Having run a fitness boot camp in San Jose for nearly a decade, I hear countless fast weight loss myths and lies. Unfortunately many clients have fallen victim to misconceptions about what will help them take the weight off healthfully and permanently.
Here are three top fast weight loss myths… and the real skinny behind them:
Weight Loss Myth #1: To lose weight, you must do MORE cardiovascular exercise.
While it’s true that we have to move more in order to change the shape of our bodes, more cardio is not the primary key to fast weight loss. In actuality, it comprises only part of the solution. Before starting boot camp, my clients typically have exercised at a moderate, “steady state” pace like on a treadmill or walking around a local track. They sustain a moderate and consistent pace and go for a long time. For example, they are able to talk comfortably with a friend. This kind of workout increases heart rate and the calories that you are burning, but both of these things return to normal once the workout ends. A moderate cardio work out doesn’t task the metabolism much, letting it go back to resting once an exercise session is complete.
If you’re trying to create a new metabolism — one that burns calories during and after a workout — interval training is your best bet. Interval training combines periods of hard intensity with periods of recovery. It’s caloric benefit outlasts the workout, creating a chemical reaction in your body that burns calories long after the workout is over (we call this “afterburn”). Research has shown that in addition to burning more calories during and after a workout, interval training seems to make us better at burning fat for fuel during those other, more moderate cardio workouts.
Weight Loss Myth #2: To lose weight, you need to diet.
While it’s true you may need to reduce caloric intake (eat less), my clients actually have better results by changing what they eat. A “diet mentality” is temporary. A diet is something you go “off” and “on.” By returning to previous unhealthy habits, long-term weight loss or maintenance isn’t realistic. Deprivation isn’t a sustainable lifestyle. Anyone can diet and lose weight, but to keep it off requires a different mindset.
By focusing on more nutrient dense foods, you’ll concentrate on foods you can eat (as opposed to focusing all the time on what you can’t eat!). Eating small meals more frequently, especially featuring proteins and a little healthy fat, you’ll find that you stay satisfied longer. Combining a healthy eating approach with an exercise regimen, those unwanted pounds can melt off and stay off.
Weight Loss Myth #3: Weight Loss can be found in a bottle.
Billions of dollars are spent each year on supplements, medication, and magical shakes in the hope of fast weight loss. Many promise “take this product and lose weight effortlessly.” The truth is that many of these products can be very dangerous, especially for those with high blood pressure, as they use stimulants to artificially raise metabolism.
That said, there is one supplement I do recommend that my clients add to their diets: fish oil. Research indicates that Omega 3 fatty acids may help turn on fat burning enzymes in our body, thereby allowing us to release stored fat for use as fuel. Fish oil has so many positive attributes that it’s one of the few supplements I recommend my clients take because of the multitude of health benefits is provides.
In general, though, no pill or shake is going to do the work for you. Long term fat loss can’t come from a bottle. It comes from ramping up your metabolism through proper eating, increasing muscle mass with strength training, and ramping up your cardio workout intensity with interval training.
These are just three of the fast weight loss myths I get asked about a lot. I’m sure there are other myths out there!
What other fast weight loss myths have you heard about?
Post your comments below and let’s bust another myth!
Committed to your success,
Treadmill photo courtesy of S.L.Y.: http://www.flickr.com/photos/66535891@N00/
Carrot photo courtesy of Malia: http://www.flickr.com/photos/malias/
Scale photo courtesy of 05com: http://www.flickr.com/photos/o5com/