SIX Weight Loss Myths Debunked
The other day I came across an article on Good Morning America’s Yahoo News page titled “6 Weight Loss Myths Debunked” that got me a bit fired up. I got a bit worked up because I hate when articles give quick little spurts of information without taking the time to elaborate on important topics they acknowledge but don’t address in the article…especially when they are hinting at more important items that could actually help out readers instead of just leaving them a bit more discouraged than before they read the article.
I know we are all extremely busy, but sharing tidbits of information that could potentially mislead folks…”ain’t nobody got time for dat’!”
So, you can either pull down the different toggle boxes below to read entire article excerpts, or you can just read X-GAINS’ TAKE on major points expressed in each debunked myth. You see – I like to allow people to dive in as deep as they want…because learning how to change your lifestyle is going to take time…time I hope we all make.
ONE | Cut or Burn 3,500 Calories to Lose a Pound
The 3,500-calories-equals-a-pound rule is known to nearly every dieter on the planet. What most don’t know is that this bit of arithmetic comes from a small starvation study done in the 1950s.
Diana Thomas, a mathematician who is director of the Center for Quantitative Obesity Research at Montclair State University in New Jersey, said the formula grossly underestimates real-world weight-loss efforts and often leaves dieters sorely disappointed by their lack of results.
“Clicking off 3,500 calories to lose a pound may be close enough to the truth for the first 10 to 12 days of a diet as you lose water weight, but when the body weight drops you carry less mass and start to burn fewer calories for the same activities,” she said. “After a period of time, you stop losing weight even if you continue to cut back by the same amount.”
Thomas said new prediction models were developed in the 1970s that took into account everything from age, height, sex and body fat, but they required so much complicated math they never really caught on. Thankfully, this Internet calculator does the math for you.
1. “Clicking off 3,500 calories to lose a pound may be close enough to the truth for the first 10 to 12 days of a diet as you lose water weight…”
If you are cutting back about 3,500 calories per week and losing about a pound a week, then most of the weight WILL NOT be water weight….especially if you’ve done it over a two week period – so don’t get discouraged!
Yeah, if you weigh yourself right after an hour long sweat marathon (i.e., high intensity cardio workout), then ALL the weight lost will be water weight. But if you weigh yourself, as you should, once a week under the same conditions, and you’ve lost 2 lbs. in two weeks than that IS NOT water weight.
You can lose anywhere from 2-6 lbs. a workout depending on the workout and its intensity. For example, I average 3.5 pounds weight loss after 60 minutes of weight lifting, 15 minutes of abs, and a 24 minute run. But, if I mow the lawn on a hot summer’s day after the same workout I might lose up to 5-7 lbs….AND YES, THAT IS WATER WEIGHT.
BUT again, if you are weighing yourself at the same time, under the same conditions (i.e., post or pre-workout), and you have dropped 2-3 lbs. in 2 weeks THEN THAT IS TRUE WEIGHT LOSS AND NOT JUST WATER WEIGHT.
2. “…but when the body weight drops you carry less mass and start to burn fewer calories for the same activities…After a period of time, you stop losing weight even if you continue to cut back by the same amount.”
ARE YOU KIDDING ME!
Yes there is truth in the statement above, but why in the hell does the article not elaborate a bit more on this? This being, “mass.”
MASS being a HUGE part of the weight loss game.
As a matter of fact, one of the most crucial parts of keeping weight off has to do with mass – specifically how you change your body’s mass composition.
You see, if we just cut calories then yeah, we will lose weight for a while until we eventually, as the quote above suggests, plateau.
But X-Gains is not about cutting calories!!!!
X-Gains is about reaching a point in our lives where we never have to diet again!
And to do this we have to focus on not carrying “less mass” but actually 100% the opposite! We have to focus on carrying MORE MASS, specifically MUSCLE MASS!
Because muscle mass is, first and foremost, more dense than fat, it requires more energy to “carry” even if you do weigh less than you did when you were carrying more weight. You see, the more muscle you have the more energy will be used to maintain that muscle…even if you are technically carrying less weight.
TRUE WEIGHT LOSS IS ALL ABOUT MASS – and specifically the type of mass (muscle vs. fat) you are carrying rather than your total mass.
TWO | You Gained It So You Can Lose It
Nikhil Dhurandhar, an obesity researcher at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La., confirms that it is, of course, possible to lose weight — but gaining weight takes much less effort.
