Are you sick of intensive dieting with no results? Beware: You may have fallen for one of these common weight loss myths! If you find you are a victim of the pervasive misinformation that has saturated our understanding of weight loss and dieting, don’t be discouraged – recent studies show that these myths even fooled scientists! Remember, no matter how many tips, tricks and trends you come across, the reality is that there is no “secret” to weight loss success: ultimately, you need to burn off more than you consume. Weight loss programs and fad diets are a dime a dozen, so when you’re looking for the best weight loss plan, be sure to avoid anything that aims to sell you on “quick weight loss” without requiring any work on your end. Here are a few weight loss myths to avoid for a happier, healthier you:
Lifting Weights Doesn’t Help With Weight Loss
Not only is this untrue, but lifting weights can actually be an incredibly beneficial component of your weight loss regimen, particularly as you age and begin losing bone density. Lifting weights and regularly doing muscle-building activities like crunches and push-ups will help you to build muscle, which in turn helps you naturally burn more calories. In other words, building muscle improves your overall body composition and allows you to continue losing weight, even after you’ve stopped working out. While the number on the scale might not change much, you’ll firm up and lose inches, which is what really counts. In fact, numerous studies have shown that those who add weights to their routine lose the same number of pounds as those who stick with cardio – but the pounds lost are nearly all fat! Here’s why: regular cardio and aerobics help to reduce flab and burn calories, and when you throw in weight training to strengthen your lean muscle mass, the combination transforms your body into a 24-hour fat-burning machine!
Intensive Cardio Is King
First off, the “fat-burning zone” isn’t nearly as high as you might think, so you don’t need to race off at top speeds to lose weight. Cardio does burn more calories as you’re working out, but that doesn’t mean you should rely solely on it for weight loss or overexert yourself to reach your goal. Cardio exercise is excellent for the heart and lungs, and a 20- to 30-minute walk each day will go a long way in your quest towards a healthier you. That’s right: Walking, not running, is one of the best activities you can add to your workout schedule, and it’s something that nearly any person can enjoy. Take your exercise regimen one step further and start each day with an exhilarating outdoor hike – a key component of The Biggest Loser Resort’s results-driven, award-winning weight loss program.
Diets Are Temporary
To begin with, you need to change the way you view eating and work on your relationship with food. If you think of a diet as depriving yourself of the things you enjoy, you won’t be as motivated to lose the weight – and you’re much more likely to gain all of that weight back once you’re “done” dieting. Instead, view food as a means of nourishing your body, plain and simple. Once you’ve altered your mindset in terms of why you eat, work on when and how you eat; in other words, learn to embrace moderation. If you want a piece of chocolate once in a while, have it – just avoid eating the entire pan of brownies. Diets aren’t a short-term commitment; they’re a crucial step in the long-term overhaul of your relationship with and understanding of food – a body-and-mind transformation process that is guaranteed to yield lifelong results if maintained properly.
Carbs Are Your Enemy
Carbohydrates are your primary source of energy, and they aid in repairing muscles during the recovery period after a workout. While an overabundance of refined sugars in your diet will contribute to a larger waistline, that doesn’t mean you should avoid “good” carbohydrates like fruits and whole grain. Make smarter choices about the carbs that go into your body, but don’t completely deprive yourself of the food you (and your body) enjoy.
The BMI Trap
In your quest for weight loss, you may think there’s a number you need to be married to – a lofty weight loss goal that may be completely unrealistic and only serve to further discourage you. Most often, that number is selected based on what the supposedly all-knowing Body Mass Index has to say. However, the problem with pounds is that they don’t all look the same. Your height and muscle mass can greatly skew your BMI number and make it seem like you need to lose more weight than necessary. Instead, set small goals for yourself along the way, so you can acknowledge the minor achievements on your path to weight loss success. Similarly, you’ll want to reassess your overall weight loss goal, disregarding the BMI trap and forming your expectations based on a fat percentage test and your current state of mind. In other words, measure your success by how you feel and how many inches you are losing – not pounds.
At the end of the day, there are countless gimmicks, tricks, and lies about weight loss that are designed to make us buy a certain product or live a certain lifestyle, false information that capitalizes on our inner desire to be the best versions of ourselves. These myths negatively influence the way many people view dieting, and greatly affect their ability to lose weight. Luckily, you can help dispel these myths! Pass on the truth to the people you care about by sharing this article with your friends and relatives. If they then share this information with their friends and relatives – well, who knows, you may even transform someone’s life. Encourage people to seek out weight loss programs that support real results over the long-term, not a quick fix, starvation-based program that is unsustainable. Armed with the right fitness and nutritional education, you can finally overcome your lifelong struggle with weight loss.
Guest Post Bio: The Biggest Loser Resorts are award-winning wellness destinations in Chicago, Malibu, Niagara, and Utah. Each resort offers an affordable fitness, dieting, and relaxation program to help guests develop healthy lifestyle habits. If you’re ready to improve your life, book your stay at The Biggest Loser Resorts.
