Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Top Weight Loss Myths

(Article first published as Top Fitness Myths That Prevent Weight Loss on Technorati.)
Fitness myths are as common as old wives tales, and can have a detrimental effect on how well you’re able to reach and maintain your weight loss goal. Once we’ve heard the same mistruths time and again, we tend to accept them as correct, even though they may have a detrimental effect on health and weight reduction efforts. While some of this advice is harmless, it’s always best to defer to relevant information presented by researchers who have studied the effects that physical fitness has on fat metabolism and your health.

25% of Americans Are Now Obese
The fact that one quarter of all Americans are now obese is a staggering number, with dire health consequences for the next decade and beyond. Information published in The New York Times indicates that nearly 2.5 million more people fell into the obese category in the past two years, making this the largest and quickest increase on record.

Lack of Physical Activity to Blame
Two of the most controllable elements which drive weight loss are diet and exercise. With the power of mind and attitude, we’re able to control the amount and type of foods we eat through thoughtful planning, and can limit couch potato time by making the trade off for regular daily exercise. The key to successful weight loss is combining proper diet with the right type of physical activity. You’ll be able to maximize the effectiveness of your workout and weight reduction plan by sorting through the most common fitness myths.

Myth 1: Running is Better Than Walking
The fact is that a runner and a walker covering the same distance will burn about the same number of calories. The important thing to keep in mind is that you get out and move your body. Weight reduction is not a race, and losing weight at a slow pace (no more than 1 to 2 pounds per week) is the best way to allow your body to easily adjust, preventing your metabolism from stalling in an attempt to preserve body mass.

Myth 2: Exercising More Leads to Eating More
Research shows that exercise has no effect on a person’s hunger. Further, exercise has been shown to suppress appetite both during and after a workout. The problem is that many people let their mind take control, compelling them to eat more because they believe they need the extra calories to compensate for the activity. Use mind over matter to avoid taking in too many calories after a workout.

Myth 3: All Calories Are Created Equal
Technically, a calorie is a measurement of energy and all calories require the same amount of energy to burn. Our body is not a machine though, and metabolizes food based on its source, protein, fat or carbohydrate. Proteins are complex structures and take much more time and energy to break down. 

Carbohydrates, and especially refined carbs from sugary junk foods are broken down immediately, used for energy and the balance is converted to fat and stored on the hips and abdomen. Always include healthy protein from nuts, seeds, whey or lean meats after your workout to assist muscle building and avoid excess fat storage.

There appears to be no end in sight to our obesity epidemic, as more Americans join the ranks and threaten their health and longevity. Physical fitness is an essential tool which can assist weight loss and reduce the risk of many diseases. Fitness myths abound which will derail your from the true benefits of exercise, and can help you to reach your weight goal quickly and efficiently.


Alan said...

I recently visited your blog. It is a very interesting one. Keep it up.


linda-rd said...

nice post. its really sad that there are still many americans who believe in these myths.exercise alone can't defeat obesity. a change in lifestyle is really necessary in weight loss