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Health News of Thursday, 21 July 2016

Source: dr. kojo cobba essel

Weight Loss Myths Uncovered

Thousands of diet plans and exercise programmes and still counting with no end in sight. We are still searching for the magic wand that takes off excess fat and keeps it away.
Whenever you have many people trying to lose fat and an alarming number also parading themselves as weight loss experts, then the right environment has been set for half-truths, untruths and myths.
Most of us are fixated on myths associated with weight loss and can you blame us? They actually sound convincing and make perfect sense. Now is a good time to examine some of them.
“Weight lifting will make you bulkier or bigger” which makes many of us run away from weights cannot be further away from the truth. Working with weights makes one stronger and increases endurance which helps us to train harder and longer hence burning more energy. Weight training helps to preserve muscle as well. Bottom-line, you are able to lose more fat and look trimmer with weight training. Ignore the naysayers and grab your weights now.
Life would have been great if we could walk a tight rope all week and throw caution to the wind on those two S-days but unfortunately the myth that “Spoiling yourself on weekends is okay” will not make the mark. Those 2 days account for almost 30% of the week and that must definitely count. Some of us even add Friday evening to make matters worse. In weight or fat loss, consistency is key so keep it low key and avoid extremes but obviously another close weight-loss fairy-tale is not what the doctor prescribed;
“Do away with all “bad” foods” will almost certainly backfire. Do not overindulge but don’t cut off completely all your exciting meals and snacks. Those who go along this path are hardly ever able to sustain it for long periods. Make room for some ‘bad” foods but be sure to make it occasional and in small portions.
In an ideal world where the human body obeys the laws of mathematics directly “Exercising on an empty stomach is best” since you will be in a calorie deficit. I doubt if any of us can run our car on empty tank; why then do we expect our bodies to be able to perform on empty. Exercising on an empty stomach means you will not be in a position to work out as hard and as long as you would like. You will waste time dealing with weakness and headaches. Working out on an empty stomach also leads to post exercise hunger and overeating. Feed your brain and muscle with fresh energy. I am sure you are aware that you should not exercise on a full stomach and neither should you start exercising immediately after a meal.
“I need to take away belly fat only and I have been promised that spot-reduction is possible.” Spot reduction comes up for discussion quite often and even in 2015 there were claims by some experts that it is possible. If you really want to spot-reduce, I will say you turn to liposuction because when we eat appropriately and exercise, our bodies tap into energy from all parts of the body and not only from areas that we desire it to. This is why churning out a million crunches a day will not justify fat loss from your mid-section. Adopt a holistic approach for best results. As far as data can support, spot-reduction is a mirage, the ever elusive Golden Fleece. Let us get real.
“Longer exercise sessions always produce more gains.” Based on this notion we spend endless hours exercising and sometimes even get to work late. It makes absolute sense that the longer I work out the more energy I burn but sometimes it may be better to break down your exercise sessions into two or three chunks. The advantage here is you have the energy to exercise at a high intensity and with good posture and concentration so the cumulative loss may sometimes be higher in shorter sessions than one long one.
Life is dynamic and the human body is a complex “machine”, so not all things work the way we expect and sometimes new scientific evidence disproves beliefs we have held onto for years. Do not wait till everything about fat loss is determined; you are unlikely to be on this side of life by then. Get started and keep improving, persistence is key!!


Dr. Kojo Cobba Essel
Moms’ Health Club/Health Essentials

*Dr Essel is a medical doctor, holds an MBA and is ISSA certified in exercise therapy and fitness nutrition.

Thought for the week – Exercise is definitely medicine and doctors need to prescribe it!!!

1. Women’sHealth Training Guide 2014. Weight loss myths exposed by Matthew Kadey, M.S, R.D

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