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The 4 Biggest Fat Loss Myths Around Today

The 4 Biggest Fat Loss Myths Around Today

Chances are, if you’ve tried to lose weight before, you’ve heard these myths. Maybe it was from your family physician using an outdated nutrition textbook, or the fitness guru with a six-pack from your local gym. It might have even been an uninformed personal trainer.The following myths have been around since the beginning of commercial fitness.

The so-called benefits of these myths have been passed off as universally agreed upon truths for generations, but recent research exposes these “truths” as the fallacies they really are.

Cardio Is The Best Fat Loss Strategy

For some reason, a large majority of people believe that cardio–such as long distance running, biking, or even walking on the treadmill–is the key to fat loss.

Low intensity long duration cardio might help you lose weight, but a significant amount of that weight will be muscle. And the less muscle you have on your body, the more fat your body will store.

The reason for this is because of something called your Basal Metabolic Rate (or BMR), which is the number of calories your body burns at rest to support your lean muscle mass. As the amount of lean muscle on your body increases, so does your BMR.

In addition to losing lean muscle, your hormones will be virtually unaffected by low intensity long duration cardio. This means that the calorie burning will stop shortly after you step off the treadmill.

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A better alternative to low intensity cardio is High Intensity Interval Training (or HIIT for short). HIIT is a method of cardio during which you alternate periods of intense work (like sprinting), with periods of rest. Training like this burns more calories, keeps your metabolism elevated for longer,  and is much more time efficient.

One study showed that HIIT was 9 times more effective at burning fat when compared to long distance cardio. The reason for this was EPOC–Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption [1]

Put simply, EPOC means your body will continue burning calories up to 48 hours after your workout.

Don’t Eat After 6PM

Living in a world where you can’t eat at night means you can’t enjoy food with your friend and family. This restrictive myth is another reason why so many people are turned off when they hear the word “dieting”.

The fact is that eating too many calories causes weight gain regardless of when you eat them.

To quote the world-renowned nutritionist, Alan Aragon, “Your body doesn’t store fat more readily during the evening than any other point during the day”.

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A recent study by Italian Researches compared eating earlier in the day (10am) to eating later in the day (6pm). In the study there was no difference in weight loss between the two groups, but fat burning was higher in people who ate their meals after 6pm.

Another study by Israeli researchers proved this theory when they compared people who ate carbs in the morning, and those who ate them at night. The nighttime carb eaters burned more fat and experienced less hunger during the day.

The reason for this is Growth Hormone  (or GH for short).

GH is a powerful hormone that controls how much fat your body burns, and how much muscle it builds. Your GH peaks at night while you sleep, and shuts off the moment you have your first meal of the day.

A nice way to naturally boost the production of GH in your body is to push your breakfast back a few hours and enjoy most of your calories in the evening.

Breakfast Is The Most Important Meal Of The Day

Let me begin by stating that there’s nothing wrong with eating breakfast; it’s just not this powerful weight-loss solution that it’s promoted as.

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The moment you eat your first meal of the day, your body creates an expectation for calories. When you start those expectations first thing in the morning, you’re creating a huge feeding window for your body; the amount of hours you’re eating during the day.

The more calories you consume, the more calories your body will expect. In other words, the less you eat, the less hungry you feel.

In addition to the expectation of added calories caused by breakfast, eating first thing in the morning slows down production of the hormones that control how much fat you store, and how much lean muscle you build.

As you’ve learned, your body’s production of Growth Hormone peaks at night while you sleep, and slows down the moment you eat your first meal of the day.

Tomorrow, instead of eating first thing in the morning, drink some water or coffee and push your first meal back a few hours. You’re well on your way to creating a better environment for fat loss in your body. You wont feel hungry. I promise.

This new theory on breakfast is why Intermittent Fasting is the most widely discussed diet concept on the Internet right now.

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Eating Every 2-3 Hours Will Speed Up Your Metabolism

The theory behind this one is that eating more often increases your metabolic rate, which is true. But that does not necessarily promote fat loss.

There are 0 studies out there that prove this popular theory, but plenty that prove it wrong.

French Researchers found that “there is no evidence of improved weight loss” when eating more frequently.  Participants were told to eat 2,000 calories per day. There was no difference in fat loss between those who ate four 500 calorie meals, and those that ate two 1,000 calorie feasts.

Another recent study coming out of Canada compared people who ate three meals per day with those who ate six meals per day. There was no difference in weight loss. The only difference was that the people who ate three meals per day consumed less calories, reported feeling more satisfied, and felt less hungry.

Eating every 2-3 hours is how you develop unrealistic eating habits, carry Tupperware everywhere, and stress out when life happens and you miss a meal.

It’s just another myth that’s turning you off to the idea of a fit lifestyle.

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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