Monday Motivation - Common Misconceptions About Weight-Loss

I've done a lot of posts about weight-loss in the past, however, I feel that there are still some misconceptions out there about weight-loss in general. As a young personal trainer who has a background in doing a lot of medical research (instilled in me by my grandmother who is a doctor) and dance training, I'm in direct competition with personal trainers who have been in the industry for 20+ years. Unfortunately, because they have been involved in the industry for so long, they tend to stick to the "old" ways of thinking.

A lot of new studies and research has come up that debunks a lot of old thinking. I'm not trying to say that I know more because there is definitely more to learn. All I'm saying is that I have done A LOT of research in various areas that gives me a very well rounded outlook on various topics.

With that said, I focus a lot on weight-loss clients so doing my research is important. Today, I'm going to give you some common misconceptions about weight-loss. Hopefully, this post will give you some insight into how you can achieve the weight-loss you've been waiting for. Feel free to ask me any questions you might have.

Yo-yo dieting or following "fad" diets is detrimental

I can't tell you how much I hate fads. You've probably seen the commercials where companies claim to help you lose weight in only 2 weeks or something like that. These low calorie fads follow the "10-pounds off 10-pounds on" trend that has become extremely common among many Americans. Dieting aside from any other lifestyle changes has been proven to be ineffective.

Cutting your calories for a time will help you lose weight, but ultimately, once you get back to normal you will gain that weight back plus more. Why? Because cutting your calories too low (keto for example) disrupts metabolism causing your body to not be able to absorb or use those calories that you add back in properly. And, you can't follow a low caloric diet permanently as it will cause loss of muscle, low metabolism, and hormone disruption. All of this causes weight gain and NOT long-term weight loss.

The lower your metabolism is, the more weight you will gain.

On Thursday, I'll be talking more about low-caloric and fad diets in more detail.

Pumping iron is not as effective as you think

Aerobic activity (cardio) is most commonly used for weight-loss clients because of the fact that more calories are burned when constantly active. Weight training requires maximal effort for a short period of time and longer rest periods. These rest periods take up a majority of the workout time, burning fewer calories.

Aerobic training along with resistance training is more consistent and allows for fewer rest periods. The exercises are performed at maximal effort for longer periods of time. Both are used to lose excess fat while building lean mass. Workout times and difficulty are slowly increased. The post-exercise metabolism is higher after higher intensity workouts.

Once the client's metabolism is normalized, their cardiovascular endurance is improved, and BMI have reached close-to-normal levels, lifting weights can then be added to their regular routine.

Stress is your enemy

This is probably the most obvious point that I'll be making today. When you are stressed, your body releases cortisol. This cortisol gives you the energy you need for "fight-or-flight." Proteins and lipids (fats) are transported to the liver for fuel to "fly" if need be. Unfortunately, because you are not actually in need of the fight-or-flight response, your body will store those proteins and fats from the liver as visceral fat in other areas of the body.

With this in mind, not only is a physical change required to lose weight, but a mental change is also required. This can oftentimes be a much more difficult change to make. However, if you don't make a mental change, your body cannot recover. Regulating your stress levels on a daily basis is crucial to overall health.

Workouts 2-3 times a week are not as effective as constant physical activity

Those who are sedentary throughout the day except for 30 minutes in which an organized workout is performed, have greater risk for weight gain than those who are physically active throughout the entire day, most days of the week. The caloric output is higher in those who are constantly physically active than those who take a short time during the day to exercise and are inactive the rest of the day.

Exercising for 30 minutes and then sitting on the couch the rest of the day will not help you lose weight as efficiently. Those who follow a strict workout program may not lose weight, even in combination with dieting, because the energy expended during the day is very low.

Having scheduled workouts isn't a bad thing, but making sure you are remaining active throughout the day (walking up and down stairs, lifting things, crouching down to do the laundry, etc.) is important. Immobility encourages fat stores to increase which is why regular physical activity is so extremely important.

Sleep is extremely important

Sleep is just as important for weight-loss as diet and exercise. Sleep deprivation actually interferes with the body's ability to metabolize carbohydrates. When the body cannot metabolize carbohydrates, it can lead to high blood sugar levels which leads to overproduction of insulin. This excess insulin increases the storage of body fat and the risk of insulin resistance.

Sleeping fewer than 8 hours per night can also put your adrenals under stress which can lead to a release of cortisol. Excess cortisol, as I've mentioned above, can increase fat storage.

1-2 hour workouts DO NOT help you lose weight faster

"If we exercise in excess, it is difficult for our bodies to maintain homeostasis (the balance and maintenance of internal stability). Exercising up to an hour is acceptable but it is when you go over that hour that your body stops benefiting from the exercise. In fact, exercising for only 30 minutes a day is much more beneficial in the end than exercising for one hour.
When you exercise for more than an hour, the stress of the workout will cause your muscles to start to break down and you will become more susceptible to injury. It also drains your adrenals, making you more susceptible to illness and fatigue.
Microscopic tears occur in your muscles when you exercise. As they heal, your muscles get stronger. If you are exercising too much, the tears will not heal properly and can lead to further injury. When doing anaerobic exercise, use lighter weights to prevent muscle strains pulls, eat the proper amount of protein and good fats after your workout to rebuild muscle, and drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated.
Too much cardio can cause overuse injuries and can also weaken your heart if performed too often. Limit your cardio routine to only twice a week for about 30 minutes."

Not only that, but free radicals build up in the body the more you exercise. Free radicals can be compared to rust on a car. If you are constantly exercising in excess, you are producing too many free radicals. This can lead to many health complications including catabolism, the chronic breakdown of muscle tissue.

There is an entire section in A Dancer's Diary dedicated to this particular topic. I encourage you to check it out.

I hope that this post has cleared a few things up. If you have any questions about anything I have mentioned in this post, please feel free to ask. I'll be posting more on this topic sporadically, the next few months.

Until next time,


The quotations in this post are copyright and must not be used outside of this post unless through express permission given by the author. You can find more information in A Dancer's Diary. Thank you.


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