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The 3 Worst & Most Common Weight Loss Tips That Everyone Believes

The 3 Worst & Most Common Weight Loss Tips That Everyone Believes

You’ve heard it. I’ve heard it. Everyone’s heard it. In fact, it has been so common for so long that most people’s understanding of weight loss now looks something like this: Calories In – Calories Out = Body Fat. Sounds good, right? I mean, it’s simple and it makes sense.

But then how do you explain your skinny friend that eats everything in sight and doesn’t gain a pound. I bet she even complains about it.

Skinny Friend Meme

    Myth #1: Eat Less to Lose Weight

    And how come every time you diet and lose a little weight, you gain it all back?

    Well, when we peak behind the curtain of the “eat less to lose weight” advice we find that it’s based on several false assumptions.

    False Assumption #1: Calories in & calories out are independent.

    The basic idea here is that you burn the same amount of calories no matter how many calories you eat.

    The normal amount of calories you burn is called your basal metabolic rate. It varies greatly and is affected by many factors such as exercise, non-exercise activity, oxygen consumption, and external temperature. The greatest factor affecting your metabolic rate, however, is the food you eat. You burn more calories when you eat more, and less when you eat less. This is known as the thermic (or thermogenic) effect of food.

    The Truth: Eat less to lose weight doesn’t work because your metabolism adapts to the food you eat.

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    Why? Because of Homeostasis, the defining characteristic of the human body. It is your ability to adapt to change. Your body makes adjustments to externalities in order to minimize effects and to return to its original state.

    That’s why most dieting efforts usually look something like this: you start eating less and begin to lose weight. Woohoo! But then over time the weight begins to creep back up. Or you just quit the diet because, let’s be honest, dieting is no fun.

    And for good reason. When you eat less your body adapts by slowing your metabolism, and then by releasing hormones that signal hunger. So you are burning less calories and are hungrier.

    Your body automatically resists weight loss because it wants to stay the same.

    False Assumption #2: A calorie is a calorie.

    This assumption stems from the first one, because if weight loss is all about calories then it doesn’t matter what type of calories you eat. Let’s take a deeper look at this.

    We don’t need science to figure this out if we just think about it for a minute.

    Butterfingers are hands down my favorite candy bar. I also love almonds; specifically Blue Diamond Wasabi & Soy Sauce Almonds.

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    Now you tell me, is it in any way reasonable to think that eating 1,000 calories of butterfingers (which is only 2 king sized bars) will have the same hormonal and physiological effect as eating 1,000 calories of almonds?

    Balanced Diet GIF

      The answer is no. Butterfingers ≠ almonds when it comes to your health. Different foods affect your body differently.

      The Truth: Eat less to lose weight doesn’t work because what you eat matters more than how much you eat.

      Myth #2: Exercise More to Lose Weight

      Since the 1980s, physical activity in North America has significantly increased, yet the obesity rate has risen even more sharply – indicating that exercise does not prevent weight gain. Let me say that again, as a society, we exercise more and are fatter than ever. Hmm.

      Exercise GIF

        There’s tons of research supporting this.

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        So, why? Well, it goes back to your metabolic rate. Exercise accounts for an insignificant portion of the total energy (calories) you burn in a day. The total amount of energy you expend (calories you burn) each day depends on multiple variables and the largest percentage is accounted for by basic tasks such as digesting food, breathing, pumping your heart, and maintaining body temperature – NOT exercise.

        The Truth: Diet, not exercise, does most of the work in weight loss.

        Quick note, it has also been proven that increased exercise leads to increased caloric intake. When you exercise you get hungrier and you eat more. Not that you shouldn’t exercise, you should. Exercise is important. It’s just not equally important. Diet matters more.

        Myth #3: It’s your fault that you aren’t losing weight

        We now know that you won’t permanently lose weight by eating less, nor will you lose weight by exercising more.

        Most leading weight loss theories are based on these assumptions, which is why they are failing in mass proportions. But instead of looking for reasons why the theories are failing, most “experts” prefer to blame you for failing the theory.

        At some point, you have probably believed that it’s your fault you can’t lose weight. You are too lazy. You aren’t actually exercising as much as you say you are. You don’t have enough self-discipline to stick to your diet. Or you are secretly snacking between meals.

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          These accusations effectively make you a liar. They make you feel guilty and shameful for failing, as if your inability to lose weight is completely your fault.

          It’s not your fault that you struggle to lose weight and keep it off. It is the theory’s fault. We need a better theory.

