7 Weight Loss Myths Debunked

There are a bunch of weight loss theories still repeated today that are simply not true. Some people are not caught up on the latest research, so we would like to go over seven weight loss myths that are totally false.

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You’ve probably heard and read a lot of myths about how to lose weight. We’re constantly bombarded by ads for weight loss supplements, doctors hawking their special diets, and other misinformation.

You need to know a few nutrition basics and some details about how the body processes what you eat if you want to lose weight. When you’re armed with this knowledge, you’ll be able to avoid some of the shady weight loss practices out there.

Here are seven weight loss myths debunked.

1. All Carbohydrates are Bad

Refined carbohydrates hasten the chance of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Store-bought bagels and waffles, baked goods and crackers are examples of refined carbs, These carbohydrates are stripped of fiber and nutrients, giving you empty calories and making you gain more weight, especially around your midsection.

Eat natural, healthy carbohydrates instead. Good carbs include whole grains, such as barley, oats, quinoa, and millet.

A banana contains 23% carbohydrates from either sugar or starches. High in potassium Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C, bananas help lower blood pressure and protect against heart disease. Antioxidant-rich sweet potatoes are full of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and fiber.

We don’t normally associate fruits with carbohydrates, but blueberries, oranges, apples, and grapefruit are excellent healthy carb sources. They contain fiber, Vitamin C and disease-preventing antioxidants. Blueberries protect against inflammation and oxidative stress.

2. Snacking Will Make You Gain Weight

Eating between meals is good for you, provided you eat healthy foods. Many experts recommend that you eat five small meals a day instead of three large ones, so you can even turn a snack into a mini-meal. Eating several times a day prevents you from bingeing or overeating at mealtime.

As long as you snack on fruit, whole grains, nuts or seeds, you won’t gain weight, and you’ll get much-needed nutrients while quelling hunger pangs. Traditionally, snacking means chomping on potato chips, candy or other high-calorie foods. The trend of snacking on junk food has changed as people become more health-conscious.

3. Good-tasting Food is Always Unhealthy

Many people put off dieting or approach it with trepidation because they think “diet” foods” are bland and tough to eat.

Losing weight requires eating fresh, whole foods and cooking at home. There’s no way around this fact unless you want to spend big bucks on a diet food delivery service that prepares meals for you.

Learn how to cook simple dishes if you’ve gained weight because you eat lots of takeout and processed food, Visit the produce section of the grocery store instead of the refrigerated food aisle, and learn how to buy the leanest cuts of meat.

Snack on tasty treats like Peach Homemade Greek Yogurt (only 100 calories) or Ham and Egg Sweet Potato Toast. These snacks don’t take much effort to make, and it won’t take long to get used to their fresh, wholesome taste.

4. Cut Fat from Your Diet to Lose Weight

Contrary to popular belief, low-fat diets won’t help you lose weight. Foods containing Omega 3 fatty acids and other healthy fats can increase your metabolism and help you lose weight. Choose avocados, walnuts, olive oil, salmon and other fatty fish to increase healthy fats in your diet, or look into the low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet.

Cutting fat and replacing it with sugar and carbohydrates will spike insulin and increase belly fat. Eating extra sugars and refined grains will increase cravings and make overeating more likely.

5. As Long as You Stick to Your Calorie Limit, It Doesn’t Matter What You Eat

Avoiding excess calories is only one part of a healthy diet. The foods you eat to arrive at your daily calorie total matter, too and can make the difference between a slim figure and weight gain.

You need to eat enough protein, fat, and carbohydrate each day to stay healthy and energetic. The foods you eat must supply you with enough calcium, B vitamins, magnesium and other nutrients.

Concentrate on eating the right balance of different food types each door instead of merely counting calories. After all, what’s healthy 1,200 calories worth of doughnuts or 1,200 calories from five small meals of lean meat, vegetables, fruits, and nuts? The doughnuts, with all their sugar and detrimental carbs, will make you gain weight. The small meals consisting of nutritious food will make you slimmer and healthier in the long run.

6. Surgery, Crash Diets, and Diet Pills Will Help You Lose Weight Fast

Losing weight and keeping it off is a lifelong pursuit. Going on a restricted calorie diet may result in short-term weight loss, but you’ll gain the weight right back unless you eat healthy foods to maintain your weight.

Starving yourself to lose weight fast will lead to nutritional deficiencies and make you feel weak and listless. Extreme calorie cutting causes you to lose muscle mass, not fat.

Instead of going on a crash diet or taking weight-loss pills, eat a balanced diet full of lean protein, fresh fruits, vegetables and healthy carbohydrates. (It’s even okay to cheat once in a while and eat sugary, or junk food – 90% healthy food to 10% splurge food is admissible per week.)

Stomach stapling, liposuction and other surgical or cosmetic procedures are a short-term solution as well. Eating healthy foods, moderate to vigorous physical activity, and stress reduction (too much stress causes emotional eating) are the only ways to keep fit long-term.

7. Weight Loss Programs Work in a Linear Way

Don’t expect to lose all the weight you want by next week or even next month. You may lose a few pounds, only to stay at the same weight the next week or even gain a pound.

It’s normal for your weight to fluctuate when you change your lifestyle and the food you eat. As your body becomes more accustomed to eating better foods (and you exercise more), you’ll begin to see a steady drop in your weight, although it may not be an immediate, dramatic change.

As long as you are losing a bit of weight consistently, (even if it’s a half-pound a week), you have an excellent chance of achieving your goal.

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TFT Editorial Team

TFT Editorial Team

Our team at The Fitness Tribe often collaborates together to produce content. When you see "TFT Editorial Team" this is because the content was not written by a single author, but rather a team effort.

7 Weight Loss Myths Debunked

There are a bunch of weight loss theories still repeated today that are simply not true. Some people are not caught up on the latest

Can I Drink Alcohol and Still Lose Weight?

This is a very important question that we are certain everyone has thought about. Alcohol is one of the most common vices that causes people to break their diets. Let's discuss if you can enjoy a couple cocktail and still lose weight.

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Weight loss is all about sacrifice. If you’re working to lose extra pounds, you’ll probably need to give up some of your favorite fatty foods. But what about alcohol? Can you still enjoy an occasional beer, cocktail or glass of wine while you’re trying to lose weight? Let’s take an in-depth look at how alcohol can affect weight loss:

How Alcohol Impacts Weight Loss

The formula for weight loss is pretty simple. You just need to burn more calories than you take in. While exercise definitely helps with weight loss, the main key to weight loss is simply watching how many calories you consume each day.

