Weight loss is easy. Losing fat, without a significant amount of muscle loss, is the hard part. Through this article, I will attempt to shed the light on some myths that surround fat loss and explain why the weight can easily come back on if you get lazy.
In my opinion, one of the greatest misconceptions about fat loss is that it shouldn’t be hard. You can partly blame mainstream media and actre… I mean personal trainers (like Jillian Michaels) who are constantly sending messages that fat loss can be achieved by taking a pill or spending 10 minutes with an 8 pound kettlebell.
Furthering the myth is the media portrayal of the so-called “perfect woman” who in reality look like they would blow away in the wind. Most women get caught subconsciously believing that weight loss should be a simple thing and that they should feel ashamed for their body shape. In other words, weight loss is not easy for the majority of people, especially for those who are obese.
Let’s go through some of the basic facts:
1. For most individuals, losing weight will be very hard.
It’s just a fact that you will have to accept. Think about adjusting your eating habits and keeping your protein intake adequate for activity levels.
2. If you’re trying to lose weight, you’re going to be hungry sometimes.
Hunger doesn’t mean that you are going to starve and die, it just means that you are in control of your body. Don’t get me wrong though, there is a breaking point for everyone on their diet. However if you can’t move past the initial hunger pangs, don’t complain that you “cant lose weight even though you eat all the right foods”.
3. You have to work out if you’re trying to lose weight and keep it off long term.
This is where a lot of the crap gets spread around concerning fat loss. These are the kinds of people that will shell out money to join something like Weight Watcher’s without exercising at all and make sure to tell all of their friends what they did to lose the weight. For some, this is all the social proof they need to be forever confused about weight loss. “Well my friend did Weight Watchers (or the South Beach Diet, or vegetarianism, etc.) and lost weight, so it must work!”
The trick is coming back to these people a year later who are still following the same diet and regained all of the weight they lost. Why? Because contrary to popular belief, your body isn’t stupid. Your body will start to slow down thyroid hormones, adjust its metabolism to conserve energy and your leptin levels will drop, making you hungrier. It should be pretty evident that you need to modify your diet and exercise to keep the weight off.
4. When trying to lose fat, you should feel tired from working out.
This doesn’t mean that you are unable to move afterwards. However it does mean that you shouldn’t be able to do it all again 10 minutes later.
5. Just because a naturally skinny person likes a certain method of exercise, doesn’t mean its the best type of exercise.
I am constantly presented with questions from women along the lines of “Well my friend has been doing pilates or spin class and she is really skinny, shouldn’t I be doing that?” Here is my answer: Ask your friend if she has lost any actual fat or if she just thinks she looks better.
Her answer for fat loss will probably be “I don’t know”. This means no. Pilates didn’t help her get “toned” and it didn’t lengthen her muscles or build them up in any way. Getting into that aerobic pathway will led to muscle tissue breakdown as opposed to shorter, higher intensity exercises. You can easily spot the difference between a sprinter and a marathon runner:
My final advice is this: if you really want to lose the fat, modify your eating plan. Start heavy strength training and stop being suckered into fat loss myths that fail every time!