12 weight loss rules you can cheat on - Juice Daily
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12 weight loss rules you can cheat on


Health and fitness might be having a moment – but really, weight loss just got a hell of a lot harder.

With so many conflicting messages now (hello fitness bloggers, diet cookbooks, e-books, apps and wellness coaches), it’s a jungle out there.

Do we cut carbs? Do we focus on abs? Do we join a gym or do it at home? Do we eat superfoods? Do we eat fat? Do we cut back on calories? Do we drop diets all together? See? It’s exhausting.

In Australia 63.4 per cent of the population is now classified overweight, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics – and it’s no wonder we’re stuck, there are too many ‘rules.’

But hey, rules are meant to be broken. Read on for the most common weight loss myths and why you should cheat on them.

1. Ditch weights to look lean

“Women get stuck on the idea that lifting weights will make them big and bulky. It’s the biggest myth of all!” says Luke Istomin, celebrity personal trainer and founder of Life Online.

“The hormone responsible for muscular growth is testosterone – and men have 10 times more than women do. It’s eating an unhealthy diet of refined sugars, starchy carbs and high fats, combined with a sedentary life and a half assed workout that leads to being big and bulky.”

“Lift heavy, sweat every time, eat clean and you will create a lean, figure,” says Istomin.

2. Eating fat will make you fat

“This should read – ‘eat more of the right fats.’ The notion that fat = fat is a 1970’s theory that’s long since been debunked,” says Mike Holm, in-house nutritionist at Pressed Juices Mona Vale.

“There is no single macronutrient (protein, carbohydrate or fat) singlehandedly responsible for weight gain. The human body requires healthy fats for cell function, hormone production and immune function.”

“Good fats also help with appetite control – they slow digestion, letting you feel fuller for longer and preventing unnecessary snacking,” says Gigi Cumbers, in-house nutritionist at Hard Candy Fitness.

“Healthy fat food sources include: avocado, nuts and seeds, animal and meat products, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, grape seed oil and fresh flaxseeds.”


3. Weight loss is about willpower

“Anyone who’s resisted a block of chocolate and eventually caved and demolished the whole thing knows willpower is a finite resource,” Casey Beros, Health Coach at Paper Tiger Wellness.

“On your ‘good’ days you’re in control but when life is kicking you down, you give up and seek out instant gratification – often in the form of booze or food.”

Dr Louisa Hoey, health psychologist from the Health Psychology Centre.
agrees. “Willpower is a short-term strategy that can’t be relied upon to lose weight. Instead focus on being healthy and feeling energetic – not making unhealthy choices that lead to emotional eating, not exercising or drinking in excess.”

4. Sit ups will give you abs

“Wrong. Doing weights and eating a clean diet will give you a six pack,” says Istomin.

“Your abs only become apparent when your body fat levels are down to 15 per cent for girls and 12 per cent for guys. Core training strengthens your mid section but really, women should avoid focusing on sit ups if they want a lean, flat stomach due to their bio mechanics and body structure.”

Instead, Istomin recommends isometric hold type exercises like planks and rollouts.

5. Carbs are a no-go

“Starches such as pasta, bread and rice often are avoided as a way to lose weight, but did you know when rice or potato is eaten cold it becomes a resistant starch?” says nutritionist Anthia Koullouros of Ovvio Organics.

“Resistant starch is not digested in the stomach or small intestine so it reaches the bowel intact. This can lead to several beneficial effects that contribute to weight loss including – decreased blood insulin spikes after meals, decreased appetite and decreased fat storage in fat cells.”

“So have carbs but just enjoy cold – think potato and rice salads,” says Koullouros.

6. Running is your best friend

“Excessive hours spent on the treadmill will increase your appetite and chance of getting injured,” says Georgia Van Tiel, resident Bodypass exercise scientist.

“Add a couple of strength classes a week to reduce the amount of cardio stress on your body or try halving the time spent running and throw in some strength moves to increase muscle mass and boost your resting metabolic rate (RMR). This will lead to more calories being burnt.”


7. Checking scales regularly will keep you on track

“While there’s evidence to support the notion, anyone who’s been a daily scales devotee knows how much it can make or break your mood,” says Beros.

“If you start an exercise regime and increase your muscle mass, it’s possible that your weight could stay the same or even increase, even though you might be feeling and looking slimmer.”

“Sure, it’s good to know what you weigh generally, but maybe once a week or a fortnight should cut it. Keeping a journal of how you’re feeling is a much better way to document progress,” says Beros.

8. You have to stick to a strict diet

“Diets actually don’t work – if anything, they make us put on weight eventually. Sure you might lose 10kg but once the diet is over the vast majority of people regain their weight – plus extra,” says Hoey.

“To sustain weight loss in the long-term, throw out diets all together and focus on eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full. It will take longer to lose the weight but the loss will be worth the long term benefits.”

9. Joining a gym will get you the results

“You don’t need to join a gym to achieve weight loss. Outdoor and home workouts can be just effective as long as there is variation and intensity you can get awesome results,” says Natalie Carter, PT at New Outlook PT.

“Start with body weight moves and over time, expand your equipment arsenal to include dumbbells, kettlebells, suspension trainers or use the environment around you like chairs, benches or bars.”

10. Eating out is off the cards

“You don’t have to not eat out, or cheat by resorting to bad stuff, it’s just a matter of swapping for a healthier option instead,” says Sydney-based nutritionist Lola Berry.

Craving a burger and fries? Opt for a gluten-free bun and side of sweet potato fries instead.

Want a night out? Swap a few vinos for vodka sodas – it’s healthier and you can still have a fun night out with your mates.

Have a sweet tooth? Instead of going for Cadbury’s ‘Marvellous Creations’ swap for raw dark chocolate instead.

Hungover? Have your fried brekkie just keep the bread out. You’re body will be craving fats, so up the avo and bacon, but keep the carbs low (they convert to sugars) and eat a slice of sourdough toast.




11. High intensity workouts get results quicker

“High intensity training, spin or boot camps might get your heart rate up but we need to combine them with activities (like yoga or walking) that lower our stress hormones,” says Van Tiel.

“When we do too many high intensity sessions, we over produce cortisol and stimulate a blood sugar build up. Then if this isn’t utilised, it gets deposited as fat (usually around the belly). The more cortisol we have, the more we get an increase in hunger levels too, thereby sabotaging weight loss efforts.”

12. You have to eat less to lose more

“The idea of consuming less to lose weight is a common misconception,” says Holm.

“When you feed your body less, it enters starvation mode and begins to hold on to every bit of food you eat, storing it away as backup energy in case the lack of food continues for a sustained period of time.”

“This was great as a survival technique to combat famine when we had to hunt and gather our own food. Nowadays, when we restrict our intake, we have less available energy (due to the body’s reluctance to use it) and a greater likelihood of increased body fat.”


Sam Bailey

About the person who wrote this

Sam Bailey

Sam Bailey is a Sydney-based journalist whose passion for health and fitness and has seen her write across health titles including Womens Fitness, Womens Health, Body + Soul and Daily Mail Australia. In her down time you can find her sipping green smoothies, attempting complex yoga poses and soaking up vitamin D on Bondi beach.

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