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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 July 23, 2019

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

In the journey of growth, there are times when we grow and excel. We are endlessly driven and hyped up, motivated to get our goals.

Then there are times when we stagnate. We feel uninspired and unmotivated. We keep procrastinating on our plans. More often than not, we get out of a rut, only to get back into another one.

How do you know if you are stagnating? Here are some tell-tale signs:

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  • If you have been experiencing chronic procrastination on your goals
  • If you don’t ever feel like doing anything
  • If you keep turning to sleep, eating, games, mindless activities and entertainment for comfort
  • If you know you should be doing something, but yet you keep avoiding it
  • If you have not achieved anything new or significant now relative to 1 month, 2 months or 3 months ago
  • If you have a deep sense of feeling that you are living under your potential

When we face stagnation in life, it’s a sign of deeper issues. Stagnation, just like procrastination, is a symptom of a problem. It’s easy to beat ourselves over it, but this approach is not going to help. Here, I will share 5 steps to help you move out of this stagnation. They won’t magically transform your life in 1 night (such changes are never permanent because the foundations are not built), but they will help you get the momentum going and help you get back on track.

1. Realize You’re Not Alone

Everyone stagnates at some point or another. You are not alone in this and more importantly, it’s normal. In fact, it’s amazing how many of my clients actually face the same predicament, even though all of them come from different walks of life, are of different ages, and have never crossed paths. Realizing you are not alone in this will make it much easier to deal with this period. By trying to “fight it”, you’re only fighting yourself. Accept this situation, acknowledge it, and tell yourself it’s okay. That way, you can then focus on the constructive steps that will really help you.

2. Find What Inspires You

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Stagnation comes because there isn’t anything that excites you enough to take action. If you don’t have a habit of setting goals, and instead just leave yourself to daily mundanes, it’s not surprising you are experiencing stagnation. What do you want to do if there are no limitations? If you can have whatever you want, what will it be? The answers to these questions will provide the fuel that will drive you forward.

On the other hand, even if you are an experienced goal setter, there are times when the goals you set in the past lose their appeal now. It’s normal and it happens to me too. Sometimes we lose touch with our goals, since we are in a different emotional state compared to when we first set them. Sometimes our priorities change and we no longer want to work on those goals anymore. However, we don’t consciously realize this, and what happens is we procrastinate on our goals until it compounds into a serious problem. If that’s the case for you, it’s time to relook into your goals. There’s no point in pursuing goals that no longer inspire you. Trash away your old goals (or just put them aside) and ask yourself what you really want now. Then go for them.

3. Give Yourself a Break

When’s the last time you took a real break for yourself? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year? Never? Perhaps it’s time to take a time-out. Prolonged working can cause someone to become disillusioned as they lose sight of who they are and what they want.

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Go take some extended leave from work. A few days at bare minimum; a few weeks or months will be great. Some of my ex-colleagues have quit their jobs and took months out to do some self-reflection. Of course, some of us might not have that luxury, so we can stick to a few weeks of leave. Go on a trip elsewhere and get away from your work and your life. Use this chance to get a renewed perspective of life. Think about your life purpose, what you want and what you want to create for your life in the future. These are big questions that require deep thinking over them. It’s not about finding the answers at one go, but about taking the first step to finding the answers.

4. Shake up Your Routines

Being in the same environment, doing the same things over and over again and meeting the same people can make us stagnant. This is especially if the people you spend the most time with are stagnant themselves.

Change things around. Start with simple things, like taking a different route to work and eating something different for breakfast. Have your lunch with different colleagues, colleagues you never talked much with. Work in a different cubicle if your work has free and easy seating. Do something different than your usual for weekday evenings and weekends. Cultivate different habits, like exercising every day, listening to a new series of podcasts every morning to work, reading a book, etc (here’s 6 Proven Ways To Make New Habits Stick). The different contexts will give you different stimulus, which will trigger off different thoughts and actions in you.

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When I’m in a state of stagnancy, I’ll get a sense of what’s making me stagnate. Sometimes it’s the environment I’m in, sometimes it’s the people I’ve been hanging out with, sometimes it’s my lifestyle. Most of the times it’s a combination of all these. Changing them up helps to stir myself out of the stagnant mode.

5. Start with a Small Step

Stagnation also comes from being frozen in fear. Maybe you do want this certain goal, but you aren’t taking action. Are you overwhelmed by the amount of work needed? Are you afraid you will make mistakes? Is the perfectionist in you taking over and paralyzing you?

Let go of the belief that it has to be perfect. Such a belief is a bane, not a boon. It’s precisely from being open to mistakes and errors that you move forward. Break down what’s before you into very very small steps, then take those small steps, a little step at a time. I had a client who had been stagnating for a long period because he was afraid of failing. He didn’t want to make another move where he would make a mistake. However, not wanting to make a mistake has led him to do absolutely nothing for 2-3 years. On the other hand, by doing just something, you would already be making progress, whether it’s a mistake or not. Even if you make a supposed “mistake”,  you get feedback to do things differently in the next step. That’s something you would never have known if you never made a move.

More to Help You Stay Motivated

Here are some resources that will help you break out of your current phase:

Featured photo credit: Anubhav Saxena via unsplash.com

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