Unfortunately, alcohol does contain calories. The average 12-ounce beer contains up to 150 calories. Most spirits contain about 90 calories per shot. Red and white wines average about 120 calories per glass. (Source)

Specialty drinks can dramatically increase the calorie count. Avoid drinks which contain sugary mixes or sodas. The sweeter a drink is, the more calories it typically contains. Instead, you’ll want to use low-calorie mixers like club soda. Note that tonic has more calories than many people think with roughly 124 calories per 12 ounces.

How Alcohol is Processed by the Body

Alcohol isn’t metabolized in the same way as most other foods or drinks. Your body can’t store alcohol. So alcohol in your system is given priority in the metabolic process.

Unfortunately, this can slow down other digestive processes. The body’s natural ability to breakdown fats, carbs and proteins is impaired. Even though your body can still digest nutrients, the ability to do so isn’t as efficient as when you have no alcohol in your system.

Roughly one-quarter of the alcohol in a drink is absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the stomach. The remaining alcohol is absorbed through the small bowel. How fast the alcohol is absorbed depends on:

  • The contents of your stomach (empty stomachs absorb alcohol faster)
  • The alcohol concentration of the drink (stronger drinks are absorbed faster)
  • The carbonation of the drink (sparkling drinks are absorbed faster)

Your liver does most of the heavy lifting when you drink. Roughly 98% of the alcohol is processed by the liver, with the rest being expelled through urine and sweat. The good news is that a healthy diet can help counteract any alcohol-induced liver damage. So if you drink moderately, and otherwise stick to healthy foods, you can avoid a lot of potential liver problems. (Source)

Can I Drink Alcohol and Still Lose Weight?

Absolutely! Just focus on moderation. For instance, if you drink two glasses of wine each night, cut back to just one. Safe drinking practices are better for your health – and you’ll feel better the next morning, too. (Source)

Never drink on an empty stomach. People sometimes attempt to limit their daily calorie intake by skipping a meal in favor of alcohol. But drinking on an empty stomach can lead to fast, dangerous levels of intoxication. Always eat before or during when you’re drinking alcoholic beverages.

Plus, space out your drinking by having a glass of water between each alcoholic drink. Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it causes dehydration. Drinking a glass of water between each cocktail or beer helps your body stay hydrated. Plus, the extra time between drinks allows you more accurately assess your sobriety level.

Also, make sure you watch what you eat after you’ve been drinking. A few drinks can lower your inhibitions. Don’t splurge on a late night trip to Taco Bell or make other unwise meal choices. Instead, try to nibble on something healthy while you’re drinking so you don’t have a “bottomless stomach” at the end of the night.

How to Make a Plan for Safe Drinking

You don’t have to give up alcohol completely. But each drink can interfere with weight loss. So make each drink count as something special. Figure out the times when you most enjoy having a drink, and only drink during those times.

For instance, suppose you enjoy having a glass of wine when you’re out to dinner with friends. Limit your alcohol consumption to those occasions. Or perhaps you prefer to have a beer at home when watching football. The point is to identify the one time you’d miss alcohol the most, and only drink during those occasions.

Effects of Long-Term Drinking on Weight Loss

Moderate alcohol consumption won’t interfere with your weight loss in any significant way. But you can’t really drink on a regular basis and expect to lose weight. Aside from the calories consumed, long-term alcohol use has several negative benefits.

First, alcohol can drastically interfere with your ability to sleep. Passed out sleep isn’t the same as natural, healthy sleep. If you don’t get the proper amount of sleep, your body will crave additional calories the next day.

Plus, alcohol use can drastically reduce testosterone. Testosterone helps with weight loss, even in women. A significant drop in testosterone can reduce your body’s ability to lose weight. (Source)

Final Thoughts

Losing weight isn’t always easy. Sometimes diets fail simply because the dieter puts too much pressure on themselves. Avoid trying to completely alter your lifestyle overnight. Instead, focus on small changes which are easy to stick with.

Drinking in moderation is key. Identify a few activities where you enjoy having a drink, and only consume alcohol during those special situations. When drinking alcohol, be sure and drink plenty of water. Also never drink on an empty stomach.

Just because you’re trying to lose weight doesn’t mean you have to give up alcohol completely. With a bit of planning and preparation, you can safely drink moderately while still shedding pounds. Cheers to your weight loss goals!

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Our team at The Fitness Tribe often collaborates together to produce content. When you see "TFT Editorial Team" this is because the content was not written by a single author, but rather a team effort.

HIIT or Steady Cardio: What Burns More Fat?

Its a common debate, and everyone has their preferences. But what does the science say? Let's discuss high intensity interval training vs steady cardio workouts and see which style burns more fat.

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It’s a debate that’s been going on for a long time. Who burns more fat: stick-thin marathon runners doing long steady cardio or ripped weightlifters who use high-intensity interval training (HIIT)?

The question is a contentious one because both are valid forms of exercise and both can help you lose fat. However, we’re getting close to determining which one burns more fat – and it might be HIIT. Rather than considering opinions, we’d rather look at the science.

The Case for Intensity: HIIT

The recent focus on HIIT and other training systems like it seem to be getting more press than steady cardio.

That’s because recent scientific studies have produced data that supports HIIT as being better exercise.

Several studies have found that when people combine resistance training with aerobic exercise, their bodies are more likely to work harder and more likely to see more positive effects like better cardiovascular fitness and lower risks for cardiovascular disease.

If you’re working harder to improve your cardio, then you’re burning more calories and more fat.

Of course, these studies are small, so the generalizations to be made about the findings are limited. But it goes to show that the spectacle the fitness industry has made of HIIT is based in a reality.

The fine print tends to find that HIIT isn’t miles better than steady cardio. It’s only mildly better. And when you consider how much harder HIIT can be physically, you have to wonder whether it’s worth the effort.

But what about burning fat and losing weight?

Mixed Results: HIIT vs Cardio

One recent study explored which of the two is better for weight loss.

The study was conducted by researchers at Duke University. They spent eight months tracking 119 volunteers who were both overweight and previously sedentary.

Volunteers participated in either aerobic exercise, resistance training, or a combination of aerobics and resistance training. When the researchers weight the volunteers at the end, it was the group who had participated in aerobics who lost the most weight.

The resistance group added two pounds to their starting weight. Before you ask – yes, they gained muscle mass, which contributed to the weight gain.

But what was most interesting about this study, especially compared to the studies about cardiovascular work we listed above, was that the fat loss and muscle mass found in the resistance training group wasn’t meaningful enough to suggest that it is a superior form of exercise.

Why Is HIIT So Popular? The “Afterburn”

If running, resistance, and HIIT all seem to produce similar effects – at least, they’re not different enough to say one is definitively better than the other – then why is HIIT so popular?

What makes it different?

The answer to this question is afterburn, which is fitness-industry slang for excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). EPOC is the amount of oxygen your body consumers after exercise. If you’ve exercised heavily, you’ll need more oxygen. ‘Afterburn’ links the oxygen consumption to burning more calories after exercise.

