MYTH: It’s harder for women to lose weight than men
FACT: It’s true men don’t have the hormone fluctuations women do, and generally carry more lean mass which burns more daily calories, so can find weight loss more linear with less up-and-down weeks on the scale.
So it can be quicker, certainly, but it’s not EASIER for men to lose fat. The same rules apply, the same exercise and dietary disciplines need to be put into action, and the same slip ups result in the same bad weeks.
So it may take women a little longer to get to the same goal, but follow the same consistent programme, and keep putting one foot in front of the other, and you’ll get there just the same.
MYTH: Eating late at night will make me gain weight
FACT: The theory goes that eating after a certain time in the evening (sometimes 6, sometimes 7, sometimes 8, depends who you talk to…) will lead to fat gain because you’re not burning calories overnight. After all, you’re asleep, so what exactly do you need those calories for?
Well as it happens, the average adult burns around 600 calories every night while they’re asleep. Sleeping’s more active than you might think!
But bottom line, studies have shown people who stopped eating at a certain time lost more weight, BUT they also showed that those people took in less overall calories as a result.
So, the moral of the story here is, you can eat as late as you like. If you’re on a sensible calorie controlled eating plan, it makes no difference whether you stop eating at 6pm or 12am.
MYTH: I exercise a lot so I don’t need to worry about my eating
FACT: This is THE BIGGEST reason people fail.
When people want to lose weight, they start an exercise programme… And then half-arse their diet!
You can exercise a tonne (and by a tonne I mean literally hours!) and burn enough calories to make a significant difference, but because of the unpredictable nature and the inconsistency of the calorie deficit you’re creating (unless you have 5 or 6 hours spare every single day of the week), your weight will still be up and down like a pikey’s knickers.
And what happens when you
stop exercising for a week and lose the deficit altogether? Or if you injure yourself so are out of the game for weeks?
Never forget, your exercise plan is there to accompany your eating plan. NOT the other way around.
MYTH: Weight training will make me big and bulky
FACT: First of all, let’s define weight training and bring it under the more accurate umbrella of resistance training. So we’re not just talking about pumping iron, but using resistance bands or even your own bodyweight to perform deliberate movements, progressively increasing the resistance over time.
Pound for pound, muscle takes up half as much room as fat does. You’ll need to build a LOT of muscle to look bulky… And believe it or not, it’s not something that will happen by accident.
From a female perspective, most women will never be able to build enough muscle to look big or bulky because you produce the wrong kind of hormones. Look around Worthing. How many muscular women do you see?
In both men and women we produce Estrogen and Testosterone, but in women the balance weighs heavily in favour of Estrogen, and vice versa in men.
Testosterone is the “Muscle building” hormone, and Estrogen tends to have the opposite effect and suppresses muscle growth, so for women, building large amounts of muscle is impossible, which is why the women who do carry lots of muscle mass have to take male hormones. (Check out the square jaws and lowered voices)
Male or female though, if you want to build big muscles, it requires eating a high calorie, nutrient dense diet, and months of specialised training. Resistance training in and of itself won’t do it.
What it will do is accelerate weight loss, and sculpt a lean, toned body in both men and women.
MYTH: Eating fat makes you fat
FACT: Eating too many calories makes you fat.
You actually need a certain amount of fat in your diet for reasons ranging from proper organ function through to simple satiety of your food.
The problem with fat though is not that it will make you fat, but because it has over twice as many calories per gram than protein or carbohydrates. So foods high in fat are easy to overeat without trying, pushing your overall calorie consumption up and potentially scuppering your weight loss.
So, much like eating late at night, don’t avoid fat thinking it will make you fat. Excess calories is what makes you fat. Eat it in moderation as part of a calorie controlled diet and you’ll have nothing to fear.
Except of course that clown that lives in your cupboard and watches you sleep…
MYTH: Once you hit 40, weight gain is inevitable
FACT: Again, weight and fat gain is a product of overeating, not age.
As we get older, we gradually lose muscle tissue, which in turn lowers the amount of calories we burn every day at rest, so (assuming you’re not resistance training or eating a healthy calorie controlled diet) you will gradually get that “Middle aged spread” as the same amount of calories will result in weight gain.
BUT… It doesn’t have to be that way! Proper exercise and eating principles apply whether your 20, 40, 60, or 80.
By following an effective resistance training routine, and learning proper eating habits, you can not only stop it, but turn it around completely.
Over half the people I train are over 40 in Worthing. Weight loss is not an issue, and in most cases they’re in better shape now than most people in their 20s.
Believe me when I say 40, 60, 80, whatever… It’s just a number.
So which one of these is keeping you fat? Or which one did you find hardest to overcome?
Post a comment below.