“OMG only a month and a half till the summer and I still have those few kilos to lose!”
How many of you have said that, or, are having that thought? May and June are the critical months of the year when people “wake up” and decide to get fit, looking forward to show a 300-like body on the beach. Pity that most of people don’t have a real strategy to lose those kilos and end up falling in the most common mistakes, probably listening to that colleague, that claims he found the Holy Grail of weight loss.
In this article I want to enlighten you about a few of the most common mistakes people do when the “beach body fever” is in the air.
5 Diet urban legends you should NOT fall into
1. Stop eating
That may sound like the most logical solution but is actually the worst. Our body continuously adopts to changes, in fact, if we decrease our calorie intake dramatically, our body will optimize the consumption of calories making our metabolism less efficient. Starvation also stimulates the release of the Cortisol hormone. That hormone burns both muscular tissue and fat in order to create sugar (Gluconeogenesis), so we would end up burning only half of the fat and loosing precious muscular tissue. And last but not least, the Cortisol is associated with bad moods and we all know that a bad mood on an empty stomach will always lead to a tub of ice cream.
2. Avoid eating fats
Fats were always associated to weight gain in the past because their higher caloric value(1g of fat has 9Kal when 1g of carbs or proteins have only 4kal). The truth is that we need a good daily amount of fats in order to optimize our hormonal production and also as structural function. In fact the outer layer of our cells is mainly made of fats and it’s proven that the daily assumption of mono and poly unsaturated fats, increases weight loss. So make sue to have your bunch of nuts and a spoon of olive oil daily.
3. The “food X” diet
We’ve all seen many popular diets claiming to cut 4 kilos in a week eating only that magic “food X”. The banana diet, the pumpkin diet and so on. Of course to cut off all the cereals and dairy would drain most of your water retention and you may even lose 2 kilos in 2 days but as soon as you bite a piece of bread, you will blow up again. That’s because the weight you lost was only water and not real fat. The truth is, there isn’t a food that is so complete by itself to replace all the others, but the best effects are achieved with a wise combination of different foods.
4. Abolish carbs
There are many zero carbs diet and I’ve also tried a few myself. The truth is that an almost zero carbs diet will eventually stimulate a good weight loss, both from draining water retention and also burning a considerable amount of fat and muscle tissue, due to the release of the hormone Cortisol (as I already explained when the blood sugar is low the body will destroy fats and muscle tissue in order to create new sugar). But what happens in most brave people that try this approach, is that they find it almost impossible to keep the diet for long periods and end up spending a fortune at the sweet shop on the corner getting back all the weight with interests. As long as you don’t have an iron will, or absolutely no temptations around you, I really do not recommend a zero carbs diet. Instead, try these awesome tips on how to keep burning fat while still eating carbs.
5. Abuse of fat-burning supplements
You might have found products saying they are the ultimate fat burning weapon and they will give you a rock hard 6 pack in few weeks. Do you know what is the main fat burning agent in these products? Caffeine! Exactly! Caffeine is one of the most powerful fat burning substance, but only works if your body is not used to that. In fact, a usual coffee drinker will have most of his adrenergic receptors (they react to caffeine and stimulate production of adrenaline) already saturated (they won’t get stimulated anymore by caffeine).
If we stop the intake of caffeine those receptors would open again and our body will react to caffeine increasing our heart rate and therefore burning more calories. So rather than spend a lot of money on fat burners, just try to stay a week without coffee and you will see how your first espresso (after a week break) will make your heart beat like a jungle drum. There’s nothing really magic in those little boxes, a black coffee with cinnamon would probably have a stronger fat burning effect if taken wisely.
Still not sure how to balance your diet and lifestyle? Trust a professional! Check out this Balanced Diet and Workout Plan, designed by a registered dietician and a professional fitness coach.