In other words, if you work out hard, you’ll not only burn calories during your workout but you’ll burn more calories than you normally would in the hours and days afterward.

Who doesn’t want that?

The story goes that HIIT has greater afterburn than steady state cardio. However, the jury is out here, too, because the studies that suggest that HIIT increases EPOC are also vague. The effects of EPOC are modest, and the effects of HIIT on EPOC are also modest. They’re not enough to definitively say HIIT blows the benefits offered by cardio out of the water.

Add in Weight Training

While it’s unclear whether HIIT or cardio alone has great effects on your cardiovascular system, EPOC, and fat loss, there is one thing that does.

If you’re looking to destroy fat with one of these devices, then weight training is the way to go. While the gains you enjoy can vary wildly depending on intensity, how much muscle you have, and what exercise you’re doing, science shows that lifting weights is the best way to go.

That’s not to say that cardio and HIIT have no place in fat loss. They’re both viable ways of losing weight and getting healthy. But if you’re looking for the fastest way, you’ll likely need to throw in some weight training.

HIIT vs Cardio: The Best Way to Battle Fat

If you’re looking for a scientifically-proven way to burn fat, then either HIIT or steady cardio will work. While one isn’t substantially better than the other, both are able to burn fat, improve your cardiovascular system and help you feel better.

Reading this and haven’t exercised in a while? Start with aerobic cardio exercise.

Aerobic cardio exercise, like dancing, jogging, swimming, or cycling, will help you build up your cardiovascular system up to a point where you’re ready to take on intense training systems like HIIT.
Once you’re feeling ready for HIIT both physically and mentally, start with two sessions a week and keep it up for a few months.

You might be tempted to hit the gym every day. More exercise burns more calories, right?
Resist the temptation. HIIT can take a toll on your body, and it’s something that should be thrown into your workout for a few weeks or months and then taken out again for recovery.

In fact, there’s no reason not to go back to steady state cardio or weightlifting in between sessions, since you’ll still be burning fat.

Do What’s Right for You

The jury is out on whether HIIT is really better than steady cardio. While science has shown that HIIT offers slightly elevated benefits, the evidence isn’t likely enough to demonstrate a serious improvement in fat loss.

So, what workout should you choose?

Get involved in workouts that make you happy, help your body feel stronger and healthier, and make you look better.

What’s your experience with HIIT and cardio? Did you find one worked better than the other? Share your stories in the comments.

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TFT Editorial Team

TFT Editorial Team

Our team at The Fitness Tribe often collaborates together to produce content. When you see "TFT Editorial Team" this is because the content was not written by a single author, but rather a team effort.

7 Weight Loss Myths Debunked

There are a bunch of weight loss theories still repeated today that are simply not true. Some people are not caught up on the latest

Why Drinking Water is Critical for Losing Weight

One of the most often overlooked aspects of proper nutrition is water. When comes to losing weight, getting stronger, or overall health, drinking enough water is absolutely crucial.

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Weight loss plans often place a lot of emphasis on what foods you should and shouldn’t eat. But focusing only on food isn’t the best strategy. What you drink will have a significant impact on how quickly and easily you lose weight.

Specifically, water plays an important role. Let’s take an in-depth look at the effect water has on weight loss:

The Importance of Water

Water is arguably the single most important element necessary for life. While you can survive about eight weeks without food, you can only live for three to five days without water. But water does more than just keep you alive. Staying properly hydrated has numerous benefits including:

  • Improved skin tone and elasticity
  • Reduced muscle fatigue
  • Improved kidney function
  • Improved bowel function

So how much water should you drink each day? Follow the eight-by-eight rule. Drink an eight-ounce glass of water eight times a day. This works out to about two liters or a half gallon of water each day.

If you’re trying to lose weight, you’re probably exercising on a regular basis. Workouts require increased water consumption beyond the eight and eight rule. Experts recommend drinking between 15 and 20 ounces of water about an hour before your workout. Then drink another 10 ounces 15 minutes before your workout. During your workout, drink about eight ounces every 15 minutes. (Source)

Here’s a simple trick you can use to stay hydrated. Weigh yourself before your workout. Then weigh yourself after. If your weight after working out is over 2% less than your pre-workout weight, then you’re not drinking enough water during your workout.

How to Know if You’re Dehydrated

Dehydration can sneak up on you. By the time you feel thirsty, your body has already been dehydrated for quite some time. Here are a few signs you need to drink some water ASAP:

  • Thirst
  • Headache
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Dark Urine
  • Lack of Sweat

Many symptoms of dehydration are similar to feelings of hunger. A growing stomach, low energy levels and feelings of lightheadedness can simply mean you’re thirsty. If you drink a glass of water whenever you’re hungry, you might be surprised at how often your hunger disappears.

How Water Helps You Lose Weight

Water plays a few important roles in helping with weight loss. First, water can make you feel full. Because water is completely calorie-free, you can drink as much as you like without adding extra calories to your diet. Whenever you have a craving for something to eat, trying drinking a glass of water instead. Even just eight ounces can fill your stomach and stop your hunger.

Water also helps increase body functions. When you’re hydrated, your body will have an easier time flushing out wastes in both urine and sweat. This helps increase your metabolism and overall weight loss.

Looking to kick-start your weight loss? Drink ice cold water. Your body will warm the water internally, which can burn some extra calories. Plus, many people find ice water to be more refreshing than room temperature water. (Source)

Water also helps decrease stress. Staying hydrated keeps your body from producing the stress hormone cortisol. This can be especially helpful if you typically turn to food as a way to deal with nervousness and anxiety. (Source)

How to Get Enough Water

If you’re not used to drinking water, drinking a half gallon a day can be challenging at first. Keep in mind that you might need to make frequent trips to the bathroom. After a few days your body will adjust to the amount of water and you won’t have to urinate as often.

If you’re having difficulty drinking two liters of water each day, here are a few strategies you can try. Don’t worry. Even if you struggle a bit at first, drinking water throughout the day is an easy habit to develop.

First, you’ll want to get a water bottle. If you spend the day in one general location, such as at a desk, a larger 64-ounce bottle might be a good choice. If you’re more mobile during the day, a smaller 16-ounce water bottle might be easier to carry around. Having one water bottle helps you drink more water during the day because you don’t have to hunt around for cups or buy bottled water.

A water tracker is a useful tool to consider. Available online, a tracker creates a graphic illustrating how much water you’re drinking throughout the day. Typically, trackers measure water consumption in eight-ounce intervals. Looking for a free tracker? MedHelp has a free tracker available. You can also find a free water tracker for Android in the Google App store.

Water can taste a little strange if your body isn’t used to it. If you don’t particularly care for the taste of water, consider adding low or no-calorie flavorings. Sparkling water is another option you might want to try.