*If you’re interested in snagging a spot for a guest post, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be more than happy to discuss details! Topics can be success stories, tips, recipes, etc. as long as it’s related to healthy living.14 notes
Motivation tip: Drop the “all or nothing" attitude. You’re only setting yourself up for failure or disappointment every time something doesn’t go quite as planned. So you didn’t make it to the top this time. And? That doesn’t mean you should drop everything and start over. Go about it this way: You did it. You made a mistake (it’s human). You learned. Now, use your new found knowledge to keep climbing the mountain. If you have to stop, just enjoy the view. Bask in the glory of the things that you’ve already accomplished. On the plus side, you’re still closer than you were before, right?! There’s no point in sliding all the way to rock bottom only to end up climbing the same mountain two, three, or even ten times. Talk about exhausting!
Something to be happy about: The feeling you get when somebody smiles because of you.
And, well.. just because:
People that love to run tend to train pretty hard, and some even verge on overdoing it. While regular, high-intensity training can help you reach your running goals and get you in great shape, it can also lead to a variety of different injuries.
If you love running or rely on it as exercise to stay in shape, chances are you aren’t going to stop, and you don’t need to. You do need to be careful with your body, however, and make sure you do as much as you can to prevent injuries that can hobble your running schedule and your body.
Every athlete in the world knows the importance of stretching; however, it’s pretty easy to get in the habit of skipping your stretching routine, especially if you’re in a hurry to get your workout going.
Ideally, you want to reserve about 10 minutes before you go running to stretch. Stretch your whole body and do running-specific stretches like high-knee drills and bounding arm circles. If you’ve had any recent injuries, taking a few minutes to make sure that area is loose and warm is important as well.
You should also take a few minutes to stretch after you’re done running to prevent muscle soreness. This is particularly important if you run every day because muscle soreness can cause you to alter your gait the next day, which could result in an injury.
Add Strength Training to Your Routine
Many runners don’t think about strength training, but it can have some vital benefits. Strength training regularly improves overall athletic ability and physical power in your running, but it also strengthens muscles, helping them to fight off strain-related injuries.
For runners, body-weight strength training exercises are ideal, and heavy lifting really isn’t beneficial. If you’re going to lift weights or use machines, choose lower weights for more repetitions instead of heavy weights for fewer repetitions.
Heavy weight will increase bulk, which won’t make you a more efficient runner.
Take Rest Days
As much as training the right way is important, taking rest days to allow your body to relax is essential. When you just start out, taking a day off after a workout is ideal.
As you progress or if you’re already an experienced runner, taking two rest days off per week is beneficial for some. If you’re training for a marathon or other goal, taking only one rest day per week is fine, but you need to be careful when it comes to listening to your body and any growing injuries.
On your rest days, try doing something beneficial for your body like getting a massage. Massage therapists who use aromatherapy, or practicing self-massage in conjunction with aromatherapy, can be helpful for easing sore muscles and relaxing after a workout.
You don’t have to wait for a rest day to get the benefits of massage and aromatherapy, however. You don’t need more than a free hour to unwind and relax after working out.
In addition to stretching, strength training and using massage and aromatherapy to rest, it’s also essential that you eat right and drink plenty of water when you’re training. It is also very important that you take the necessary daily vitamins to keep performing at your best.
Doing all of these things together can help you reach your training goals and keep yourself free from injuries in the process.
Virginia Cunningham is a freelance writer and active runner whose writing offers tips and advice to those seeking help to improve their own running. With a balanced diet, enough rest and daily yoga, she is always improving her performance.
*If you’re interested in snagging a spot for a guest post, please e-mail me at email@example.com. I’d be more than happy to discuss details! Topics can be success stories, tips, recipes, etc. as long as it’s related to healthy living.15 notes
Get health and fitness tips at Greatist.com!12 notes
This info graphic was provided by the folks over at Bell Lifestyle Products Inc.! Thank you! :)34 notes
As requested, I’ve compiled a post of my most favorite running related things.
Garmin 610 - I’m an avid Garmin user, and I absolutely love this watch. It’s expensive ($399.99), but completely worth the investment if you’re a dedicated runner. You can read my full review on the 610 by clicking here.
Garmin 10 - I briefly owned the Garmin 10, and then I decided that it wasn’t for me. I quickly realized that I needed more training data and technicality in my running watch. However, this is the watch that I always recommend for beginners and casual runners. It’s much less expensive at $129.99, reliable, and it’s very user friendly.
Left: unlocked position // Right: locked position
Yurbuds for Women - I used to avoid all ear bud headphone models because no matter what, the buds would either fall out or cause me a lot of ear pain. But then I decided to give Yurbuds a whirl after hearing nothing but good things. I ended up loving them, and I now refuse to wear anything else. You can read my full review on Yurbuds for Women by clicking here.
