The one thing I am asked about more than anything else in the health, fitness and wellness industry, is about losing weight. More and more the desire to lose weight is climbing to the top spot on the goal list for most people.
There are many different ways people have tried to lose weight, and to lose it quickly, but often times, these methods do not work, and more than that, they backfire!
Research and personal experience in my life and my practice, has shown that when someone follows the methods below to lose weight, even if it works, when they then try to get healthy and begin to treat their bodies properly, there is a significant weight increase of another 10 to 15 pounds as the Healthy Body tries to properly balance itself!
Here are the top 5 things weight loss myths you should NEVER do!
1. Count Calories
Perhaps the most prominent method that people use to gauge their weight loss program, is calorie counting. Often times, people are NOT eating enough! Not to mention, a lot of people are under the impression that “a calorie is a calorie” which is simply not the case!
The human Healthy Body is a very intricate system of systems, involving many different biochemical reactions and processes. Our bodies use different kinds of energy (calories) in different ways. Different foods have a huge impact on our hormonal systems, which govern how our bodies function all together, as well as gaining or losing weight, what kinds of weight, and from where.
One of the best examples is the comparison of fructose and glucose. These are the two main sugars in our diet. Each with the same amount of calories, and each being processed completely differently inside the Healthy Body.
Glucose is used by the energy systems of the Healthy Body and can be metabolized by all of our tissues. Fructose can only be metabolized by the liver, and throws off the balance in the Healthy Body. Fructose raises Ghrelin, this is our “hunger hormone”, so the Healthy Body believes that it’s still hungry after ingesting fructose. Not to mention, it can cause insulin resistance, abdominal fat gain, increased triglycerides and blood sugar, compared to the exact same number of calories from glucose.
A person could eat 600 calories in a meal full of good quality protein, fats and vegetables, and your Healthy Body would take that, and use it’s energy systems in such a way that you would be gaining muscle, burning fat and losing any excess water retention effortlessly. That same person could eat 600 calories in a meal full of simple carbs, high sugar sauce, and poor quality protein, and the Healthy Body would lose muscle, while gaining excess water and fat.
Not to mention, the amount of calories a person needs to simply maintain being alive is a lot, including the amount you would be burning doing your daily activities. To eat any less is to sacrifice health in a very serious way!
2. Skip Meals
Skipping meals is another seemingly effective yet terrible idea for weight loss. When we skip just one meal (which means waiting over an hour and a half after waking to eat) and generally waiting more than 4 hours between meals to eat again, the Healthy Body suffers a very real stress response!
Our bodies are very intelligent. When we skip a meal, the hunger and satiation signal hormones we spoke about earlier become unbalanced which directly and indirectly affects all other systems of the Healthy Body. Because our bodies are still very primally wired, the Healthy Body then believes that it’s in a stressful situation of starvation, and actually programs itself to store fat at the very next meal!
Our bodies need the energy it gains from food to function properly, even for all of the inner processes we don’t think about such as breathing and organ function. Every process in the Healthy Body gets fuelled by the energy that we eat. When we don’t supply the Healthy Body with enough energy, or the right kinds, it must then go into it’s own energy reserves just to keep us alive. This is very taxing on our adrenal glands, which are the foundation of hormone regulation, and thus nervous system and metabolism regulation!
In a nutshell, skipping meals sends our biological aging clock on super speed, and makes losing any excess fat weight impossible.
3. Staying Up Extra Late or Getting Up Extra Early to Fit in Your Workouts
Sleep is by far the most underrated way of easily losing and maintaining weight.
Staying up too late will un-balance the hormones, causing the Healthy Body to store fat. This can and will become permanent over time!
Always make sure you finish exercising 4 hours before you intend to sleep. Otherwise the exercise will also impede a person’s ability to heal all areas of your Healthy Body! Again, because we are primally wired, our bodies can’t tell the difference between exercising and running from a lion. We need rest and repair just as much, if not more than we need exercise!
