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Top 10 Biggest Weight-Loss Myths for Women

Top 10 Biggest Weight-Loss Myths for Women

Losing weight is a hard thing to do at the best of times, and there are so many diets and different rules out there for us ladies that it is hard to know what is fact and what is a myth. Here are the 10 most common weight-loss myths for women out there right now and how to avoid them.

1. “Eating less will help you lose weight.”

This is not true! Well not exactly — of course it is a good idea to eat less, but eat less of fatty and foods that are bad for you and are full of empty calories, like chocolate (sadly) and other treats. But you still need to eat a normal amount of food so that your body will have energy and be able to do what it needs to do. Skipping breakfast is a big no-no.

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You need to eat first thing to kick-start your metabolism. Waiting to eat until later in the day may mean that you will be overly hungry and eat too much.

2. “Long cardio sessions are best for weight loss.”

You may think that spending hours on the treadmill will help you to lose lots of weight and burn that fat. Sadly, this is not the case. Variety is key when it comes to working out, and there is no escaping this, I am afraid!

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Make sure to mix it up and do cardio, weight training, yoga, pilates, and the lot — you need to keep your body guessing!

3. “Cut out all treats and alcohol to lose weight.”

Look, by doing this, you are just setting yourself up for a fall. Think about it: if you go cold turkey and cut everything out, you will last a week, maybe two, and then gorge yourself, ruining all that hard work.

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The key is moderation: have one day a week where you can indulge yourself a little bit, that will make the other six days easier to deal with.

4. “Cleanse your body to get rid of toxins.”

Sounds great in theory, but really detoxing just mimics what your body does already. Your body already has the tools to detoxify itself. The liver, kidneys, and the colon are all involved in processing nutrients and removing excess waste. Any weight loss experienced by detoxing is short lived as you will most likely be reducing your calorie intake, which will return to normal once detox is over.

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Forget about quick fixes; cut out things like sugar and salt in the long-term, and you will notice a subtle change over time.

5. “Carbs are evil.”

Carbohydrates are an essential part of a healthy diet. If you eat them in the right quantities and without throwing lots of fats substances on top of them, like butter on your potatoes, they will not cause you to gain weight.

The Fix

Switch to whole grain and wholemeal carbs instead: stuff like brown rice and wholemeal bread. Also, if you leave the skin on potatoes, you will increase your intake of fiber.

6. “Low fat labels are always the best choice.”

I know, scary right? Foods labelled low-fat might contain less fat than the full-fat version, but sometimes only marginally. Also, they may contain more sugar to compensate on the taste.

The Fix

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Read all the labels carefully before buying anything. A bit annoying at the start, but once you get used to what is good and what is not, you will feel safe buying certain foods.

7. “Going to the gym on an empty stomach burns more fat.”

Crazy talk. Some people think if you go to the gym and have not eaten, the body will use more fat stores for energy as you have none from food. Not so: the body will more likely lose weight from your muscles, which is not a good thing. Also remember if you go to the gym tired and hungry, you won’t be able to give your all and really work out.

The Fix

Eat something light just before you go, so you are not weighed down by food but have some energy for the workout. Something like a protein shake is a great idea. You have made it there; it’s best to be prepared to give it your best shot!

8. “You need to cut down on calories for weight loss.”

Even though it may seem like a great idea to slash your calorie intake to lose weight, what it does in reality is cause metabolic problems which in turn will make it harder for you to lose weight and easier for you to put it on. The body will compensate for the lack of calories and slow down your metabolism and ability to burn fat quickly. You may also suffer from fatigue and headaches.

The Fix

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You can drop your calorie intake by about 300 per day and not suffer any complications. The best thing to do is to keep a food diary and keep track of what you are eating every day.

9. “Some foods will magically speed up your metabolism.”

Wouldn’t it be great! But no, this is not true. It is claimed that there are certain foods that will burn more calories and cause rapid weight loss. But in truth, they probably contain more caffeine and sugar which will cause you metabolic problems instead of solutions.

The Fix

Watch what you eat and avoid any quick fix fads; if it claims to help you to lose weight fast, chances are it won’t actually work and will cause you more damage that good. Keep at it. You will see results eventually.

10. “Single-food diets work.”

Celebrities — where would we be without them. Of course, if you only eat white foods, you will lose weight — no, no you won’t. There are so many fad diets out there right now. The best way to eat is to combine all different kinds of foods and food groups. This helps your digestive system to work properly and do what it needs to do and rid your body of excess waste.

The Fix

Trust your body and stop listening to fads or diet trends. Your body is perfectly capable of breaking down all types of foods, and plus, if you follow a single food diet, you are more likely to get bored and eat some treats!

Featured photo credit: from the film via sev.h-cdn.co

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Emma Carty

Art Director and Fashion Blogger

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

1. Exercise

It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

2. Drink in Moderation

I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

4. Watch Less Television

A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

5. Eat Less Red Meat

Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

6. Don’t Smoke

This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

7. Socialize

Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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9. Be Optimistic

Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

10. Own a Pet

Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

11. Drink Coffee

Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

12. Eat Less

Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

13. Meditate

Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

15. Laugh Often

Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

17. Cook Your Own Food

When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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18. Eat Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

19. Floss

Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

21. Have Sex

Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

More Health Tips

Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

Reference

[1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
[2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
[3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
[4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
[5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
[6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
[7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
[8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
[9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
[10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
[11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
[12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
[15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
[16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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