          How Weight Loss Actually Works

          Two important factors. What you eat & when you eat.

          What To & Not To Eat

          • Definitely not sugar. I know, I hate it tool. But sugar is uniquely fattening and contributes no nutritional qualities. Food manufacturers are sneaky, so read labels. Here are a few ways sugar is disguised: high-fructose corn syrup, sucrose, glucose, fructose, maltose, dextrose, molasses, hydrolyzed starch, any other type of syrup. If you see it, don’t eat it.
          • Your Drinks Are Killing You, Softly. Sweetened drinks gotta go too, which is most: soda, juices, shakes, anything with added sugar. What should you drink? Water. But if you need some flavor (ahem, caffeine) in your life, then drink coffee & tea.
          • Stop Eating Refined Carbohydrates. Cereal is not good for you, despite what the heart healthy labels would have you believe (no, not even cheerios). A good rule of thumb is to avoid all processed foods. That includes bread, bagels, cookies, cake, donuts, biscuits, tortillas, muffins, crackers, pasta, and noodles. You can still eat carbs, just eat the good kind. Carbohydrates are found in veggies like tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, brussels, zucchini, avocados, cucumbers, asparagus, spinach, etc.
          • If You Need Dessert, Then Do Dessert Right. Eat fresh fruit, or a bowl of berries. Top it with whipped cream (full fat). This will allow some sugar in your diet but the fiber and substance of the fruit will keep you from overindulging and acts as a buffer against spiking your blood sugar. Have some dark chocolate, preferably that is over 70% cocoa – it’s good for you. Just remember that I said SOME.
          • Eat More Fat. This may seem weird or counterintuitive because it is completely contradictory to everything you have been told about nutrition your whole life. Fats can actually be protective because when eaten in conjunction with other foods they keep your blood sugar low

          There are good fats and bad fats, so be sure to get the right ones.

          • Natural oils: olive oil, coconut oil, anything of the like. No vegetable oil.
          • Real Butter, not margarine.
          • Nuts: almonds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, etc.
          • Peanuts don’t count, they are actually legumes.
          • Full-fat dairy: whole milk, cream, full fat cheese, and avocados.
          • Low-fat dairy is heavily processed, unnatural and high in carbohydrates.

          When to Eat

          • At Meal Time. Very funny, but really. Set three meals per day and don’t snack in between! Eating between makes it hard for your body to clear the sugar from your blood. Besides, most snacks are highly refined foods like bars, cookies, muffins, or anything else that comes wrapped in plastic.
          • Consider Fasting. You have nothing to fear from fasting. You already fast every day! From the time you finish dinner until your first meal the next day you are fasting. Here are a few simple ways to start.
          1. Skip Breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – to skip! Wait to eat your first meal at lunch time. This is known as intermittent fasting and is a very common practice. Not only does it give your body more time with low insulin levels and blood sugar, you will also avoid unhealthy breakfast foods like bars, cereals, muffins, biscuits, etc.
          2. Fast 1 Day per week. Pick one day per week and don’t eat anything for the whole day. Just drink water. Coffee and tea are acceptable too as long as you don’t add cream or sugar.
          3. Try a Fasting Mimicking Diet. Last year a study was performed at USC to see if the effects of fasting could be replicated with extreme calorie restriction. The answer is yes. The reason this is awesome because it is all the benefits of fasting without the burden of it, because you get some (very little, but some) food.

          With a little patience and the right understanding, permanent weight loss is a completely realistic goal. Go get it.

          Featured photo credit: By Anh Phan via Unsplash via unsplash.com

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          How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

          How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

          Keeping yourself awake at work can be a real challenge when you’re bored, exhausted or sleep-deprived.

          But before you reach for that can of Red Bull, bottle of Mountain Dew, or pot of coffee, try these healthy remedies to stimulate your 5 different senses and help you stay awake at work:

          Sight – Visual Stimulation

          The first thing you do when you wake up is opening your eyes, so your visual stimulation is very important to keeping your energy level high.

          1. Maximize your exposure to light.

          Your body’s internal rhythm is regulated by the amount of light you receive. The greater your exposure, the more alert you will feel.

          Open the shades and let in the sunlight. Step outside or look out the window. Turn on all the artificial lights in your office or around your work space.

          2. Exercise your eyes (or give them a break).

          Roll your eyes up and down, side to side and diagonally. Rotate them clockwise and then counterclockwise. Squeeze them shut and then open them wide. Do this several times.

