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No More Myths! These 3 Common Weight Loss Tips Won’t Work

No More Myths! These 3 Common Weight Loss Tips Won’t Work

Have you tried every weight loss tip in the book, only to find that you failed to reach your target weight? What might feel a personal failure is actually more likely the result of following tips that simply don’t work.

There are many myths in the world of weight loss, and it can be challenging to separate fact from fiction. We’re going to give you details on three of the most common weight loss myths, including exactly why they won’t work. Never waste your time on nonsense diets or unscientific fads again.

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Truth #1 Diets that focus on changing one key element don’t work.

Plans that encourage you to cut one specific food or food group out of your diet aren’t the best way to lose weight. The key to reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is much more complex than simply avoiding one ‘bad’ food. Diets that promote this attitude often fail, as you’re forced to needlessly give up foods you enjoy, making the plan hard to stick to. A good diet plan is sustainable, and won’t ask you to sacrifice everything you like eating. There’s nothing wrong with the odd dessert or chocolate bar, and knowing that you’re able to enjoy an occasional treat makes you much more likely to stick to a diet long term.

Some diets that focus on cutting out a particular food group, like carbohydrates, can actually do more harm than good. You might miss out on healthy sources of energy, like wholewheat pasta or sweet potatoes. You might also find yourself opting for unhealthy options, simply to avoid the food group that’s been deemed ‘bad’ by your diet plan. Any diet that discourages eating in a balanced way is bound to have negative effects in the long term. These could be unwanted health consequences, failure to lose weight, or a lack of motivation to stick with the diet.

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Truth #2 You can’t undo a bad diet with exercise alone.

Ever been for a run and then followed it up with a calorific treat? That’s fine once in a while, but it’s important to realize that exercise can’t replace a healthy diet. Depending on the amount of calories you consume daily, it can be almost impossible to maintain a healthy weight simply by exercising, even if you visit the gym every day. The amount of calories burned during exercise is often overestimated, so you could get caught even if you think you’re tracking everything closely. While exercise is a really important part of staying fit and healthy, it needs to be combined with the right diet for the best results. Working together with a dietician and personal trainer can help you to navigate the complicated world of weight loss without focusing too much on one area.

Truth #3 Eating too few calories won’t lead to sustainable weight loss.

Monitoring your intake of calories and aiming to reduce it can be a helpful weight loss technique, but only up to a certain point. Restricting calories to an extreme level might seem like the fastest way to lose the pounds, but that’s actually not the case. When you dramatically reduce the amount of calories you consume, your body can panic. You might lose plenty of weight at first, but your body will soon start to go into ‘survival mode’, where it hangs on to as many calories as possible. This would be helpful if you were living in a famine situation, but it’s not what you want when trying to lose weight. After the initial dramatic weight loss, you’ll quickly start losing much less, or stop losing altogether. This can be really disheartening, and it’s not a sustainable way to reach a healthy weight. Focus instead on eating a reasonable and consistent number of calories each day.

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Avoid being sucked in by weight loss myths, and focus on losing weight in a way that’s healthy and easier to sustain in the long term. Your body will thank you for it.

Featured photo credit: Henrique Félix via unsplash.com

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Eloise Best

Eloise is an everyday health expert and runs My Vegan Supermarket, a vegan blog and database of supermarket products.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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