From 10pm to 2am is when we get all of the physical repair our bodies need. From 2am to 6am is when we get all of the mental and emotional rest our minds need. This does not happen at any other time outside of those hours. We MUST get adequate rest to lose weight and maintain our ideal weight!
If you stay up too late, your Healthy Body WILL store fat, and this can become permanent over time. Those who average six hours of sleep per night are 27% more likely to be overweight than those who sleep seven-nine hours; and those averaging five hours of sleep per night are 73% percent more likely to be overweight.
There are a number of things going on in your Healthy Body that could contribute to weight gain as well as other ailments that result from hormonal imbalances due to sub-optimal sleeping patterns. When it comes to storing fat, hormonal disturbances, specifically involving the hormones leptin and ghrelin can and will alter how your Healthy Body deals with fat storage
When you don’t get optimal sleep, your Healthy Body has too little leptin and too much ghrelin. Inadequate sleep impacts secretion of the signal hormones ghrelin, which increases appetite, and leptin, which indicates when the Healthy Body is satiated. Not only that, sub-optimal sleep will raise your risk of developing obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease, etc.
4. Exercising Incorrectly
The human Healthy Body is very adaptable. Many people find an exercise program that works for them, yielding desired results, and thus they continue performing this same program, while the Healthy Body ends up slowing to a stop, and sometimes even reversing in all progress. This is because the nervous system is constantly adapting to what we are putting our bodies through. not changing up the workout routine at least once every 4 weeks will send you very quickly into a plateau with your weight loss.
It takes an average of 4 weeks for the Healthy Body to adjust to a new exercise or routine. Neurologically, this keeps the brain and Healthy Body guessing, boosting results to appear much more quickly than they otherwise would have!
This leads me to the ever so common topic of over training. Over training is when we do not have enough rest to accommodate for the amount of energy we are spending working out. Rest should be more than 50% of a good exercise program, because it’s while we are resting that our metabolism is working, and when our muscles should be growing. Not only that, but we require an adequate amount of rest to nourish our nervous systems, which have a direct physiological relationship with our hormonal system, and thus the goals we are after whether they be health or appearance.
It is a wonderful tool to trick the mind neurologically by lifting unusual items such as sandbags, rocks, logs, etc. This constantly keeps the brain and muscles firing, again yielding results at a much faster pace than likely otherwise anticipated!
Cardio. The one word that most of us either love to hate, and hate to love. Cardio, the ways most people perform it now, is completely unnecessary and can send the Healthy Body backwards, causing muscle atrophy (wasting) instead of hypertrophy (growth). The absolute BEST kind of cardio routine for anyone trying to cut excess fat while keeping and continuing to grow muscle is whats known as HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). This is where moderate and high intensity levels alternate during a very short workout time. It has been shown to burn adipose tissue (fat) 50% faster than any low or continued intensity cardio workout, and also speeds up the metabolism!
5. Diet or Weight Loss Pills
There are a ton of diet and weight loss pills on the market today that promise a fast and easy solution to the desire to lose weight quickly. The truth is, this is at a very serious cost to your health, and the risk of taking these products, far outweigh any benefit!
Research and evidence have shown that the use of these products increase the probability of having a heart attack and / or stroke. They can cause severe damage to many internal organs, especially the heart, lungs, kidneys and liver. There have been documented cases of someone requiring a liver transplant, as well as causing jaundice, hepatitis, and also death!
The pills are full of dangerous chemicals that negatively alter the Healthy Body’s system and processes. Not only that, they cause negative side effects such as:
- Increased heart rate
- High blood pressure
- Kidney problems
- Liver damage
- Rectal bleeding
- and more…
In general, diet and weight loss pills are best avoided at all costs, and are even unnecessary when proper methods for losing excess fat weight are used!
With just a few small adjustments to your lifestyle over time, you can and will reach your goals much faster than you’d ever thought possible, in a much easier way! Reach your goals in the smarter, not harder way!