By Myprotein Writer Jack Grant
Surely one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is the one where we promise ourselves we are going to start a new diet, stick with it and drop a whole heap of fat.
Well if that was your goal for 2015 and things aren’t quite going to plan it could be that you’ve fallen foul of one or more weight loss myths.
These little nuggets of supposed wisdom somehow end up ingrained in the minds of dieters everywhere, despite the fact that they are often misleading or totally devoid of all truth!
Allow me to explain exactly what I mean as I present (in no particular order) my top 10 weight loss myths…
10. Bananas make you fat
We’ve all seen this one in the form of annoying little pop-ups that sometimes plague our personal computers. The idea that bananas make you fat is quite silly and very misleading.
Your good old banana is, in fact, a very healthy snack option that is high in antioxidants and a great form of fibre.
They are also rich in vitamins and provide a nice healthy dose of the super mineral potassium.
The banana myth probably stems from the fact that they are fairly high in natural sugars and could therefore contribute to weight gain if eaten in large quantities and not burnt off through activity.
Try one as a pre workout snack or slice one into your breakfast cereal and you will find them to be a healthy source of energy.
As long as you don’t eat them by the bunch, bananas will not make you fat.
9. Skipping breakfast results in weight gain
Let’s get one thing straight… it isn’t the act of skipping breakfast that can cause weight gain, it’s the notion that when you do eventually break your fast at lunch time you will be extra hungry and therefore more inclined to over eat.
In my experience, skipping breakfast or “fasting” until lunchtime can in fact be a good way to lose weight.
I practice intermittent fasting and by missing out on breakfast my body has no option but to burn fat as fuel during the first half of the day.
You must simply exercise some restraint at the later meal times and be careful not to over indulge.
8. Egg yolks will make you fat
It’s true that egg yolks are high in fat but they are also packed with protein.
I hear horror stories of people throwing them out altogether and only ever taking on board the white of the egg.
Moderation is the key. If you are making a 4-egg omelette keep at least 2 of the yolks in there. They are not the root of all dieting evil that some would have you believe.
7. HIIT training is best for fat loss
High intensity interval training (or HIIT) is currently being hailed as greatest form of cardio exercise for fat loss – yet despite all the studies and research I have found through my own experimentation that it’s not the best for me.
In 2012 I spent several months performing HIIT workouts both on the road and at the gym in an attempt to shift stubborn fat in my lower abdomen but it wasn’t until I went back to steady jogging that I actually got results.
We are all different and for me raising my heart rate and then maintaining it over a period of time through jogging or power walking is the best way to burn fat.
6. Diets don’t work – you will put all the weight back on
How many times have you noticed that a friend or work colleague has suddenly lost a heap of weight and, glowing with health and pride, is busy telling everyone about the “new” diet they’re on and how they now go to the gym 3 times a week?
And how many times have you seen that same person 6 to 12 months later looking exactly the same as they did before the miracle weight loss occurred?
At this point folk will tell you that this if evidence that dieting doesn’t work and that you will always regain the weight you initially lose and if anything end up heavier than when you started.
It is simply a case of the new slimmer and more confident individual gradually slipping back into their old eating habits. Once a target weight has been reached the dieter develops a mind set of “I’ve been so good it won’t hurt to have a little bowl of ice cream”.
And at that point they are right, it wouldn’t hurt to have a bowl of ice cream… but that attitude soon takes hold. Without realising it, that person is convincing themselves all day and every day that one burger or one bag of chips or one bottle of beer won’t hurt either, after all they have been so good.
If, after losing a substantial amount of fat through diet and exercise, you simply go back to eating the way you did before, then of course the weight will return…..
Make eating clean most of the time and taking regular exercise a lifestyle change and the fat will stay off…I promise!
5. Eating late at night makes you fat
It’s not about what time you eat, it’s about what you eat.
It’s never a good idea to eat a heavy meal right before bed, if only from a comfort point of view, but a healthy snack late at night will not make you fat; if anything it will both help you sleep better and prevent binging in the morning. I know I can’t sleep if my stomach is rumbling!
Protein-rich, low carbohydrate foods will be the best type of choices for a late night snack; try:
– Cottage cheese
– Egg white omelettes
– Protein shakes
4. The magic pill
Sadly there are still people out there that will throw their money away on diet pills in the belief that weight loss will one day come in a bottle and be as easy as taking 2 capsules 3 times a day.
Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of great supplements that can assist with weight loss, green tea extract, CLA and thermogenic fat burners can all give you an edge, but there really isn’t a wonder pill that will turn you into a super model without a change in diet and exercise.
3. Fat spot reduction
Do you remember a decade or so ago when all the girls would attend the “Tums and bums” class at the gym? The implication being that the workouts performed in such classes would help with fat loss from the belly and bottom.
I’m sorry to have to tell everyone this – but it is impossible for an individual to target fat loss and choose, through performing certain exercises or eating certain foods, where the fat comes from.
All you fella’s performing hundreds of sit ups every day in the hope that the fat around your abdominals will melt away… are far off track.
When you diet and exercise your body decides where the fat loss comes from and in what order regardless of how you train or what you eat – keep consistent and even your most frustrating fat spots will eventually disappear!
2. Peanut butter and nuts are great for weight loss
Thumb through any health or fitness magazine and I’ll guarantee you will find a weight loss diet in there including whole-wheat toast and a nice big dollop of peanut butter.
Nothing wrong with that but the problem is that nuts are so often touted as a superfood great for dieters that some folk are over doing it.
Nuts are a healthy, protein packed snack but beware they are also very high in fat.
Eat too many and you may just pile on more weight than what you wanted to lose!
1. I’m big boned
And the number one spot goes to my all time favourite…
The desperate dieter who claims they simply cannot lose weight because it’s a genetic thing/they have a slow metabolism/they have big bones.
If you put more calories into your body than you burn off you will gain a higher body fat percentage.
Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet and taking part in some regular exercise will guarantee you lose body fat.
It really is that simple.
Tip: try sticking to it for 2 weeks – your body will get used to it after that duration and it should become more of a lifestyle!