in other things like age, injuries, chronic pain or health issues – and suddenly the equation becomes a little more difficult to solve.
For some people, it takes trial and error. I learned that intermittent fasting worked best for me as long as I got my six hours of sleep and regular exercise.
What I do suggest to new members of the group is to aim for a healthy and well rounded diet, that will leave you feeling full and satisfied. Reducing calories can help but it’s also important to make sure you’re eating enough.
To learn more about ketosis – check out my article here on the “keto diet”
Eat less, move more
For some people this rings true. But for most people, weight loss comes with a changing their daily diet. There’s a saying – “weight loss begins in the kitchen” and this is true in many ways. If your diet consists of daily sugary drinks, meals loaded with heavy carbs or fast food four nights a week – then you could lose weight simply by cutting down on the take out and pop.
Exercise has a lot of health benefits. If you struggle with joint issues or pain, cardio is crucial for joint health. Sitting for too long without stretching or moving the body can result in aches, pains or even muscle cramps. Exercise is good for the heart and has been linked to ward off some illnesses.
For me, I need to exercise daily or I get terrible leg cramps at night time. It also helps with my knees to strengthen them up. I’m not saying exercise won’t help you lose weight. What I am saying is it’s not as easy as “eat less, move more”.
For example: if a person is working out for an hour every day and only eating 900 calories daily – this is not going to be enough food to sustain your energy. It’s important to make sure that you get ENOUGH food to keep you going. I’ll write more on this in another article.
Fat weighs the same as muscle
There is still some debate in the health field on whether this is true or not. Muscle is denser than fat. A pound of muscle will take up much less room than a pound of fat.
Muscles are not only great for strength but they also help with vascular issues and keeping your blood supply healthy. So, while you may not notice a change in the scale – you may notice that your clothes are fitting better in the legs and arms. This means that you are burning off fat and gaining muscle. Don’t feel discouraged. There are many ways to measure your progress.
Check out my article here on measuring progress without a scale for more info.
All calories are equal
Now this argument goes a little beyond my knowledge. But even I know that calories are not the same – just like carbs are not all equal. Complex carbs that you find in foods like pastas, breads and pastry – are not equal to the carbs found in vegetables. A protein calorie is not the same as a fat or carb calorie.
If you were to reduce your carb and fat intake and boost up your protein intake for example this can help reduce appetite levels and squander cravings. Filling up on things like raw vegetables, hummus, apples and peanut butter, crackers and low fat cheese for example, will help you to feel full longer.
These are just a few comments that I see come up often in my fitness group. I used to think like this too. My doctors for years would tell me to “eat six times a day, small meals and get at least 1 hour of exercise.” But this advice it outdated and often doesn’t work. I can barely manage to eat three times a day let alone SIX times. That’s a lot of cooking for one person.
I’ve done a lot of research over the years to find what works for me. Due to age, hormones and other health issues, I am still struggling to find something that works for weight loss. I’ve succumbed to taking medication prescribed by my doctor to help with things like sleep and mood. I find that I’m less hungry thanks to these pills and that I crave things like water, and fruit as opposed to junk food.
You don’t need expensive supplements to help you lose weight. What I do suggest is doing some research into various lifestyle diets. What I do often preach onto my group members is this:
Losing weight is a life long battle for many people. It’s about making LIFESTYLE changes in the kitchen in your daily routine. Surrounding yourself with a good support group is crucial. Having accountability partners or joining a fitness group is a great way to stay motivated. Setting small and realistic goals to achieve your desired weight also helps.
I plan on getting back into writing about fitness tips as it’s that time of year again. People are tired of sitting at home and as winter fades and the days get longer – people are looking to drop “COVID” weight.
So, make sure to follow the blog for more related articles. I’m also working on a series of worksheets to help you with your goal setting and tracking food. I’m also trying to get back into a regular blogging schedule and will post certain topics on certain days. Stay tuned!
Enjoy the weekend! How are you staying fit will in isolation?
Fitness and Exercise
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