Finally, remember many foods also have a high water content. Fresh fruits and vegetables often contain lots of water. Plus, they also help with weight loss. Clear soups and broths are other excellent options. Just be aware of creamy soups, which can be very calorie-dense.

Conclusion

Water is often overlooked. But drinking water throughout the day can significantly increase weight loss. Just eight glasses of water a day will help you shed those pounds.

If you’re not used to drinking a lot of water, the experience can feel a little weird at first. You’ll probably have to go to the restroom quite often during the first week or so. But soon your body will adapt and you’ll feel happier, healthier and thinner.

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Our team at The Fitness Tribe often collaborates together to produce content. When you see "TFT Editorial Team" this is because the content was not written by a single author, but rather a team effort.

7 Great Workouts for Weight Loss

There are certain types of workouts and exercises that have been proven to significantly increase calorie burning. Checkout these seven workouts that will undoubtedly help you shed some weight.

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Weight loss occurs when your body burns more calories than you consume. Exercise is actually completely optional for losing weight. But regular workouts can help you lose weight faster and easier.

When you exercise, your body converts stored fat into energy. Even just one hour of high-impact exercise can burn 500 or more calories.

The secret to success is to choose an exercise you enjoy. If working out is fun, you’re more likely to stick with a program for a steady period of time. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of exercises available. Here are seven great workouts for weight loss:

1. Swimming

Swimming is a full-body, low-impact exercise. The water provides a cushion to help protect your joints. Regular time in the pool tones and tightens your muscles while also shedding pounds. (Source)

You can vary up your stroke to burn even more calories. The breaststroke burns about 60 calories every 10 minutes. The backstroke burns 80; freestyle burns 100. The butterfly burns a whopping 150 calories every 10 minutes.

If swimming sounds like a workout you’d enjoy, you might want to check out a pool or health club near you. An indoor pool is probably the best option so you can work out regardless of the weather.

2. Interval Training

Cardio is a great way to lose weight. You can take your cardio efforts to the next level by adding Intervals. Intervals are simply brief periods of intensity during your regular workout. For instance, if you normally walk for a half-hour, add a short 30 second period of jogging every five minutes. If you normally swim laps, swim at full speed every seventh lap. Whatever you normally do, step up the intensity briefly.

The benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training last for up to 24 hours. Your metabolism works at a higher rate for hours after you’ve finished your workout. Over time, you’ll want to step up the length of the intense part. You’re doing it right if the intense portion of the workout leaves you breathing pretty hard.

3. Bike Riding

Biking is a fun aerobic exercise with a lot of health benefits. Unlike running, biking doesn’t put much strain on your legs or joints. Plus, biking burns more calories than walking. (Source)

Riding a bike has plenty of practical applications, too. You’re not limited to wilderness bike trails. You can easily bike around town, too. If you live near your work, riding your bike to the office not only has health benefits but can also save you a lot of money, too.

4. Hiking

Do you live in an area with a lot of natural beauty? Explore the outdoors with a hike. Hiking trails vary in difficulty. So even if you’re not in great shape right now, you can start with gentle hiking trails and slowly work your way up to more advanced hiking adventures.

If you’re new to hiking, there are a few basics to keep in mind. First, every time you go hiking, tell someone where you plan to go and when you plan to return. Also, be sure and pack the essentials. They include a map, plenty of water, a light jacket, a first aid kit and more. Even a short, easy hike has a certain amount of risk you need to be prepared for. (Source)

5. Sports

Are you the competitive type? Sports are a great way to have fun while losing weight. Basketball, softball, tennis and more are a great way to stay active. Look into joining a gym or other local league.

Play an active game for at least 60 minutes each day. If you have kids, get them to join in on the fun. When youngsters develop active habits early in life, they’re far more likely to stay physically fit as adults.

6. Push-Ups

You don’t need fancy equipment to have a great workout. Simple, old-fashioned pushups can easily help you lose weight. Basically, one minute of pushups will burn between six and 10 calories. To really burn weight, you’ll want to do push-ups for 30 minutes to an hour. (Source)

Obviously, that’s a bit much for a beginner. But if you stick with it, you’ll get better over time. Make 30 minutes a goal to strive for. Push-up can be done at home and require no special tools or exercise devices. If you’re not quite strong enough right now for a full push-up, use your knees for additional support.

Along with push-ups, you can also do sit-ups, pull-ups and other simple exercises. If you’re just starting to work out, and are a bit embarrassed to visit the gym, home exercises can be an effective solution.

7. Cross-Country Skiing

Do you live in a snowy climate? Cross-country skiing is a great way to work out your entire body. Cross-country skiing is individually paced, meaning it’s a suitable activity for every fitness level. Cross-country skiing tones your legs and arms, improves your lung capacity and can burn up to 500 calories an hour. (Source)

Groomed cross-country ski trails can be found at downhill ski resorts, national parks, nature centers and more. If you’re new to the sport, you might want to start with a lesson or bring along an experienced friend.

Aside from the equipment, cross-country skiing is relatively inexpensive. Most trails are free. Plus, cross-country skiing can be a very social activity which is perfect for groups.

Final Thoughts

If you’re just starting your weight-loss journey, exercise can feel a bit intimidating. The secret is to find a fun activity you enjoy doing. If you want to work out alone, try pushups in your house or swimming laps at your local gym. If you’re looking for something a bit more social, try cross-country skiing or playing sports.

The most effective workout is the one you’ll keep coming back to. Don’t be afraid to explore a few different options until you find the perfect exercise routine for you!

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Our team at The Fitness Tribe often collaborates together to produce content. When you see "TFT Editorial Team" this is because the content was not written by a single author, but rather a team effort.

Where Does Fat Go When You Lose Weight?

Weight loss can be a complicated subject. While you certainly don’t need a Ph.D. to lose weight, understanding the science behind weight loss can be a big help. Let’s take a look at where fat goes when you lose weight, and how you can use science to help shed pounds.

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What is Fat?

Let’s start with the basics. Fat is one of three macronutrients which your body uses for energy. Aside from fat, protein and carbohydrates are the other two macronutrients. As the term “macro” implies, large amount of macronutrients are necessary to keep your body functioning properly. (Source)

Each macronutrient has a different energy value. Fat provides the most with nine calories per gram. Carbohydrates and proteins each have four calories per gram.

Fat acts as reserve energy. Your body stores the fat until energy is needed. During exertion, including exercise, energy is first taken from carbohydrates. After carbs have been used, energy is then taken from stored fat. During periods of exercise, the switch from carbohydrates to fat energy takes about 20 minutes.

