Advertising
Advertising

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

Advertising

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

Advertising

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

Advertising

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

Advertising

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

More by this author

Emma Carty

Art Director and Fashion Blogger

Eat The Only Carb That Won’t Make You Gain Weight 9 Habits Successful People Keep To Stay Healthier Than The Rest Top 10 Biggest Weight-Loss Myths for Women

Trending in Fitness

1 7 Killer Upper Back Stretches to Reduce Pain and Boost Endurance 2 How Practicing Morning Yoga Transforms Your Life (+10 Beginners’ Poses) 3 The Most Effective Weight Loss Workout Plan to Jumpstart Your New Diet 4 How Long Does it Take to Build Muscle and Increase Fat Loss? 5 15 Static Stretching Exercises to Totally Enhance Your Workout Routine

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on October 16, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

Why you can’t sleep through the night

The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

Advertising

Stress

If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

Exposure to blue light before sleep time

We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

Eating close to bedtime

Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

Advertising

Medical conditions

In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

The vicious sleep cycle

The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

You get a bad night’s sleep
–> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
–> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
–> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

    You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

    Advertising

    How to sleep better (throughout the night)

    To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

    1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

    What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

    Here are a few suggestions:

    • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
    • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
    • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
    • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
    • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

    2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

    What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

    • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
    • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
    • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
    • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

    3. Adjust your sleep temperature

    Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

    Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

    Advertising

    Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

    Sleep better form now on

    Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

    I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

    As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

    Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

    Reference

    Read Next