You can consume hundreds or even thousands of calories more than you require without too much effort, Dhurandhar said, and every time you do, excess calories are stored as body fat.
However, losing weight requires a sustained daily effort and you can only cut back or burn off so much beyond your baseline requirements. Meaningful weight loss usually happens slowly over a long period of time with lots of plateaus along the way, something most of us don’t have the patience for.
“If it was easy, you’d see more people pulling it off,” he said.
Heroic efforts don’t always pay off, either. As virtually every weight loss trial has shown, weight loss tends to grind to a halt at around the six-month mark.
“It could be because of changes in resting metabolism or people begin to slip a little, we really don’t know,” he said. “But we do know that the body likes to hold on to weight.”
1. “You can consume hundreds or even thousands of calories more than you require without too much effort…and every time you do, excess calories are stored as body fat. “
If you are attempting to cut weight this is a VERY IMPORTANT item to note – “you can consume hundreds or even thousands of calories more than you require without much effort.” This statement is EXTREMELY TRUE AND CAN BE ANYONE’S DOWNFALL.
DO NOT ASSUME you are eating less calories. If you are really trying to cut weight, YOU HAVE TO CALORIE COUNT AND KNOW you are eating less calories. Once you know you are consuming the right amount of calories to be losing 1-2 lbs a week, you then have to make sure to WORKOUT!
Working out is crucial to breaking through plateaus!
2. “Meaningful weight loss usually happens slowly over a long period of time with lots of plateaus along the way, something most of us don’t have the patience for…As virtually every weight loss trial has shown, weight loss tends to grind to a halt at around the six-month mark.”
This is also true, PLATEAUS WILL COME…BUT I HAVE SHARED ON THIS SITE A NUMBER OF WAYS TO BLAST THROUGH PLATEAUS so don’t worry…stick to your game plan! A lot of plateaus happen because people either are not working out while cutting calories or are not increasing the INTENSITY while working out – and BLASTING THROUGH A WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAU IS ALL ABOUT INTENSITY!
3. “Heroic efforts don’t always pay off… people begin to slip a little… the body likes to hold on to weight.”
X-Gains IS NOT about making a “heroic effort.”
X-Gains IS about living a “heroic” life.
If you really decide to change your life it won’t be an “effort” you put forward but a life you live, and if you live a “heroic” life than you’ll get “heroic” results! I am serious about this – you get out what you put in…sort of like the function machine in math class…okay, dorky example but it’s what came to mind.
So, what exactly do I mean by “heroic effort?”
Well, what does it mean to be a hero? It means never giving up and always pushing yourself to be harder, better, faster, stronger…in other words, be Daft Phunk and or Mr. West!
But seriously, if you are continuously pushing yourself, if you are always putting in an “heroic effort” you can achieve “heroic” results because heroes never “slip” and your body will have no choice but to let go of the weight.
THREE | Exercise Won’t Help You Lose Weight
Do couch potatoes have an easier time shedding weight than gym rats? That’s what a spate of recent studies appeared to suggest when they found exercisers tended to compensate for any extra physical activity by eating more.
However, James Hill, the executive director of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center at the University of Colorado, said such studies are misleading.
“In the first place, many studies don’t use a high enough dose of exercise to promote weight loss,” he said. “And secondly, exercisers do tend to compensate by eating more, but not enough to make up for all of the calories they burn up in exercise. They still create a negative energy balance and they still have an easier time losing weight and keeping it off than people who don’t exercise.”
Hill was adamant that it is virtually impossible to keep weight off for any period of time without working up a sweat on a regular basis. He said that lack of exercise promotes metabolic defects that make it harder to lose weight and are generally bad for your health.
The National Weight Control Registry, run by Hill, tracks the health habits of thousands of people who have lost an average of 60 pounds and kept it off for at least two years. More than 90 percent of registrants say they exercised for an hour or more a day.
1. ” Hill was adamant that it is virtually impossible to keep weight off for any period of time without working up a sweat on a regular basis.”
I don’t know how to stress this enough – but you have to workout to keep weight off…especially if you do not want to calorie count or diet for the rest of your life. X-Gains is all about not dieting and enjoying life to the fullest. This means eating what you want and doing what you want…and to be able to do both, eat what you want and do what you want you’ll have to be and stay active for the rest of your life (i.e., live an active lifestyle).