Fat is stored energy. While you do need some fat in your diet, excess fat leads to weight gain. Unfortunately, fat is the most difficult micronutrient to pull energy from. This is because fat is digested slower than proteins and carbohydrates. (Source)

But fat doesn’t need to be completely eliminated from your diet if you’re trying to lose weight. Foods with a high-fat content help you feel fuller longer. Called satiety, this feeling of fullness can help you eat less throughout the day. As long as you successfully moderate your fat intake, high-fat foods can be a useful weight-loss tool.

Types of Fat

Fats can be either polyunsaturated, saturated or trans. Generally, you want to limit saturated and trans fats from your diet as much as possible when you’re trying to lose weight. But polyunsaturated fats have quite a few health benefits when eaten in moderation. Polyunsaturated fat is a dietary fat with a double bond chemical structure. (Source)

All fat helps cells properly functions. Fat also helps keep your body insulated and internal temperatures properly regulated. Plus, fat helps with the absorption of many vital vitamins.

Polyunsaturated fats have several additional benefits. Specifically, these fats provide Vitamin E, Omega-3 and Omega-6. These nutrients increase circulatory system function, reduce inflammation and improve brain health. (Source)

Common sources of polyunsaturated fat include:

  • Fish including trout, salmon, tuna and herring
  • Nuts including walnuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds and chia seeds
  • Oils including sunflower oil, flax seed oil and soybean oil
  • Tofu and soybeans

How Much Polyunsaturated Fat Should I Eat?

Even though polyunsaturated fat has many health benefits, it still has nine calories per gram, which is more than carbohydrates and protein. So while you want to include some polyunsaturated fat in your diet, moderation is key.

Generally, fewer than 30% of total calories consumed should be from fat. The USDA Dietary Guidelines recommend less than 10% of fat consumption should come from saturated fat. If you’re trying to lose weight, stick to fish, nuts and other sources of unsaturated fat.

What Role Does Exercise Play in Weight Loss?

In order to lose weight, you have to exercise, right? Well, not exactly. Weight loss occurs when you have a negative calorie balance. That means more calories are exiting your body than entering. (Source)

Exercise isn’t necessary to have a negative calorie balance. If you don’t want to work out, you don’t have to. You can carefully monitor the number of calories you consume in order to shed pounds without exercise.

Basically, exercise helps increase the speed which weight loss can occur. Aerobic exercise will burn more calories than strength or resistance training. Weightlifting won’t make you gain weight, but the calories burned are actually fairly minimal compared to running, swimming and other more active exercises. (Source)

But truthfully the best type of exercise is any type you enjoy doing. You’ll be more likely to stick to a regular routine if you enjoy the activity you’re participating in.

How Does Fat Leave the Body?

If you want to lose weight, you need your body to convert fat into energy. Because carbohydrates are used as an energy source before fat, generally you’ll need to exercise for about 20 minutes before fat cells will start to shrink.

Fat is converted into energy by metabolic activities. This generates internal heat. The heat generated helps maintain your body temperature while also creating the waste products of water and carbon dioxide. Eliminating these waste products is how the fat leaves your body.

There’s a common misconception about how fat leaves the body. Although fat is typically referred to as “burned off,” fat is not actually converted into heat. Instead, fat is removed from the body in the following three ways (Source):

  • Urine
  • Sweat
  • Exhaled breath

Most fat is simply expelled through the lungs in the form of carbon dioxide. In a sense, fat is simply turned into thin air.

One major benefit of regular exercise is improved lung function. When your lungs operate at maximum capacity, waste products are able to be expelled more efficiently.

Do you smoke tobacco products? There’s a common misconception that quitting smoking results in weight gain. This is because many people turn to food as a substitute for a cigarette. But as long as you can control your diet, quitting smoking can help you lose weight. This is because your lungs will begin operating at an increased capacity.

Conclusion

Weight loss can be a difficult. But the journey becomes easier when you understand the chemical processes involved. The basics of weight loss are actually pretty simple: Your body needs to expel more calories than you consume.

By properly monitoring what you eat, and avoiding saturated fats, your body’s natural processes will efficiently remove fat from your body. Breathe in, breathe out and lose weight!

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TFT Editorial Team

Our team at The Fitness Tribe often collaborates together to produce content. When you see "TFT Editorial Team" this is because the content was not written by a single author, but rather a team effort.

Is the Ketogenic Diet Safe for Weight Loss?

The ketogenic diet is way outside the norm for many people. We would like to go over the basics of the ketogenic diet, if it is safe for weight loss, and concerns surrounding the eating style.

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The ketogenic diet is high in fat, low in carbohydrates and moderate in protein intake.
Ketosis occurs when the body gets few carbohydrates and must burn fat for energy. This process is the same one that takes place when someone is fasting or starving.

Is the ketogenic diet safe for weight loss? Most experts say so, though there are a few dissenters. Here’s some information to help you decide if the ketogenic diet can help you lose weight.

How Does the Ketogenic Diet Help You Lose Weight?

One study showed that a ketogenic diet helped people lose 2.2 times more weight than a low-fat, restricted calorie diet. When fat is increased and carbohydrates reduced, your body turns fats into ketones, molecules that give your brain energy. This state is known as ketosis.

Your body becomes accustomed to burning fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates after a few weeks on a ketogenic diet.

Research shows that low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diets offer superior results to other types of diets, including low-fat diets. In one study, a group of people on a low-carb diet lost 7.3% of their total body weight, compared to 4.5% for people on a low-fat diet.

There are four versions of the Ketogenic diet:

  • The standard ketogenic diet contains 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbohydrates.
  • A high-protein ketogenic diet is 60% fat, 30% protein and 10% carbohydrates, so it’s not that different from the standard keto diet.
  • The cyclical ketogenic diet allows more flexibility in your weekly eating habits. You can dedicate five days a week to the ketogenic diet and two days to a higher-carbohydrate total.
  • A targeted ketogenic diet lets you add carbohydrates around workout times.

What Foods Belong to the Ketogenic Diet?

The Ketogenic diet includes all healthy whole foods except fruits. Though, you can eat a few berries occasionally. Here’s a list of foods you can eat on the ketogenic diet:

Seafood

Seafood and shellfish contain few carbohydrates. Sardines, salmon and other fatty fish are high in B vitamins, and Omega 3’s to give you more energy while lowering your blood pressure. Research has also shown that regular fish consumption reduces the chance of cancer and other chronic diseases.

Low-Carbohydrate Vegetables

You can eat most veggies on the ketogenic diet, except for beets, potatoes, and other high-starch root vegetables. Spinach, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, cucumbers, and celery are high in fiber and low in calories and can be eaten as a side dish or included in recipes for main dishes.

