When you deal with weight loss, you have an upside and a down side. The up side is that everyone wants to lose weight. The down side is that everyone wants to lose weight quickly. They want to slim down an entire dress size, which for the uninformed is a month straight of work, at least, in a week at most. Because of this misconception about the way our bodies work, several bits of misinformation, outdated advice, and just outright lies have wormed their way into people’s perception of weight loss.
If you’re a man over 25 and you want to lose weight, and don’t know where to start, try starting with what you shouldn’t do, with this list of the worst weight loss tips.
You know the ones: the 7-day diet, the 48-hour diet, and so on. Any diet with a designated end point is a sham, end of story. Why? Purely by the nature of having an endpoint. Weight loss plans are plans to not just lose weight, but to maintain that loss of weight. Some of these plans may in fact work at bringing down your weight, but here’s the issue: you will likely go back to the habits that made you overweight to begin with once it’s over. These plans are at best a band-aid, not a cast for the problem. A temporary fix which won’t last long because it fails to address the root of the issue.
If you have trouble committing to a diet, or worry that you’ll have said trouble, some of your well meaning friends may recommend a jumpstart diet. Essentially, you start on a very restrictive diet for two to three days, and the results of doing so will help you keep it up. However reasoned the logic may be behind this, it’s still false. It takes a lot to work a human out of their ingrained habits, no matter how unhealthy they may be or how much we may see them as a problem.
When trying to lose weight, calories are a solid place to start. However, don’t expect a lower number to yield the results you want. In fact, burning too many calories will actually start to negatively impact your body fat and muscle. Muscles most of all, since muscles, purely by working, burn calories.
But without calories to feed off, your muscles will actually start to deteriorate. And then you’ll start getting fatter all over again anyway. Again, nothing wrong with burning off some excess, but remember, your body needs those calories to function, so maybe keep a healthy amount of them in your system.
Working out can be a great, productive use of your time, so why relegate it all to a single hour out of your entire day? Besides, squeezing what should be a full day’s workout into a single hour is unlikely to affect your body weight at all. The better solution, rather, is to evenly spread your workout throughout your day. Usually in ten minute spurts of physical activity.
For example, do about 10 minutes worth of stretching when you get out of bed, both for the workout and to help wake yourself up. You can then do things like lifting weights while watching T.V., speed walk to your lunch break, and plan more physical activities on the weekend. Gyms are great, but unless you live near one, it’s hard to make going there a habit, especially when life consistently gets in the way. Instead, inject a little bit of physical fitness into each part of your day. You’ll get better results in the long run.
Many folks think banishing gluten from our diets is the right way to go. While some have gluten free diets due to a medical sensitivity to gluten or celiac disease, others see foregoing gluten as a “get out of fat” free and fast card. This is not the case. You aren’t exactly making it worse; on the contrary, you’re not even changing a thing. Often times, eating gluten free food is just trading one carb for another. For example, say instead of pizza, you eat gluten free rice.
You’re still getting the same amount of carbs as the other one; it’s just that this one doesn’t have gluten. But you get three guesses as to which tastes better. Gluten free food does exist for a good reason, as many people need to eat food without gluten. However, it’s going to do approximately zip to that sag in your belly.
A convincing enough mindset, and one that’s easy to see why people bought into it. Eating the right snacks between meals can keep you from overeating at said meals. However, if you know nothing else about your fellow Americans, know this: snacks and us are a love affair. So much so that the source for most people’s obesity is snacks, not full course meals.
Snacks are small, and by design easy to nibble on and hard to stop doing so. Those bowls of snack mix during movie night add up over time. Snacking is great, don’t misunderstand. But like with all other things, it must be done deliberately and mindfully. If you’re trying to lose weight, be very meticulous about the snacks you eat, and set a hard limit on how much you have a day.
This last one is interesting since half of it actually is true. There are foods, usually vegetables like celery, that have so few calories, that the mere act of digestion (which is basically the muscles in your body sucking and pushing food down) negates those calories you otherwise would have gained. Hence the term “negative calories.”
However, switching to a mostly negative calorie diet will do pretty much nothing. You won’t gain anymore calories, but you won’t lose any either, unless you throw out all of those sweets and junk food you have in your pantry and replace them all with celery. And be honest, that’s not going to happen. But you are on the right track, as vegetables in general are a great way to lose weight.
The point at the end of all of this is thus: to lose weight, you need to play the long game. There’s no instant fix, no special super-secret diet, no clever clogs trick besides just acting healthier and staying that way. Our bodies don’t work like that, so the only way to do it is to do it. And keep on doing it, even after you get results.