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5 Misconceptions About Weight Loss, For Those Looking to Lose it Fast

5 Misconceptions About Weight Loss, For Those Looking to Lose it Fast

It’s the issue that’s weighing heavily on our national conscious – Australia is putting on weight at an alarming rate. In fact research from the 2011–12 Australian Bureau of Statistics Australian Health Survey found that two thirds of Australians are classified as overweight or obese. So it’s time to stop sugar coating, we have a problem that requires a solution. The only issue is when it comes to finding the truth in the great weight debate, sometimes there’s too much noise and not enough information.

If you’re on a mission to shed the kilos but aren’t looking to fall victim to false theories, then read on for the five biggest misconceptions about weight loss. And you may even discover some top tips to get you healthy in a hurry!

Here are five misconceptions about weight loss, for those looking to lose it fast.

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Misconception #1: The quick fix exists

Anyone who has battled the bulge is no stranger to the quick fix. We’re talking juice cleanses, miracle shakes, lemon juice detox. But do they work? Not at all, according to weight loss experts.

“These diets may make you feel lighter in the short term but it’s simply due to fluid loss,” says Pip Reed, founder of The Health Clinic.

The reality is there is no such thing as a quick fix. One increasingly common method of weight loss is surgery, but even keyhole – a popular procedure in Australia – isn’t a shortcut.

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“People think weight loss surgery is a quick fix but it requires commitment,” explains Dr James Chau, a bariatric surgeon at the Weightloss and Keyhole surgery centre. “You need to stick to an exercise and nutrition plan, weight loss doesn’t just stop after the surgery!”

Misconception #2: I go to the gym, therefore I should be thin

Exercise is often seen as the crucial element in reaching and maintaining a healthy body weight. However, with so many external factors that contribute to weight loss, if you’re failing to see results, exercise could be having the opposite effect.

“You may be putting on weight as you increase exercise intensity in a bid to lose the weight,” Pip says. “This can cause more damage, inflammation and weight gain.”

Misconception #3: The weight is gone and so too are my worries!

Once you’ve dropped the necessary kilos it’s tempting to think that the hard work is over, unfortunately, keeping weight off is harder than losing it!

“Keeping weight off is definitely harder,” says naturopath Lisa Guy. “The only true way to keep it off is if you make healthy dietary and lifestyle changes for life, not just for 2 weeks.”

Seems that most experts agree maintenance is the key.

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“Even with surgery, the maintenance is crucial,” explains Dr Chau. “The period following any substantial weight loss is when the true test begins; you have to form healthy habits.”

Misconception #4: I’m overweight, therefore unhealthy

Being overweight doesn’t necessarily equate to being unhealthy, which can be frustrating for those piling on the pounds.

“Excess weight can be a sign of a hidden factor and it’s addressing that factor that can best assist weight loss goals,” nutritionist, Chef and Author Zoe Bingley Pullin explains.

Misconception #5: Tasty foods are off the menu

Most people tend to associate weight loss with bland, tasteless meals but the two are not mutually exclusive:

“Tasty foods are off the menu – healthy does not mean tasteless and everything in moderation can be enjoyed as part of a weight loss plan,” says Zoe. And just because you’re looking to lose weight it doesn’t mean you can’t eat out with friends: “it’s possible to adapt meals by reducing portion of meat or carbs in replace of extra vegetables”.

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Last Updated on October 23, 2018

Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

My mother was a great knitter and produced some wonderful garments such as Aran sweaters which were extremely fashionable when I was young. She also knitted while my father drove, which caused great amusement. I often wondered why she did that but I think I know the answer now.

Knitting is good for your mental health, according to some research studies. The Washington Post mentions a 2013 survey of about 3,500 knitters who were asked how they felt after a knitting session. Over 80% of them said they definitely felt happier. It is not a totally female occupation as more and more men take it up to get the same benefits. Harry Styles (One Direction) enjoys knitting. So does Russell Crowe although he does it to help him with anger management!

The Neural Knitwork Project

In Australia, Neural Knitworks was started to encourage people to knit and also become aware of neuroscience and mental health issues. Knit-ins were organized but garments were not the only things created. The knitters produced handmade neurons (1,665 of them!) to make a giant brain. The 2015 project will make more neural knitted networks (neural knitworks) and they will be visible online. You can see some more examples of woolly neurons on the Neural Knitworks Facebook page.

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While people knitted, crocheted and crafted yarn, they listened to experts talking about mental health issues such as addiction, dementia, depression, and how neurons work.

The knitting and neural connection

The human brain has about 80 billion neurons. Learning new skills, social interaction, and physical activity all help to forge neural connections which keep the brain healthy and active. They are creating networks to control movement and make memories. The knitters learn that as they create the woollen neurons, their own neurons are forming new pathways in their brains. Their creations are mimicking the processes in their brains to a certain extent. At the same time, their brains are registering new and interesting information as they learn interesting facts about the brain and how it works. I love the knitworks and networks pun. What a brilliant idea!

More mental health benefits from knitting

Betsan Corkhill is a physiotherapist and has published some results of completed studies on her website, appropriately named Stitchlinks. She conducted some experiments herself and found that knitting was really helpful in reducing panic and anxiety attacks.

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“You are using up an awful lot of brain capacity to perform a coordinated series of movements. The more capacity you take up by being involved in a complex task, the less capacity you have for bad thoughts.”- Betsan Corkhill

Knitters feel happier and in a better mood

Ann Futterman-Collier, Well Being Lab at Northern Arizona University, is very interested in how textile therapy (sewing, knitting, weaving and lace-making) can play an important role in mood repair and in lifting depressive states.

She researched 60 women and divided them into three different groups to do some writing, meditating and work with textiles. She monitored their heartbeat, blood pressure and saliva production. The women in the textiles group had the best results when their mood was assessed afterwards. They were in a better mood and had managed to reduce their negative thoughts better than those in the writing and meditation groups.

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“People who were given the task to make something actually had less of an inflammatory response in the face of a ‘stressor’.” – Dr. Futterman Collier

The dopamine effect on our happiness

Our brains produce a chemical called dopamine. This helps us to feel happy, more motivated, and assists also with focus and concentration. We get a boost of dopamine after sex, food, exercise, sleep, and creative activities.

There are medications to increase dopamine but there are lots of ways we can do it naturally. Textile therapy and crafting are the easiest and cheapest. We can create something and then admire it. In addition, this allows for a little bit of praise and congratulations. Although this is likely not your goal, all these can boost our dopamine and we just feel happier and more fulfilled. These are essential in facing new challenges and coping with disappointment in life.

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“Sometimes, people come up to me when I am knitting and they say things like, “Oh, I wish I could knit, but I’m just not the kind of person who can sit and waste time like that.” How can knitting be wasting time? First, I never just knit; I knit and think, knit and listen, knit and watch. Second, you aren’t wasting time if you get a useful or beautiful object at the end of it.” – Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much.

If you thought knitting and textiles were for old ladies, think again!

Featured photo credit: DSC_0012/Mary-Frances Main via flickr.com

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