3 Weight Loss Myths To Avoid in 2020
I spent my Saturday at a seminar listening to some of the smartest minds in the fitness world at an event called ‘WeMove’. Ironically, we sat all chairs the whole time and did minimal movement other than occasional head nodding at their points.
What was great about this event was all the speakers were female. These ladies are pioneers in the fitness world for women, and between them have around 2.5 million social media followers.
Almost the entire crowd was female too, so that was also great for me… nothing like a good ratio in your favour.
ANYway, there were some big takeaways from the day that will be perfect for you if 2020 is going to be the year you want to get your healthy lifestyle right and lose some weight.
The main ones I want to share with you are not straight up what to do, but what not to do. Or put better, what doesn’t matter when it comes to actually getting rid of that stomach or leg fat.
I was overweight as a kid and when enough was enough I decided to start learning what I needed to do to lose my weight and actually feel good in myself. I started reading everything I could but what I found is it only made me feel more lost.
One expert says this, the next says that. And before I knew it I had an eating disorder from trying to follow every piece of advice to the tee. What I wish I knew now is most of that stuff doesn’t matter. Most is just people trying to sell you their secret strategy that is really no better than the basics.
This is what the speakers on Saturday debunked, and there were 3 main myths that got busted:
Myth 1: Eat lots of small meals a day
This one has been going around for some time, but it needs to die. For a long time, the fitness world was convinced lots of small meals a day was better for your metabolism and therefore a key to weight loss.
Tupperware sales were at an all-time high and if the clock showed you hadn’t eaten in 3 hours you could feel your muscle fading away.
We know now smaller meals is not better. You should eat based on practicality to your lifestyle and personal preference. Even if smaller meals was better, you have to be able to stick to it either way, so when you plan out your eating focus on what will work for you.
Now we know smaller meals isn’t better, it leads into another myth that is in fact the opposite of that…
Myth 2: Fasting and less meals is the key to weight loss
In true fitness industry fashion the pendulum swings to the complete other direction with a whole crown claiming fasting, or specifically, intermittent fasting, is the holy grail of weight loss.
Firstly, there is no actual definition of IF (Intermittent fasting)… technically, we all IF because we eat, then don’t eat, then eat again. Just saying’.
IF people typically use eating windows like 16/8, 16 hours fast, 8 hours eat, 20/4, or even whole day fasts. What does research show with these approaches? When everyone eats the same amount of calories, there is no difference in results.
Why do some people swear by it? Probably because if you stop eating for a long-period of time you’ll eat fewer calories and then lose weight without realising you just ate less. So it’s not the magic of the fasting, you just took out a meal you used to eat.
The takeaway for you? If you hate breakfast, you don’t need to have it. And it may even be a good way for you to eat fewer calories. But if you eat them back with a few extra treats after dinner, then skipping brekky didn’t do much for you other than save some time.
Once again, the answer comes to personal preference. Eat frequently, eat 2 meals, it doesn’t really matter, you’re better focusing on overall food intake, quality of food and getting moving then letting a clock tell you when you shove food in your mouth.
Myth 3: You have a ‘slow’ metabolism
The slow metabolism line has been going around for a while. Although there is the odd occasion where there are genuine metabolism issues at play e.g. thyroid deficiencies and other medical conditions, most peoples slow metabolisms are as made up as Santa Claus or The Easter Bunny.
Sound harsh? Well, the research backs it up. What studies show is most people who would say they have a ‘slow metabolism’ dramatically underreport their food intake. They’ve found people can underreport up to 1000 calories less than they actually ate. In one study, even registered dieticians, who talk about food for a living, underreported how much they ate each day by nearly 300 calories.
When researchers took a group of self-proclaimed slow metabolismers (that’s a word, I just made it up*) and made all their meals for them these people saw just as good weight loss results as others.
Consider something like the biggest loser, people who have been overweight their whole life finally get their diet and exercise in order and the weight flies off them.
The punchline is most of you out there who have had a hard time losing weight just need to be more strict. Monitor your food a little tighter, ensure you’re moving enough each day (10,000 steps is still a great target), get in a few harder workouts, sleep, manage stress and the results will come.
The truth will set you free, but it will first piss you off.
Got any other potential myths you’re not sure about? I’d love to hear them and help you out with them. Find me on the social medias and let me know.
*As Drax The Destroyer eloquently put in Avengers Infinity War, ‘all words are made up’.