WEIGHT LOSS AND FITNESS MYTH #1:
Dieting will eliminate fat.
Your body can’t discriminate between intentional calorie deprivation (as in a diet), and starvation. When you dramatically reduce your caloric intake, your body shifts into a protective mode by slowing your metabolism down and holding onto fat (an important energy source) and burning muscle instead. In the beginning of a diet you WILL lose weight by dramatically cutting calories. But it won’t be fat loss, it will be water weight and lean muscle tissue – the exact OPPOSITE of what you want to get rid of.
Not only will harsh diets slow your metabolism down to a crawl, causing your initial weight loss to come to a gradual halt, they will also inevitably bring about a “rebound” effect. This rebound will make you even fatter than you were before starting the diet. When you rebound, not only do you generally put on more weight than you actually lost with the diet, your percentage of body fat generally increases because your body cannibalized muscle tissue as an energy source during the dieting process. Thus the “yo-yo” effect that almost all dieters experience.
To permanently lose the fat stores in your body, you’ve got to burn more calories and increase your metabolic rate (the rate at which your body burns fuel throughout the day – even when you’re NOT exercising) with a precise exercise routine and proper nutrient ratio adaptations (that means eating the right stuff at regular intervals). Even if you don’t exercise (but I recommend you do), just eating 5-6 small, high quality meals each day (and by a meal, I mean anything from a nutritious snack to a sit-down dinner) will substantially increase your metabolism – and you’ll burn more calories!
Till next week for myth 2