Meat and Poultry

Meat and poultry contain no carbohydrates and are rich in vitamins. Choose from the following types of meat and poultry on a ketogenic diet:

  • Grass-fed beef
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Bacon*
  • Ham
  • Pork
  • Duck
  • Ground beef

Always choose unprocessed meat for the best nutritional value. You can include bacon in moderation in a ketogenic diet. It contains Omega 3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and selenium, so it does offer more than sodium and saturated fat. Always be sure to eat plenty of antioxidant-rich vegetables and berries to reduce the effects of the nitrates in bacon.

Eggs

One large egg contains one gram of carbohydrates and 61% of the daily value for protein. While eggs get a bad rap for high cholesterol, studies show they can positively alter LDL cholesterol and reduce the chance of heart disease.

Berries

While most fruits are restricted on a ketogenic diet, high-antioxidant blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are allowed. High in fiber and low in carbs, berries also contain lots of Vitamin C, folate and potassium. Cherries, kiwi, plums, peaches, and cantaloupes can occasionally be eaten on a ketogenic diet, as they contain moderate amounts of carbohydrates.

You can drink coffee and tea on a ketogenic diet, but avoid putting sugar or milk in the beverages.

Foods to Avoid

Starch and carbohydrates aren’t allowed on the ketogenic diet. They include all grains, even whole wheat, and products made from grains, like pizza. Avoid bread, baked goods, crackers, potatoes and all types of pasta.

Avoid candy, sugar, soft drinks, puddings, artificial sweeteners, high-fructose corn syrup and ice cream.

Replace refined fats and oils, such as corn, safflower, cottonseed, and soybean oil with olive oil. Avoid margarine and use full-fat butter instead.

Don’t eat factory-farmed pork or fish. Farmed fish may contain PCBs, and farmed pork may have omega six fatty acids.

Refrain from alcohol, including wine and beer.

No bananas, mangoes or other tropical fruit; no fruit juice of any kind.

No legumes or soy.

No milk except raw, full-fat milk. Pasteurized milk is difficult to digest.

As you can see, there’s not much difference between a ketogenic diet and a more standard, healthy diet free from processed foods. Since there are a few versions of the ketogenic diet, you can adjust the amount of carbs to meet your nutrition and weight loss goals.

Other Advantages of the Ketogenic Diet

Ketogenic diets may help people with epilepsy, heart disease, type-2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome or Alzheimer’s. The ketogenic diet is used to treat children with epilepsy by letting the part of the brain that burns ketones to work more effectively.

You’ll lose more belly fat with a ketogenic diet. Visceral fat in your abdominal cavity lodges around organs and cause inflammation that leads to metabolic syndrome.

Low-carb diets are more effective at reducing fat than other diets, especially belly fat. You’ll still need to exercise to tighten up the abdominal area, but a ketogenic diet will help whittle down your midsection.

Ketogenic diets also help lower triglycerides, fat molecules in the blood. Carbohydrates are one of the causes of elevated triglycerides, which cause heart disease.

Precautions

It may take one to two weeks for the body to adjust to a low-carbohydrate diet. This adjustment period may be uncomfortable for some people, particularly those who are used to eating lots of bread and baked goods.

When a ketogenic diet is too strict, you can develop ketoacidosis. Ketones multiply ion your blood, and this may cause coma or death. People with diabetes can get ketoacidosis (DKA) if they don’t take enough insulin, get injured, or don’t drink enough fluids.

Following any of the ketogenic diets shouldn’t cause problems for most people. All low-carb diets allow some carbohydrates, and can easily be adjusted to add more. You can always try out a ketogenic or low-carb diet by reducing the amount of carbohydrates you eat by a small percentage each week.

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About the Author:

TFT Editorial Team

TFT Editorial Team

Our team at The Fitness Tribe often collaborates together to produce content. When you see "TFT Editorial Team" this is because the content was not written by a single author, but rather a team effort.

7 Great Workouts for Weight Loss

There are certain types of workouts and exercises that have been proven to significantly increase calorie burning. Checkout these seven workouts that will undoubtedly help

The 7 Biggest Weight Loss Mistakes

Losing weight is hard. It is easy to get tired and distracted. In order to improve your chances of success don't fall victim to these seven big weight loss mistakes.

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Are you ready to lose weight – for real this time?

If you’re getting back on the wagon, there’s a good chance you’re like most of us and have fallen off a time or two (or three or four).

The hardest thing about weight loss isn’t the exercise or the incredible amount of chicken and white fish you end up eating. It’s that weight loss, despite being well studied, is littered with misinformation, old wives’ tales, and marketing ploys that can be hard to discern from the fact.

Plus, what works for you may not work for your best friend, so it can be hard to rely on information from people you trust.

However, there are a few common weight loss mistakes that people tend to make over and over again. If you can avoid these, you’re more likely to hit your target weight in less time (and with less effort).
Here are seven of the biggest weight loss mistakes you can make on your journey.

1. Following Too Many Rules

Believe it or not, healthy eating is relatively simple. Here’s what you really need to do to lose weight:

  • Avoid processed foods
  • Get your vitamins and minerals
  • Move your body
  • Get some sleep
  • Chill out

You do not need to:

  • Avoid all naturally-occurring sugar
  • Stop eating before 7 PM
  • Eat a dozen tiny meals per day
  • Never cheat
  • Indulge in kelp/hot water and lemon/fit teas/other trends

Following too many arbitrary rules is a good way to trip yourself up and get away from the basics of weight loss. It’s more important to follow a plan that works for you, your lifestyle, and your abilities than to fit the mold of a particular weight loss resource.

2. Restricting Calories

Despite all the evidence to the contrary, people still restrict their calories.
In theory, this makes sense. If you consume fewer calories, you’ll lose more weight.

While this may work for some people, particularly busy people who struggle to find time to eat, it’s not a good way to maintain your weight because you’ll find yourself getting too hungry and indulging more.

Here are a few more why reasons restricting calories is a mistake:

  • It messes with your metabolism, which helps regulate your weight.
  • Undereating means you’ll struggle to gain muscle – and it hurts your organs.
  • Fewer calories often mean fewer nutrients, leading to nutrient deficiencies and illnesses.

3. Using Artificial Sweeteners

You’re skipping sugar. But you’re just skipping calories, right? You can replace it with substitutes.

Thinking this way is a mistake because artificial sweeteners can actually lead to more body weight, typically carried around your stomach.

If you’re going to eat something sweet, go for the real thing and indulge in sugars that are naturally occurring if possible. And don’t forget to look out for artificial sweeteners in foods you wouldn’t expect, including bread and condiments.

4. Counting Calories on a Machine

Treadmills, cross-trainers, stationary bikes, and rowing machines are all happy to report that you’ve burned 1,000 calories.

Unfortunately, you likely did not.

The numbers presented by exercise machines are usually off the mark by up to 42%. While miscalculating the number of calories you’ve burned isn’t a crime, it can be problematic if you’re counting calories and trying to match your intake by what you’ve burned during exercise.

