Weight Loss Myth
No. 1: Muscle weighs more than
Fact: A pound is still a pound.
Would you rather have ten pounds of bricks
or ten pounds of feathers dropped on your
head? Most people will say feathers, but
this is a third grader's trick question.
Equal weights of any substance still weigh
the same. I read the phrase that muscle
weighs more than fat even in the popular
press because it's a catchy phrase that
no one bothers to think over.
Muscle is more dense than fat, so
a pound of muscle takes up less physical
space than a pound of fat. For an experiment
take a pound of meat, place it next to a
pound of flour. Which takes up more space?
Myth No. 2: Drinking lots of
water will cause your stomach
Fact: Stomachs can expand
and shrink, but not grow.
I read this the other day, and
about burst from laughing. Stomach's
don't grow or shrink but if
you consistently stuff a stomach
to overfull it will accommodate
the assault. The same thing
happens when you deprive a stomach
of food. It will lose elasticity
and then no longer be able to
handle huge amounts of food.
This is why a person who has
been deprived of food for long
periods (prisoners of war for
example) cannot rush out and
eat everything in sight the
day they are released.
Our bodies are amazingly adaptable
but you can't suddenly grow
a bigger stomach any more than
you can grow a longer arm.
Loss Myth No 3: Carbohydrates
make you fat
Fact: Carbohydrates are necessary for
The myth that carbohydrates are not necessary
for human nutrition is simply untrue. You
will not survive for very long without some
Your body converts carbohydrate
into glucose, which is then
converted into glycogen. Glycogen
is the brain's primary fuel
source. Your body can manufacture
glycogen from other sources
in addition to carbohydrate.
Each molecule of carbohydrate
binds itself to four molecules
of water, which means the greater
amount of stored glycogen, the
greater amount of water as well.
Hence, during the induction
phase of the Atkins Diet for
example, you will deplete your
stored glycogen, which will
in turn reduce the amount of
water stored in your body. Instant
weight loss - yet this is a
temporary and false weight loss
because you can rapidly regain
the lost water simply by eating
a small amount of carbohydrate!
The induction phase is a way
to "jump start" your
efforts and cause that nearly
instantaneous result which in
many cases is all it takes to
put a person on track to stick
Switch from processed foods,
converted rice, crackers, breakfast
cereals with more than 50% added
sugar, and all the other junky
foods you've been eating, and
start eating fresh vegetables,
fruits, grains, and brown rice.
In other words, bring more unrefined
foods into your life and let
go of the steady diet of refined,
fast foods. You'll see an almost
immediate difference in how
you feel and how you look.
The main confusion comes from
the over processed junk foods
which people have come to call
carbohydrates. Yes, they are
highly refined carbohydrates
and could be eliminated entirely
from your diet with no ill effects.
The carbohydrates to which I'm
referring are those complex
carbohydrates such as beans
(also high in protein), grains,
rice, vegetables and fruits.
--- When you eat carbohydrate,
the body changes much of it
into glucose, the chief source
of energy for the body. Glucose
that is not needed immediately
is stored as glycogen in the
liver and muscles for later
Although eating carbohydrate
30 to 45 minutes before exercise
raises insulin levels and lowers
blood glucose, these effects
are temporary and will not harm
performance. In fact, consuming
carbohydrate an hour before
exercise can improve performance
(5). Carbohydrate feedings 3
to 4 hours before exercise also
enhance performance by "topping
off" glycogen stores (6).
Consuming carbohydrate during
workouts lasting longer than
an hour aids endurance by providing
glucose for your muscles when
they're running low on glycogen
(7,8). Finally, taking in carbohydrate
right after several hours of
hard training increases muscle
glycogen storage (9).
Active people and athletes
require dietary carbohydrate
to maintain their muscle-stored
glycogen, the predominant fuel
for most sports. They gain weight
only if they consume more calories
than they expend. When this
happens, they should blame their
forks, not the carbohydrate.
Loss Myth No 4: Bananas and
other fruits are fattening
Fact: Have you ever seen
a fat monkey? Why would
any sane person refuse to eat
natural foods like bananas but
happily chow down an entire
bag of low fat cookies in one
Don't be afraid to eat fresh fruits and
vegetables. You might be interested
to know what the majority of
people who maintain a healthy
weight eat? Not surprisingly,
it is balanced with from 50
- 60% whole food carbohydrate,
20 - 30% protein (with lots
of fish included) and 10 - 20%
fat (including olive oil, nuts
and seed sources). Most also
eat very little fast foods,
and don't consider any foods
good or bad. They just eat what
they enjoy, and have learned
to listen to their body's signals
of hunger and satisfaction.
It's a mystery to me why someone
would happily eat a pound of
bacon but shun a fresh orange.
Loss Myth No. 5: Protein helps
to burn storage fat
Fact: Eating a certain food,
no matter what that food, does
not cause the body to burn storage
fat. Nor does eliminating
or drastically reducing an entire
food group (carbs) solve the
puzzle of weight loss. Sorry,
but it's not that simple. If
it were, we'd have solved the
problem of out-of-control obesity
Myth No. 6: Calories Don't Count
Oh if that were only true!
I love nuts, all nuts. Almonds,
cashews, macadamia, brazil,
hazel nut, pine nuts, any and
all nuts, I could easily eat
a pound a day. Nuts don't have
any carbs, so what's the problem.
Go ahead and eat up, right?
Wrong. One ounce of raw almonds
is 164 calories, and one pound
of almonds contains 2,624 calories.
Try adding that to your daily
food intake and see what happens.
You'll gain weight (or simply
not lose any) and it won't be
I've known people who "snacked"
on a pound of bacon a day. That's
732 calories in addition to
their other food. This same
person would shun the idea of
eating a large fresh apple (125
calories) because it "has
too many carbs."
If you're eating low carb but
have stalled in your weight
loss, take note of the total
calories you're eating on average.
If it's above your body's requirements,
then you'll stay heavier than
you want to be.