Mind over matter is key during your weight-loss journey, and the way you view weight loss in general can have positive or negative effects on your physiology. Having the wrong information about the behaviors that lead to weight loss can prevent you from reaching your goals -- even if you’re exercising daily and eating a healthy diet.
A few years ago, a Harvard psychologist conducted an experiment on a group of overweight hotel maids to see how their perception of weight loss affected their ability to lose weight. Although the maids stayed physically active throughout the day and exceeded the definition of an active lifestyle, most of the maids felt that they were not exercising enough. After the psychologist informed some of the maids that they were indeed getting more than enough exercise, the maids began to lose weight and experienced an improvement in blood pressure. The group of maids who were not informed about the active status experienced no weight loss or improvements in health.
Keep in mind that the myths you believe could have an adverse effect on your weight-loss efforts. Here are four of the most common myths surrounding weight loss, debunked.
While it may be important to keep track of your daily calorie intake, all calories are not necessarily created equal. For example, 300 calories of vegetables are not the same as 300 calories of cake. 300 calories of vegetables may equate to several cups of vegetables, whereas 300 calories of cake may only be equal to a fraction of a small piece of cake.
Additionally, vegetables contain protein, fiber, complex carbohydrates, and many other vitamins that metabolize slowly. The calories in cake are comprised mostly of sugar, which can lead to weight gain, the development of type 2 diabetes, high triglycerides, and other health problems. When taking calories into consideration, rank quality over quantity.
While cardio exercise keeps your body moving and heart pumping, the boost in metabolism it provides only lasts for a few hours. On the other hand, intense strength-training, yoga, and other forms of anaerobic activity can boost your metabolism and burn fat for up to 24 hours following your workout. If you truly enjoy cardio exercise, increase the intensity of your workouts or add strength-training or yoga to your fitness regimen.
Skipping meals is dangerous, and can result in fatigue and eventual overeating. The weight you lose when you starve your body also includes a large portion of the muscle mass you’ve worked so hard to build. Focus instead on eating nutritious foods such as whole fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and plant-based fats -- all of which will increase your metabolism.
While sugary foods are fattening, other types of fats -- such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats -- are vital for healthy bodily function. These types of fats are found in salmon, tuna, avocados, and almonds, are important for brain and cell function, and can even help keep inflammation down.
Malley Surgical Weight Loss Center offers patients gastric banding and sleeve gastrectomy weight-loss procedures. If you are overweight and experiencing problems with weight loss, take your first step to becoming healthier and contact us to see if you qualify for bariatric surgery.