There’s a lot of weight loss advice online. And following some of it can waste your time and money, or even worse, make you gain weight. Even though this advice comes from a good place, you’re better off ignoring it. The most important thing is to stick to weight loss habits you can maintain long-term.
Here are 7 common weight loss tips you should ignore.
You need long hours of cardio to lose weight.
Even though cardio burns fat, long hours of cardio have negative effects. For one, it leads to loss of muscle which slows down metabolism.
The best weight loss strategy is to combine moderate cardio with strength training. Or do high intensity interval training. If you have to do cardio, limit it to 20-30 minutes a day.
Weight yourself everyday.
You have to track your weight when trying to lose weight, but there’s no need to step on the scale every day.
Weighing yourself every day can be frustrating and discouraging. Weight fluctuates due to water weight. Sometimes you’ll be 2 or 3 pounds heavier than before—such frustration can cause bingeing and overeating.
Weigh yourself once a week. Also, track your body fat percentage and frequently take pictures to see improvements.
Don’t skip breakfast.
For years we’ve been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And skipping it can make you gain weight. But recent studies show that it’s the number of calories you consume that determine weight loss—not when you eat.
It’s true that breakfast eaters are healthier than breakfast skippers. This is based on the fact that breakfast eaters exercise regularly and eat healthy foods, while most breakfast skippers are regular drinkers, smokers and don’t exercise.
Folks who practice intermittent fasting are able to lose weight even though they skip breakfast. In fact, one study found that breakfast skippers ate 400 calories less than breakfast eaters.
Eating breakfast may have other benefits, but it has no direct effect on weight loss. Don’t feel obligated to eat breakfast if you don’t want to. If you don’t like eating in the morning, don’t.
Don’t eat carbs.
In recent years carbs have been blamed for all weight problems. And they’re guilty to some extent—but you shouldn’t avoid all carbs. You need them for energy.
Eat carbs from healthy sources like vegetables, whole grains and fruits. Avoid processed carbs and calorie-containing beverages.
Do crunches to get rid of belly fat.
Even though it’s been said numerous times that spot reduction is not possible, many still think they can get rid of belly fat through ab training. Yes, crunches can build abdominal muscles, but the muscles will be covered by fat.
To lose belly fat, you have to lower overall body fat percentage. Full body workouts are effective for reducing body fat.
Eat clean all the time.
You don’t have to healthy foods all the time to lose weight. In fact, studies show that strict diets are stressful and hard to adhere to.
Don’t follow a strict diet plan if you want to lose fat and keep it off for good. Practice eating habits that you can maintain long term. 90 percent adherence to diet is enough for weight loss. Have cheat meals and diet breaks every now and then.
Eat after every 2 hours to boost metabolism.
This is one of the most common weight loss myths. But the number of times you eat has no effect on your metabolism. The thermic effect of food (rise of metabolism after you eat) is determined by the amount of food you eat.
You can’t trick the body into increasing your metabolism by eating many times a day. Though it’s worth noting that eating frequently helps control hunger for some people.