Brooks Ravenna 4 - Since being struck with a severe case of iliotibial band syndrome back in November, I’ve been on the prowl in figuring out what will best aid in my recovery. I decided that switching to a more supportive shoe would help with muscle stability and guidance, so I chose the Ravenna 4. These shoes don’t feel nearly as heavy as I had anticipated them to be, and there is obvious improvement in both my form and stride. And hey, they’re cool looking too!
Brooks PureFlow 2 - When it comes to racing, I’m immediately drawn to bright, speedy looking shoes because they give me a confidence boost. However, common sense says that I also need to make sure that they will suit my needs as a runner. I’m a huge fan of the entire Brooks PureProject collection. But my favorite model is the PureFlow because it’s the perfect balance between support and minimalism. The best of both worlds.
Zensah Compression Socks/Sleeves - People always ask me if compression socks/sleeves are worth the investment because they can be pricey. Ever since I’ve owned a pair, it’s very rare that you’ll see me without them on race day. I’m also known to sport them ever-so-discretely under my pants on a normal occasion to help speed up recovery.
SPIbelt with Water-Resistant Pocket - The runner’s fanny pack. I’ve tried hydration belts and other various running belts, but the SPIbelt is the only one that doesn’t drive me banana sandwich. It stays put and doesn’t bounce at all. I really love that the belt is discrete, but can still hold essentials like your phone, keys, and any form of identification. They also sell belts with loops along the band to stash your gels for longer runs. There’s a ton of options!
Road ID: The Wrist ID Slim - If I’m running alone, I never leave the house without my RoadID bracelet. It has my full name, emergency contact numbers, and medical alerts (for me, it’s asthma). RoadID does exactly what it says it does; “It speaks for you when you can’t speak for yourself.”
Chica Bands - Out of every single non-slip headband that I’ve tried in the past, Chica Bands are the only ones (for me at least) that completely stay in place. That includes freshly washed hair, dry hair, and the ever-so-attractive sweaty hair. Heck, I’m sure it’ll even stay put on hair covered in baby drool and Cheerios for you mamas out there! ;)
Below, I go from top to bottom.
Basic Foam Roller - This is a perfect recovery tool, especially if you’re on a tight budget. I strongly recommend that all runners use a foam roller on a weekly basis to prevent common muscle-related injuries and to aid in the recovery process following a tough workout. I found mine at Walmart for $14.77.
RumbleRoller - I use this crazy-looking device shown above for really stubborn muscle knots. It doesn’t exactly feel ‘good' per say, but it's highly effective. The massage from the RumbleRoller is deep enough to cause some bruising - just a little warning.
Tiger Tail - I love this tool because it allows you to have more control over the pressure along your muscles, especially in some hard to roll areas such as your calves. It’s also very portable, so it’s perfect for race day or for stashing inside of your gym bag!
R8 Roll Recovery - Out of all of my muscle massager tools, this one is my absolute favorite. It’s a huge time saver because it allows you to roll two sides simultaneously as it self-adjusts the pressure to your legs. You can read my full review on the R8 by clicking here.
Yoga - In the past, I wasn’t much of a fan of yoga. I recently jumped on the wagon, and I’ll be the first to admit that I’m really starting to love and appreciate my incorporation of yoga within my running regimen. I can’t believe that I didn’t make this discovery sooner! I have several DVDs, but my absolute favorite is P90X: Yoga X!
Dailymile - I use this website to keep track of my progress, whether I’m in training mode, recovery mode, etc. Think of it as the ‘Facebook’ for runners and athletes alike. It’s also a great tool to keep yourself motivated, and it can be a means of seeking advice or helping others. Click here to add me!
Hal Higdon’s Training Plans - When people come to me for advice on training programs, I typically direct them to Hal Higdon’s website. He’s created plans that range anywhere from Novice 5K all the way to Multiple Marathons. I used his Intermediate 1 Marathon training program when I trained for the Wineglass Marathon.
A Strong Support Team - As a runner, you’re going to have triumphant moments and defeating moments; it comes with the territory of the sport. Joining my local running club is, without a doubt, a decision that I will never regret. The hundreds of members of the SCRR have become my extended family. I don’t have enough fingers or toes to count the number of people whom have touched my life in one simple way or another. They have been with me through the best of times, the worst of times, and everything in between. If you’re fortunate enough to have a local running club in your hometown, please consider joining! Or find a few running buddies at the very least! :) Okay, okay…I can’t forget Sean.
He always listens to me when I go off on a tangent about running-related things. And just look how happy it makes him! ;) He has also been putting up with my excessive whining and grumpiness ever since I got injured. He’s my rock and best friend. I’d be completely lost without him.
A Mantra or Two - I’ve come up with two personal mantras that keep my mind strong.
1.) Fear less. Do more.
2.) Chase fear. Transcend limits.