Hey Angels and Alphas,
Losing weight is the biggest (or rather most common) reason people start exercising. For this reason, misconceptions about how to work out to lose weight are prevalent. Weight-loss methods and strategies look like the most confusing aspect of health and fitness, and it’s not surprising, considering the amount of misinformation circulating the internet and social media.
That’s why today, we’re going to look at 5 weight loss myths that are absolutely outdated and should never be trusted – along with what it actually takes to see results.
MYTH #1 – YOU CAN LOSE WEIGHT WITH EXERCISE ALONE.
Exercise has countless health benefits, and that’s why it’s a worthy pursuit for those looking to lose weight and look better. But some people tend to think they can lose weight by starting a new workout routine without incorporating any other changes, for example to their diet.
But this simply isn’t the case.
The truth is, you have to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight, and exercise alone can’t get you there if you’re consuming more calories than you’re expending. In other words, you have to take in less energy than you expend. And sure, exercise can help you flip that balance, but it’s definitely not the most effective way to do so.
Think of it like this:
Exercising for 1 hour every day, 7 days a week, amounts to 5 percent of the total time in that given week. Do you think you can lose weight consistently if you’re not focusing on the other 95 percent?
But you’re in luck – there are many more strategies you can try. If you perform more non-exercise activities throughout the day, this can also be super effective, especially at the beginning of your weight loss journey. This includes walking, fidgeting, generally moving throughout the day, even standing on your feet. Nutrition plays a major role, too, but for the sake of simplicity, we’ll stick to the movement.
MYTH #2 – THE SORER YOU ARE AFTER A WORKOUT, THE BETTER.
Many people are quick to conclude that if they don’t feel sore after a training session, they haven’t made any improvements or have simply wasted their time. In other words, people follow that “no pain, no gain” mentality and end up going nowhere with it. This stems from the misconception that muscle soreness means you’ve essentially burned fat, which is not the case.
The reality is, whether or not you feel sore after your training session is directly linked to the muscle adaptations that come from challenging yourself in new ways. When you try a new exercise or you try to boost the resistance you use in any given exercise, you’re likely to feel sore after it.
As your body adapts to your new routine, you will find that you will get sore less and less often. This is a tell-tale sign that your muscles can handle more work, however, it does not mean that you are not getting the benefits of your training sessions. We know that one of the best ways to get stronger is to increase the difficulty of your workouts over time, but this doesn’t mean you will be sore every time you push yourself to a new challenge or new height. If you are sore all the time, this can make working out less appealing, throwing you off your balance and your planned schedule.
MYTH #3 – IF YOU INDULGE IN FOOD, YOU CAN “MAKE UP” FOR IT WITH A WORKOUT.
Have you ever been tempted to “work off” any big meal you consume? You’re not alone.
But, according to experts, this strategy is not only counterproductive but also unhelpful to your mindset. A typical 1-hour workout burns about 300-400-500 calories, and we all know how easy it is to consume 500 calories extra in one small indulgence. But it’s exhausting to constantly try to offset your big meals with grueling exercise.
Instead, what you should be doing is enjoying your indulgences instead of feeling so guilty about them that you feel like you need to “work them off.” It simply won’t work.
MYTH #4 – THE MORE YOU TRAIN, THE MORE WEIGHT YOU LOSE.
More exercise is not always the right choice when we’re talking about weight loss.
Your body needs time to rest and recover, and if you’re constantly breaking down your muscles, you are never going to give them the time they need to repair. As your muscles are revitalizing and repairing, they’re growing stronger, and more muscle mass is being stacked on your body, resulting in more calories burned daily.
But too much exercise will always lead to overtraining, making weight loss extremely hard. When our bodies feel stress, they produce a hormone called cortisol, also known as the hormone responsible for your fight-or-flight response. This is, for the most part, pretty great. But if you’re trying to outrun and outlift yourself every time you’re in the gym, your body responds by producing excess cortisol.
This causes you to eat more, sleep less, and shrink your efforts to lose weight. That’s why, instead, you should be incorporating 1-2 rest days every week to give your body a chance to adequately recover.