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Frisco’s elite personal trainers: 5 Myths Surrounding Weight Loss

Almost every person you know or meet, when asked about how to lose weight will have some crazy opinion or regiment to follow. Unfortunately most of the notions about weight loss do not ring true. The following are just 5 examples of misguided weight loss myths:

1. All carbs are evil!

Ok so let’s look at this statement from a purely nutritional standpoint for just a second. Carbohydrates are the primary fuel for the body and more importantly the brain. Carbs break down into glucose and other simple sugars to fuel cells, muscles and organs. Depriving the body of carbohydrates forces it into what’s called ketosis, in which the digestive system converts protein and fat into glucose instead. Sounds great right? If you’re like most you noticed the part about the body using fat for energy, but did you pay attention to the part about muscle being used too? That’s right, potentially we sacrifice muscle to lose the weight we want, and all the while increasing the fat and cholesterol levels inside our blood stream which can lead to heart disease. And don’t even get us started on the possible kidney stones and constipation issues!

2. I can’t eat anything after 7 pm. 

Somebody decided that eating late must be the main reason we are gaining or can’t lose weight. The remedy? Don’t eat after some set time of the day. The issues- where to begin? This notion would be better accepted if it were re-worded to say something like “You shouldn’t eat an entire tub of ice-cream right before bed” Of course you probably shouldn’t do that at any time during the day, but the point is that its not about whether we ate at 7pm or 9pm, but what we consumed. If you have a small snack before bed, a few hours after a sensible dinner, the effects will not be detrimental to your success, in fact it can help bump your metabolism a little bit before bed and help you avoid waking up starving. Now on the other hand if you choose to have a snack right after you consume a high calorie meal you may be pushing you intake levels up too high to lose weight. So the best approach is to think about your intake for the day and assess whether or not that snack will hurt or help you and also assess if you are actually hungry or just eating for some other reason.

3. As long as I exercise a lot I can eat whatever I want and not gain weight.

Now while this may be the case for some teens who are still growing and have metabolisms through the roof, the general population will find that this idea will cause nothing but a bigger waistline and more frustration at the gym. Let’s look at it using the following scenario and simple math. You just ate what would equate to an entire pizza (a few slices from this box, a few from another, etc.), but you think you’re ok because the stair climber said you burned 600 calories and you lifted for 30 minutes as well. You were also pretty active at work since you were walking what felt like miles. Let’s be generous and say that your pizza totaled 2100 calories (average cheese pizza slice times 8 slices) and your other food totaled maybe 1000 calories. Your metabolism comes in at 1600 calories per day and you get to add daily activity including the gym-let’s say another 1000 calories. So an intake of 3100 consumed minus the 2600 expended leaves you with a surplus of 500 calories. Do that everyday, and you’ll be up a pound next week. Just because you work out, you DO NOT get a free pass on nutrition-no one does. Remember that the next time you go out to dinner and you think its ok to order something like the Bistro Shrimp Pasta at Cheesecake Factory that touts 3120 calories and 89 grams of saturated fat. But you worked out remember?

4. Because it’s “all natural” I can have as much as I want.

Ok so this one sort of falls in line with a few of the other myths, in that it goes against the notion of calories in versus calories out. While we have to agree that natural honey and natural peanut butter are better sources of these foods than their chemical laced alternatives, the fact remains that you can’t simply consume an entire jar in a day and write it off as being all natural. In that same sense, we should also point out that just because an item has added health benefits doesn’t mean you can’t pay attention to the label. Remember everything in moderation-even the healthy stuff.

5. I can’t eat that because it has fat in it!

We often have people approach us with the mindset that not only are carbs bad but fat is too. This creates quite a conundrum for us as it leads them to believe that they can only eat bland chicken breast and salad the rest of their lives! But in reality, like carbs, fat has its place in a balanced diet. While it should be monitored to not account for a large portion of your diet, it is ok to have. Actually some fats, such as mono and poly-unsaturated fats have been linked to heart health and helping avoid heart disease. Another thing to caution about is the pitfall of “low fat” and “reduced fat” foods. Many people believe that by seeing these words they are making better choices but that is not always the case. Compare labels and make sure that the foods you choose are in line with your caloric needs.