          Reading and sitting in front of a computer screen for long periods can lead to eye fatigue.

          Take regular breaks with deliberate blinking and looking out into the distance.

          3. Take note of your environment.

          Learn to enjoy people-watching. Observe their activities, speech, body language and interactions with others. Notice the details of building, trees and other objects around you, including their color, shape and size.

          By doing this, you’re not only relaxing your eye muscles but also calming your mind.

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          Hearing – Auditory Stimulation

          What you hear or listen to have direct effect on your brain. This is why we feel so annoyed and sometimes angry when we hear construction noise when we’re working.

          4. Engage in conversation.

          Talk to a friend or colleague. Trade funny stories. Discuss your business venture, a creative idea, the latest political scandal, or any other topic that interests you.

          Practice mindful listening to what you and the other person are saying. Tune into the tone, volume and content of the conversation.

          Learn how to practice better listening from this guide:

          Why Listen to Reply Instead of Understand Is the Key to Failure

          5. Listen to upbeat music.

          Try hip hop, rock or jazz to keep you alert. Instrumental, non-distracting music works best.

          Sing, whistle, and hum along if you can. Plug in the earphones if you must.

          Smell – Olfactory Stimulation

          If you’re feeling sleepy and suddenly smell the coffee, you’ll probably feel more energetic. This is why smell is an influential stimulation.

          6. Work your nose.

          Aroma therapists recommend essential oils of peppermint (to boost energy), rosemary (to build awareness), eucalyptus (to increase oxygen), cedarwood  (to activate your mind), and cinnamon (to improve your reaction time).

          If you don’t have essential oils on hand, you can use lotions or burning candles that provide the same scents.

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          Citrus like lemons, limes, grapefruits and oranges are also natural olfactory stimulants. Get a whiff of these citrus scents to stay awake.

          Taste – Gustatory Stimulation

          If you want an energetic day at work, you can’t let your tongue feeling plain and flavorless.

          7. Have a good breakfast.

          Start off with the most important meal of the day.

          Think fresh, light and healthy: bran cereals, wholegrain breads, fruits, and yogurt.

          Nix the heavy stuff like sausages, greasy eggs or pancakes.

          Need some breakfasts inspirations? Check out these ideas:

          20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time

          8. Drink lots of water.

          Keep a glass or bottle of H2O near you and sip from it throughout the day. Dehydration can leave you feeling tired, sluggish and sleepy.

          So make sure you drink enough water throughout the day. Not sure how much to drink? This can help you:

          How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day (and How Much Is Too Much for You)

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          Think that you’ve been drinking too little water? Try these friendly reminders:

          3 Best Apps To Help You Drink Much More Water

          9. Eat energy-boosting snacks.

          Nuts and fruits (like bananas, apples and strawberries) are sure bets. Pairings with staying power include baby carrots with a low-fat cream cheese dip; celery sticks with peanut butter; red peppers with hummus; and plain yogurt with granola.

          Avoid carb-filled, sugary snacks that make you crash and leave you feeling tired.

          Here you can find some healthy snack ideas:

          25 Healthy Snack Recipes To Make Your Workday More Productive

          Touch – Tactile Stimulation

          Last but not least, your sense of touch will make you physically feel more energetic and less stressful.

          10. Splash cold water on your face.

          Do this in the morning, during bathroom breaks and in the afternoon. Being exposed to cold water pushes your body to adjust and regulate its internal temperature, which in turn keeps you alert.

          This works the same as you take a cold shower to increase mood and alertness. Take a look at this article to learn more about it:

          5 Surprising Benefits of Cold Showers

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          11. Use acupressure.

          Apply pressure to, massage, or tap on the stimulation points of your body. These include the top of your head, the back of your neck, the back of your hand (between the thumb and index finger), just below the knee and your earlobes.

          Watch this video to learn about the acupressure points you can try:

          12. Get moving.

          Move away from your chair and stand, walk, run or climb the stairs. Feel the earth under your feet. Stretch and twist. Do jumping jacks, lunges, push-ups and back bends.

          And if you need to move more discreetly, wiggle your feet, bounce your knee up and down, scrunch your toes, or cross your legs.

          You can also try some simple stretches and exercises at your desk:

          Unlike addictive caffeine fixes, these remedies activate your senses, engage your attention, amp up your energy and prevent morning grogginess and afternoon slumps without the side effects or health risks.

          Pick a few ways from this list of suggestions and practice them consistently. And when you do this consistently, you’ll soon see the positive results — a more energetic and productive you at work.

          Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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