FOUR | Removing One Food From Your Diet Is the Secret to Weight Loss Success
Hill also cautioned against the idea that removing a specific food from the diet will magically make the weight melt off your body. Even though most diet books are based on this premise, it simply isn’t true.
“You might lose weight initially by limiting a certain food, but it’s because you eat fewer calories,” he said. “Most people can’t sustain it in the long term, so the approach is doomed to failure.”
Even soda, often maligned for its contribution to the obesity epidemic, is a good example. Hill said that he supports limiting sugar-sweetened drinks and believes overconsumption is bad for health, but he said the data is mixed on whether removing soda from the American diet would shrink our collective waistlines.
“It might have a tiny effect, but there’s nothing stopping people from replacing it with something else,” he said. “If you eat more than one thing, it will probably take changing more than one thing to lose weight.”
1. “It might have a tiny effect, but there’s nothing stopping people from replacing it with something else,”
Yeah, removing one item from your diet might not be a huge difference but it CAN make a substantial difference…especially if you add some exercise in the mix.
For example, lets say you cut out your one can of Coke a day.
That one can of Coke is 980 calories a week. Now, lets add 4 days of working out at 300 calories burnt a workout.
That is 1,200 calories burned a week on top of 980 calories less because of dropping one can of Coke a day (and not replacing it with other calories ofcourse!) for a net weekly deficiency of 2,180 calories…or about ½ pound per week. And this does not account for the extra calories used to repair and build muscle if your exercises involve weight training.
So cutting a drink or snack a day plus adding exercise could be the difference in losing a half pound a week.
FIVE | Everyone Gains (and Loses) the Same Way
In 1990, Canadian researcher Claude Bouchard wanted to test the idea that everyone gains weight in exactly the same way, so he asked 12 sets of male identical twins to overeat by 1,000 calories a day while limiting their physical activity to just 30 minutes. To ensure they stuck with the program, he locked them in a room and carefully controlled every morsel they ate for 90 days.
Bouchard predicted that by the end of their stay, each of his volunteers would gain 24 pounds. But that’s not what happened.
Some sets of twins gained as little as 10 pounds while other sets added nearly 30 pounds. The twins in each set gained virtually the same amount of weight, but the difference in weight gain between unrelated sets of twins was threefold and their pattern of fat distribution differed by sixfold.
When the researcher turned the tables in a later study and asked sets of twins set to burn off more calories than they took in, the pounds melted off some but clung stubbornly to others. Numerous other studies have produced similar results, highlighting the fact that some people are predisposed to gain weight easily and must work harder than the average person to burn it off.
1. “…some people are predisposed to gain weight easily and must work harder than the average person to burn it off.”
I AM ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE!!!
My family used to tell me that I had a mental issue when it came to food and working out. They would tell me it wasn’t healthy to worry about working out and eating right 24 hours a day 7 days a week, but I knew I gained weight at the mere site of chocolate!
But, nonetheless, one day I gave into their suggestions and stopped worrying so much. As my family suggested, I just let myself go. Well, I let myself go…all the way to 240 lbs. I went from about 160 lbs. to 240 lbs….yes, I let myself go until I had gained half my body weight!
So, yes, I know first hand some people have to “work harder than the average person to burn it off.” And I know firsthand that until you start working “harder than the average person” you won’t see results…but the day you do is the day results start showing up!
And, though it may be hard to get where you’re going, if you truly change your life, by the time you get there you’ll never be “the average person”…which you never were to begin with right?
SIX | Eating Six Small Meals Is Best for Weight Loss
There’s little evidence to support the idea that eating smaller, more-frequent meals will improve weight loss results.
For example, a recent British Journal of Nutrition investigation found no weight-loss difference between dieters who ate their calories in three meals versus six daily meals. And, in fact, another study in the same journal concluded that eating two large meals a day can be the ideal weight loss strategy for some.
“Eating six meals a day can work for someone who has a lot of discipline,” Dhurandhar said. “But for others, it’s like offering an alcoholic a glass of wine six times a day. Their willpower just can’t take it.”
1. “For example, a recent British Journal of Nutrition investigation found no weight-loss difference between dieters who ate their calories in three meals versus six daily meals. And, in fact, another study in the same journal concluded that eating two large meals a day can be the ideal weight loss strategy for some.”
They are preaching to the choir!!!