Burning 42% fewer calories than you think you did and then enjoying a big block of cheese because you think you’ll breakeven is possibly why your previous weight loss efforts failed.

Rather than worrying about the calories you’ve burned during a workout, focus more on the intensity of the workout and the way you feel. If you’ve brought your heart rate up for an extended period of time and you’re feeling tired, sore, and generally like you’ve gotten a good work out in, then be happy with that.

5. Cutting Out a Huge Food Group

Whether it’s marketed as a diet or a ‘lifestyle’, many modern weight loss plans rest on the idea of cutting out wide swaths of the food we eat.

Some cut carbs, others cut sugar, the Paleo diet cuts out virtually everything but meat and green things.

Unless you’re allergic to a food group or you just hate bread (it happens), there’s no reason to try cutting out a huge portion of your diet swiftly and forever. More importantly, there’s little to no reason to cut out multiple food groups.

Not only can this lead to nutrient deficiencies, but most people don’t find it’s sustainable. And if you want to create a body you can live in over the long run, you’re looking for sustainability.

6. Not Eating Vegetables

Vegetables are delicious, especially if you take the time and care to cook them the way they’re meant to be eaten. More importantly, vegetables carry essential vitamins and nutrients you need to be healthy (and lose weight).

Many people struggle to get their daily recommended dose of vegetables in and supplement with carbs or extra protein instead. If you’re one of those people, consider dedicating one meal a week to showcasing vegetables. Alternatively, find ways to add vegetables, like spinach, into every meal you can.

7. Cheat Days (or Weekends)

No one is saying you can’t cheat on your diet. You should. However, deviating from your healthy meal plan is best done over the course of one set meal.

Transforming your cheat meal into a day or weekend can undo some of the progress you’ve made over the week. Eating mindfully all week doesn’t give you license to enjoy bottomless mimosas at brunch Saturday AND Sunday.

If you feel the need to take the weekend off from your diet, there’s likely something wrong with your diet that’s causing you to feel unhappy. Take time to re-evaluate to figure out why you’re feeling negatively enough to dive face first into a box of Chinese takeaway and not resurface until Sunday.

Avoid These Mistakes for a Healthier Relationship with Food

Many of the biggest mistakes people make when dieting come down to their relationship with food, eating, or cooking.

By focusing on loving your body and the food you fuel it with, it will be easier to find a way to eat healthy that works best for you – without relying on fads, gimmicks, or fancy marketing strategies.

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TFT Editorial Team

TFT Editorial Team

Our team at The Fitness Tribe often collaborates together to produce content. When you see "TFT Editorial Team" this is because the content was not written by a single author, but rather a team effort.

7 Weight Loss Myths Debunked

There are a bunch of weight loss theories still repeated today that are simply not true. Some people are not caught up on the latest

The Pros and Cons of Calorie Counting

Calorie counting can be complicated and exhausting. It works for some people, but its hard to stay consistent. Let's look at some of the pros and cons of calorie counting.

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Going on a diet of 1200 calories a day (or less) has long been regarded as the only way to lose weight. But is counting calories a safe, healthy, guaranteed method to pare off the pounds, or is there another way?

You need to be more mindful of what you’re eating and how much of it, whether you’re adding up calories or not. Eating a few handfuls of unsalted peanuts is good for you (unless you’re allergic), even though you may have dipped into the container a few more times than planned, since peanuts have Vitamin E and dietary protein. Snacking on potato chips, candy or other junk food will tack on many more calories to your daily total and leave you feeling sluggish instead of energized.

We’ve also been lead to believe that 3500 calories will equal one pound of body weight, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Calories are only one part of the diet and nutrition equation. You also need to balance the types of foods you eat, and the portions, to lose or maintain your weight.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of calorie counting.

Pros of Counting Calories

Some experts believe counting calories provides structure and discipline for the dieter.

Keeping track of everything you eat, and its calorie content forces you to think about what you eat, how much you eat, and how often you eat it.

Counting calories, or keeping a food journal listing when and where you eat, can make you more aware of high-calorie foods and train you to swap them for more nutritious items. You’ll learn to trade one scoop of Rocky Road ice cream (290 calories) for a cup of raspberry yogurt (70 calories) and trade a 290 calorie Starbucks Caffe Mocha for a cup of home brewed coffee with milk and sugar (45 calories).

Counting Calories and Restaurant Meals

You don’t have to give up eating in restaurants or grabbing a cup of coffee on the go, but eating at home and bringing your lunch to work will save you money as well as calories. (If it costs you $6 a day to buy lunch, you’ll save $30 a week by brown bagging it.)

Depending on where you usually eat lunch and what you order, you can save hundreds of calories and avoid extra fat and salt. A Tufts University study showed that only 32% of fast-food meals and 22% of sit-down restaurant meals were within the recommended guidelines for salt, fat and saturated fat. Research also showed that 92% of restaurants meals exceeded calorie guidelines for one meal.

When you know how many calories you’re consuming, you’ll be better able to eat a cheat meal or snack once in a while without doing real damage to your diet.

Discovering Why You Overeat

Counting calories or keeping a food journal can help you understand when you binge due to stress, anger, boredom or depression. If you discover you order pizza or Chinese take-out when you’re at home alone and bored, you should become more disciplined when you’re in those situations. Read a book or watch an exciting movie instead of eating, or text a friend.

You Don’t Need to Eat “Boring” Food to Count Calories

You may envision tracking the calories in every carrot, apple or cup of plain oatmeal if it’s been a long time since you’ve dieted. There are plenty of great-tasting, low-calorie foods, and dishes, so you’ll never get bored on a restricted calorie diet.

Tasty foods under 50 calories include grapefruit, strawberries, broccoli, apricots, egg whites, cantaloupes, and olives. Combine these ingredients with other low-calorie, vitamin-packed foods, to make simple, nutritious meals.

Cons of Counting Calories

Continually tracking calories can be tedious, especially if you have a busy lifestyle or eat on the run. Restricting calories may also make some people feel anxious and even neurotic about consuming too much. Calorie counting may result in abandoning the diet or developing an eating disorder due to being excessively careful about the number of calories consumed.

How do you lose weight and then maintain your ideal weight if you don’t count calories? Learn how to eat the right amount of healthy, whole foods, and combine it with exercise and stress reduction.

The calories from the foods you eat are processed differently, depending on the foods you eat. Calories from nutrient-dense foods like spinach, chicken, eggs, fresh fruit and grass-fed beef fill you up and keep you full for a long time, making you eat less. Fiber from vegetables, nuts, whole grains and other healthy foods are harder for your body to break down and digest. Eating these types of foods force your body to burn fat.

