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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.

The Fix

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!

The Fix

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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.

The Fix

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.

The Fix

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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 August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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