Do you ever feel like your head is spinning trying to separate weight loss facts from fiction? Well, you're not alone. Millions of people are trying to sort out the facts and fiction of all of the diet, exercise and weight loss info out there.
Here are the top 10 weight loss facts you need to know:
The simple fact about weight loss is that with a healthy diet you can expect to lose around 2 pounds per week. Losing more than that will be mostly water instead of fat. By trying to lose weight too quickly, you have a greater chance of gaining all the weight back and possibly even more. When you skip meals, your metabolism slows down to conserve fuel. By not eating enough calories, your body thinks you are starving, so it holds on to the fat, and it becomes more difficult to lose weight. Eating 5-6 small meals per day will help to keep your metabolism at peak level. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and non-fat dairy products are good healthy choices. Exercise helps you lose weight and keep it off. The more you exercise, the more calories you will burn and the more weight you will lose. Building muscle as well as aerobic exercise is your best combination for maximum weight loss and permanent fitness. Remember, to lose one pound, you need to burn off 3500 more calories than you consume. Fat-free foods are not calorie-free! Always check the nutrition label to make sure your choices are not hurting your efforts to lose weight. Many people mistakenly think that they can eat more of a fat-free food, when in reality they may be taking in more calories than if they ate less of the regular item! Performing weight training exercises does not burn fat directly, but it does speed up the metabolism for a fair amount of time after the workout is over. How much the metabolism increases will depend on the individual and how intense they exercise during the workout. To burn fat directly you need to exercise continuously at low levels for at least 30 minutes. As a rule of thumb, if you aren't able to hold a conversation while working out due to breathing too hard, you are probably exercising too intensely and won't be burning off excess fat for energy. Walking is an example of a great fat-burning exercise. Fat contains more than twice the amount of calories per gram than protein or carbohydrates. One way you can automatically reduce calorie intake without reducing food intake is just by cutting the fat out of your diet and replacing a portion of it with protein or carbs. All fats and oils contain the same amount of calories, whether they are saturated or unsaturated. You may think that it's okay to consume unsaturated fats while trying to lose weight but this is not true. While unsaturated fats are healthier, they are not lower in calories. After you begin to lose weight, you may notice the weight loss becomes slower. Eventually you may reach a point where weight loss levels off. This is a plateau. There is a normal response from your body and if you keep exercising and monitoring your food intake the weight loss will begin again. The most important thing to remember is to not quit. It can be discouraging, but keep going and soon you will see your weight loss resume. After reaching your goal, sticking with your new exercise plan and healthy eating habits is the best way to keep it off. Making lifestyle changes is the best way to lose the weight, keep it off and live a healthier, happier life!