Every day you hear about another thing you need to add to your ever-growing weight loss to-do list. Don’t eat after 6pm, cut out all carbs, only workout in the morning – there’s only so many you can take on, and chances are these ‘diet rules’ are only making you more stressed instead of helping ditch those extra kilos. In order to efficiently lose weight and maintain and healthy lifestyle, it’s much better to take a step back from it all, and stop believing in these seven things when it comes to health and fitness.
1. You need to work out in the morning
Not everyone is a morning person. Trust me, as the dad to a 13-year-old, I get this! If getting up early to work out means you only last a week before throwing in the towel, then don’t work out in the morning. I always say that the best time to work out is when you know you will. Find a time that works for you and make it your regular workout time.
2. Running is the best way to lose weight
Wrong. A combination of HIIT (this can involve running) and resistance training is the best way to go. Running is a great form of cardiovascular exercise and certainly can help you on your weight loss journey, but it is not the best and only way to lose weight. And remember, resistance training does not mean you have to go to a gym. You can use your body weight, resistance bands, dumbbells, medicine balls… the options are endless.
3. Eat less, move more
You don’t necessarily need to eat less; you just need to eat right. You don’t need to workout longer; you need to workout smarter. Following a ‘just eat real food’ (JERF) approach and working your entire body in just 28 minutes can be enough to get results. Just take a look at some of my 28ers amazing results.
4. You need to count calories
Absolutely not! I always say food is to be enjoyed and not counted. This doesn’t mean you don’t need to worry about what you put in your mouth; instead, you should focus on the quality of the calories you are consuming, not the quantity. Everything in moderation, even the good stuff.
5. Low fat = lose fat
Eating fat doesn’t make you fat. It’s the ridiculous amount of processed carbohydrates and refined sugars hidden in our foods that we as a society consume in scarily high portions, which is to blame. Our brains need fat. Eating a balanced diet with regular good fat has been shown to improve memory, brain function and mood.
Diets that are super low in fat cause your body to become extremely efficient in burning carbs, which means you will always burn carbs over fat. What you really want is to train your body to burn fat efficiently and become a lean, mean machine. Good fats keep you full. When we eat good fats, hormones are released that give us that ‘satisfied’ feeling. Good fats include our omega 3s (think olive oil, avo, nuts and seeds) as these have anti-inflammatory properties and are good for heart health, brain function, and skin. On the other hand, you have our saturated fats in such foods as full-fat cheese and butter.
6. Work hard and eat what you want
Unless you’re running a marathon a day or training like an elite athlete, you really can’t out-train a bad diet. Whenever I tell people exactly how much exercise they need to do to burn off that morning muffin, it usually comes as quite a shock. You need to remember that what goes in must be burnt off. Exercise and good nutrition go hand-in-hand when it comes to weight loss and weight maintenance.
7. Weights will make women bulky
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had to reassure clients that this simply isn’t true. I actually insist that you introduce resistance training into your workout regime if you’re after your best body yet. Firstly, resistance training and weight training are not actually the same thing. Weight training is just one of the options available when it comes to resistance training (training against a resistance). Resistance training could be using your own bodyweight, TRX straps, resistance bands, kettlebells… the list goes on. Resistance training won’t make you bulky, but it will shape, strengthen, and tone your body.
For more health and fitness tips from Sam Wood, he reveals the dos and don’ts of the most popular celebrity diets. Plus, this is what he wants you to know about intermittent fasting.
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