At a fundamental level, the concept of weight loss is not a mystery. You simply need to consume fewer calories than you burn and find an easy way to do that for an extended period of time. But a few fallacies exist which can make your weight loss journey more complicated.
Below are the top 5 mistakes people make which sabotage their weight loss goals:
1. Trying to eat an exact amount of calories.
Let’s say you want to lose weight, and you’ve read that you can do that by eating 500 fewer calories than you burn per day to lose one pound of fat.
Let’s assume your basal metabolic rate is 1,500 calories, and if you include your daily exercise, the total amount of calories you burn in a day is 2,200.
So you take careful measures to ensure that you’re eating 500 fewer calories per day, but you still don’t lose any weight.
Why is this? The answer is simple.
You’ve been consuming 2,900 calories per day – which is a big part of the reason why you’re now trying to lose weight. So, even though you’re “dieting,” you’re still overeating. If you eat 500 fewer calories than the 2,900 you’ve been eating, you’re still consuming 2,400 calories per day – about 200 calories more than you need.
In order to lose weight, you need to consume 500 fewer calories per day than you burn. Many times, in reality, you need to eat a lot less than you might think if you want to lose weight.
2. Thinking you can boost your metabolism at high rates.
You will not be able to boost your metabolism from 50 to 100 percent on your own, even though there are some ways to boost your metabolism.
Exercise causes your metabolic rate to elevate. Your body shows symptoms of an elevated metabolic rate, such as fatigue, perspiration, an elevated heart rate, heavy breathing, and thirst.
Bodybuilders and fitness models often use a drug called Clenbuterol to increase metabolism. This drug causes the same symptoms in the body – fatigue, perspiration, an elevated heart rate, heavy breathing, and thirst – and sometimes even heart palpitations.
Stimulant supplements marketed as metabolic boosters only increase the amount of daily calories you burn by 75-125. This is about the equivalent as one extra cup of coffee with cream and sugar. You would still need to consume fewer calories to get good weight loss results.
3. Overestimation of the calorie burning effect of exercise.
Exercise does burn calories, but just how many calories are burned?
If you are of average weight, you would have to walk 5 miles per day to burn an extra 500 calories a day. Even if you walk at a fairly fast pace, it would take you about an hour to go 5 miles. That’s a lot of work to burn only 500 calories.
If you kept your calorie intake the same over the course of a week, and walked for an extra hour a day at a fast pace, you might be able to lose 1 extra pound of fat per week – assuming the amount of calories you consume that week is exactly equal to the amount you need to stay at your current weight. If you overeat even slightly during the week, walking 5 miles per day would have even less of an effect.
Walking 7 hours per week in exchange for a maximum of 1 pound of fat loss is not a very efficient use of time. And while walking every day may be possible during good weather, think about what it might feel like during the winter months!
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t exercise. Exercise should be used to shape your muscles and improve your cardiovascular and overall health. Your diet should be used to burn off excess fat.
4. Building more muscle to burn more calories.
Many people think that if a kilogram of muscle burns 21.6 calories in 2 hours, a pound of muscle must burn about 10 calories. This isn’t the truth.
But why is there confusion?
The Katch-McCardle Formula used to calculate metabolic rates shows that a person’s daily metabolic rate can be calculated as: 370 + (21.6 X LBM(kg)) = Calories burned in a 24 hour period. The problem with this formula, though, is that it doesn’t differentiate between a pound of lean body mass and a pound of muscle.
Lean body mass includes everything in your body that isn’t fat, including highly metabolic tissues like your liver, heart and viscera. When you add lean body mass to your body through resistance training, you are adding muscle mass.
You aren’t adding mass to your organs. And even though you have more muscles in your body than organs, they only share about half of the metabolic work.
For every pound of muscle you gain from exercising, you can expect to burn an extra 5 calories per day while your body is at rest.
5. Overdoing it on eating healthy.
Healthy food can be overindulged just like any other food. Some foods, – raw fruit and vegetables, for example – are hard to get too much of, but other than those things, all food can be overeaten. Overeating causes weight gain, even if the food being eaten is healthy.
Whatever foods you choose to eat can be right for you, as long as they fit your lifestyle and allow you to stay on track with your weight loss. Consuming fewer calories than you burn equals weight loss. Stay focused on what works for weight loss, and don’t over-concentrate on “healthy eating.“
Did you find this post helpful? Click the ‘like’ button to share it on Facebook or bookmark it on your favorite social networking websites!