Given the number of weight loss promises, research studies, experiments, new diets, and daily surveys that constantly bombard you with different kinds of advice at every turn you take; it’s no wonder that you would have many misconceptions and misunderstandings regarding weight loss. In order to sift fact from fiction, we raise four important questions regarding weight loss that are commonly asked by dieters and we provide you with sound answers.
1. Is it true that exercise does not help one to lose weight?
An extremely contentious issue that continues to rage on among researchers is if exercise really helps in losing weight. Let us look at some of the facts. When an individual starts to exercise, he may notice that he is not losing weight because he is actually eating more to counterbalance the effects of increased hunger or rewarding himself for exercising. Another fact about exercise is that as an individual starts to lose fat, he begins to gain muscle which weighs more than fat. However, exercise does help in losing fat, even if one may not realise, as the fat is slowly transforming into muscle with regular exercise. For effective weight loss, one must not rely on exercise alone. Weight loss takes place when fewer calories are consumed than what is being burnt during exercise. More importantly, over 96% of dieters erringly miscalculate the number of calories they burn when exercising. For example, most people perceive that spending an hour on the treadmill can get rid of the calories consumed on an entire chocolate cake. Far from close, running for over an hour on the treadmill hardly makes up for even a single slice. Exercise is not a sure shot guarantee for weight loss, but is an extremely effective and reliable path towards overall good health. Some of the many benefits of exercising every day include, lowering the risk of chronic diseases, keeping the brain sharp and alert and buoying one’s mood. In order to shed pounds, it takes more than just sweat and time in the gym; it needs perseverance and dedication in also maintaining a diet. Some specialized diet regimes combined with exercise help expedite weight loss.
2. Which is best — regular sessions of moderate exercise or shorter bursts of intense activity?
According to obesity and health experts, there is no right or wrong way to work out. Depending upon your goals — whether to lose weight or stay healthy — you should decide how much you need to move and what kind of exercise you need to begin with. For example, if you lead a sedentary life and get very little exercise throughout the day, fitness experts opine on starting slowly. Focus on doing one particular exercise rather than the amount of activity you would want to do in a day. This could include walking for a few minutes every day; according to research it has been seen that inactive women who began walking for just 15 min a day witnessed improved cardiovascular health.
3. Why is it hard to lose weight with age?
One of the major contributors to weight gain is age; for numerous reasons. As adults grow older, they begin to lose more mass muscle. Which is why, strength training is extremely important even for older adults as it helps in building muscle. As muscles become stronger, excess pounds stay off and one begins to observe improved balance that helps in lowering the risk of falls leading to fractures. Ageing also accounts for lower metabolism as organs and cells start wearing and tearing off, thus becoming less and less efficient in burning calories. It has been seen that individuals who started regular exercise in childhood had better metabolism than those who started later in life.
4. Do diet sodas actually work?
Compared to the sugary versions, diet sodas contain minimal or no calories, but off late an increasing number of studies have revealed that individuals who consume diet soda actually gained additional pounds than those who consumed the original versions. Food experts deduce that the brain is not fooled by artificial sweeteners and while diet soda may taste sweet to the palate, the body is not satisfied with the number of calories it was awaiting. Consuming diet soda causes a person to seek sugar from other foods thus encouraging overeating or bingeing. Another reason could be that foods containing artificial sweeteners are 100 times sweeter than plain good ol’ sugar. Over a period of time, people who consume a large amount of artificially flavoured food products become so habituated to extreme levels of sweetness that their taste buds can no longer enjoy natural sugars found in fruits and other natural produce.
Joseph Bianchi is a fitness specialist, writing mainly on topics involving weight loss and healthy living. His special interest is in HCG Diet Drops that aid weight loss if combined with proper diet.