You’re more likely to overeat candy, fast-food burgers, cake, fries and other processed food since they don’t fill you up as fast. Instead of making your body burn fat, these foods encourage your body to store fat.

A Restricted Calorie Diet Will Not Always Help You Lose Weight

Counting calories rarely leads to weight loss, and may make you gain weight due to frustration. When you starve yourself or severely restrict calories, your metabolism slows down and taking in fewer calories will burn muscle instead of fat. When you begin eating a diet containing the right number of calories for your sex and age after a diet, you’ll gain weight immediately because you have a sluggish metabolism.

Create a Master Grocery List of Healthy Foods

The types of food you eat are much more important than the number of calories you consume. Concentrate on eating whole, healthy foods to lose weight and then maintain your ideal weight.

Eat moderate amounts of high-quality foods, including leafy greens, carrots and other vegetables, eggs, yogurt, grass-fed beef and other protein-rich foods, healthy fats like avocados and salmon, plus fruits and nuts. Create a master list of foods to choose from at the supermarket every week.

Focus on nutritious foods and prepare dishes at home so you can keep track of what goes into every meal you eat. Using fresh ingredients means you’ll have to learn more about the nutrient content of food and cook instead of ordering out, but you’ll reap the rewards when you step and the scale – and you’ll feel healthier and more energetic, too.

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TFT Editorial Team

Our team at The Fitness Tribe often collaborates together to produce content. When you see "TFT Editorial Team" this is because the content was not written by a single author, but rather a team effort.

How Often Should You Weigh Yourself?

When you are trying to lose weight it is very easy to become fixated on the number on the scale. Naturally we want quick results, but how frequent should you be weighing yourself?

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You’re on a mission to lose weight, and you want to see results. The natural instinct most people have is to weigh themselves every day. After all, if you’re making progress every day, you want to see it. Watching the number on the scale drop slowly is what makes it all worth it.

Unfortunately, the number on the scale doesn’t always go the way we think it will. You can spend a whole week eating clean, working out, and feeling good only to find that you’ve weighed in at one pound more than what you weighed last week.

Nothing feels worse than seeing your weight go up when you’re doing everything right. It stops many people from continuing to try to lose weight at all.

Although the number on the scale seems like the best way to identify success when losing weight, figuring out what that number means is much harder.

That’s why the advice you’ll get from dieticians and weight loss programs is so conflicting. Some say you should weigh yourself every day while others suggest once a week or once a month will do. Some even suggest doing away with the scale altogether and measuring success by how you feel.

As it turns out, there’s some good science being done on this subject, so you may be able to finally find your answer.

Start Here - How Does the Scale Affect You?

Before diving into the various factors impacting that all-important number, the first thing that you need to know about weighing yourself is how it affects you.

Any decision on how often to weigh yourself should be made based on whether regular weigh-ins will help or harm you.

If seeing the numbers on the scale tick upward sends you spiraling, then you’ll want to avoid weighing yourself to frequently because the natural fluctuations in your weigh might drive you crazy.

On the other hand, if you’re able to see the scale stay the same or move either way without feeling a significant impact, then you might be fine to weigh yourself on a more regular basis (every few days or once a week).

The trick to weighing yourself is to find a healthy way to relate your body to the number that shows up on the scale, and that takes years, even decades, of practice.

When to Weigh Yourself - According to Science

There is a lot of confusion regarding how often to weigh yourself if you want to see a positive impact on your body. In fact, you’ve probably heard three different answers to the question yourself.

Fortunately, scientists are on the case to find an empirical solution to weigh-in day.

In one journal article, researchers studied 314 successful dieters to see how often they weighed themselves. The researchers found that those who hopped on a scale on a daily basis were less likely to gain 5 pounds over the 18 months after ending their diet.

What is more, the researchers involved in this study didn’t find much evidence suggesting that the scale impacted self-esteem to create negative effects.

Another study published in Obesity on daily weigh-ins took data from 3,0003 people listed on a national weight control registry. They found that the people who weighed themselves daily were less likely to eat more fat in their diets than people on the registry who calculated their weight irregularly (less than once per week).

The researchers believe their results indicate that “consistent self-weighing may help individuals maintain their successful weight loss by allowing them to catch weight gains before they escalate and make behavior changes to prevent additional weight gain.”

In other words, if you have a bad week and eat pizza for dinner every evening, you’re more likely to see the effects in real time when you weigh yourself daily. As a result, you’ll be less likely to write it off as ‘just a bad week’ or do it again in the future because you’ll be completely aware of what impact it has on your weight.

Essentially, you won’t wait until you’ve gained 20 pounds to fix bad habits.

So, there are good reasons to watch your weight daily, as long as you can emotionally handle the ups-and-downs of weight loss and weight maintenance.

However, there is an issue that many individuals and diet companies cite when they tell you to weigh yourself once a week or once every fortnight: weight fluctuations.

Why Does Your Weight Fluctuate?

If you’ve already tried weighing yourself daily, then you know first-hand that your weight fluctuates throughout the week. Sometimes, you’ll be able to pinpoint the cause of it but sometimes, you’ll go through the same routine for days and all of a sudden gain two pounds inexplicably.

Often, it’s those seemingly inexplicable changes that drive most of us to insanity and cause us to give up on our weight loss goals.

However, it’s important to understand what’s behind those fluctuations and what they mean for your overall goals.

Again, it’s possible to look towards science.

An older study on the subject (from 1963) found that day-to-day fluctuations in body weight can be as great as 0.8 kg in young women. They followed these changes in a group of young women across 80 days and found that weight gain had more to do with water retention than eating too many calories and gaining fat.

It’s also possible to see those changes because of when you weigh yourself. If you’re one of those people who weighs themselves Monday in preparation for a new week of dieting, then you’re weighing yourself after a weekend where, if you’re like most of us, you move less and eat slightly more.

Either way, your overnight weight gain is both common and easy to explain and it’s not an indicator that you’re failing at your diet.

Weigh Yourself Every Day (or At Least More Than Once Per Month)

As it turns out, weighing yourself every day is not only a perfectly acceptable thing to do but many people can attribute their weight loss success to it. Of course, if you’re not comfortable weighing yourself that often, then you shouldn’t because it’s important that the scale doesn’t derail your efforts.

Whatever you decide, be sure to weigh yourself on a regular basis (more than once a month) because failing to catch bad habits is what leads to gaining back the pounds you worked hard to lose.

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TFT Editorial Team

TFT Editorial Team

Our team at The Fitness Tribe often collaborates together to produce content. When you see "TFT Editorial Team" this is because the content was not written by a single author, but rather a team effort.

7 Great Workouts for Weight Loss

There are certain types of workouts and exercises that have been proven to significantly increase calorie burning. Checkout these seven workouts that will undoubtedly help