One of the best ways to lose weight, as it has been found over the years, is to count calories and make a conscious effort of lowering them. Well that’s what THEY say anyway. Unfortunately, even if it sounds simple in theory, calorie counting is not easy in application. Unless you have some staple foods in your diet, it will not be easy for you to know how many calories you will consume in your meals.
The task of calculating calories can be a hassle as well. If the package includes the nutritional value of the food, you will have to weigh the amount of each and every type of food you eat, multiply by the number of calories found in 100g and then find how many calories you have left till the end of the day. When the nutritional value is not given, especially when you eat outside, the only thing you can do is just guess. You will not have access to a weight scale, you will not know the amount of every single one of the ingredients and you will simply end up not enjoying the meal or your time out.
So what does that mean? Is calorie counting something applicable only in scientific studies? Not at all! People all around the world successfully use calorie counting for losing weight. But there are many more people out there which calorie counting has simply failed them.
And those people are the reason why this introductory article exists – Don’t worry, there’s way for you to learn on Absolute Penis – This is just the start.
We took all the tips out there, that have practical implications and we brought them here for you to read, hopefully apply and definitely help you with your weight loss.
In this series of exclusive articles, you’ll discover the biggest tips that will help you throughout your everyday life, directly or indirectly lose weight.
You will find tips that can help you when going out, where you will face a lot of food and you will not have a backup plan
You will discover easy adjustments that you can apply instantly in your meal plans so that you consume less food
And finally, since things like stress or bad sleep can indirectly make you eat more, you will learn how to fix these issues and simultaneously enjoy a better quality of life, while losing some pound.
Exercise – Do I have to do it?
We do not even consider exercise to be a tip, we think of it as something equivalent of “eating less” when dieting. In short, we believe it is an essential part of any successful weight loss plan. So essential, that we feel bad for all those poor souls out there, trying to lose weight, without implementing an exercise program in their daily life. The problem is that there is a typical mistake which is made often by those who start exercising it usually costs them all their effort. Want to know what that mistake is?
“Overestimating how many calories they are actually burning.”
Let us be quite frank with you, exercise does not burn as many calories as you think. Let’s say you went to the gym and after 40 minutes of sweat and tears on the elliptical machine, you think that you now deserve a huge pizza from that place across the gym that makes you drool every time you’re on your way to work out.
The amount of extra calories you just burned is the equivalent of ONE, yes you read that right, ONE piece of pizza. We are not saying that exercise is not worth doing. On the contrary, it is a great supplementary way to increase the speed of your weight loss, define your muscles, increase your bone density, improve your mood and your overall health.
Research has often shown that people lose weight more effectively with a combination of both diet and exercise. This difference is not as great as people might expect (think of about 20% as shown in one study) but as we already talked, exercising is not only about losing weight or just burning calories.
Our point here is to see exercise as a way to increase a bit the speed of your fat loss but not as a way of eating more.
Myth #1 – Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day
For some of you who stay updated with nutritional developments and scientific studies this won’t really be a surprise. For others, it might even sound preposterous! “But I have been told all my life by parents, health specialists, TV commercials and doctors that breakfast is this most important meal of the day”. Well we also once thought that the earth was flat but thanks to science, our knowledge has evolved.
It might be a bit scary for some people to accept this truth since people have been saying all kinds of crazy things about skipping breakfast (you will damage your metabolism, you won’t have energy for the rest of the day etc). But the truth is simple. Think about it from an evolutionary point, the human body has developed amazing mechanisms through hundreds and thousands of years in order to survive in the wild. Suffering from such negative consequences just by staying unfed for a little bit more than twelve hours does not sound very realistic.
Simple physiology lesson: Your metabolism does not require food every couple of hours in order to function properly. It is a lot smarter than that. It also stores energy as glycogen (liquid sugar simply said) in your muscles and your liver. If you are a healthy individual (and don’t have diabetes for example), your liver has also the ability to produce sugar in a stable rhythm even when you don’t have food available to you, for a lot more time after skipping breakfast. This provides you with a steady flow of energy required for regular daily tasks.
Bottom line: If you feel like you are forcing yourself to eat in the morning then there is no reason for doing that. Go ahead and skip breakfast. Many people who have been forced into eating breakfast feel a lot better once they stop. Their energy levels are higher instead of feeling lethargic during the morning hours and due to the fact that they decrease the daily time span available for food consumption they eat less calories! Skipping breakfast or Intermittent fasting as some people call it in the fitness industry is a good way to reduce you daily caloric intake by creating a smaller eating window.
Myth #2 – Is clean eating necessary for fat loss
What is clean eating first of all? Clean or healthy eating as it is usually called nowadays, is considered by most people as a diet that restricts sweets and junk food either completely or to an extreme level.
Since we entered the era of information overload caused from the birth of the Internet the list of what are considered un-healthy foods keeps on growing. Sure if you have a health issue any food category might cause you problems but that is like saying that exercise is bad for you since it’s not good for someone with extreme heart problems.
If you want to find a reason to stop eating any food just google ”why X food is bad for you” and in most cases you will find the analogous propaganda you are seeking. That is why there are so many restrictive diets. Paleo diets where most carbs are bad for you since they were not eaten by our prehistoric ancestors, vegetarian diets claiming meat is the source of all disease, Fruitarian diets, Raw diets, Protein diets and the list goes on.
Besides of scaring you with health problems these diets also tell you that the specific food category they restrict is what causes you to gain weight. Sure what you eat does affect your health but whenever you restrict a food you end up overeating it once your dieting period is over. This creates a very unhealthy relationship with food and causes you usually to fall into the vicious yo-yo dieting cycle.
When it comes to weight loss, scientific literature is conclusive, a calorie is just a calorie. No food causes you to gain more fat, what causes fat gain is simply excessive calories. You can gain fat by eating too much cake just like you can gain fat by eating too many bananas. The reason clean dieting works (temporarily) is that ”clean foods” are usually more difficult to overeat. We want to teach you simple ways to create a diet that provides enough satiation through palatable ”clean foods” but to also leave some space for your favorite ”junk foods” and sweets.
Just to be clear ”we are not telling you that as long as you don’t eat too many calories you can simply live on chocolate cake and ice-cream and be OK”. Sure if the calories of the brownies you consume are less than the calories you burn you will lose weight but you will be also lacking in essential nutrients like protein, vitamins and minerals.
Our main point here is that you can enjoy all foods in moderation and still achieve you goals. Allow yourself a small sweet every day or a bigger portion once every three days for example instead of going on without any ”junk foods’ and sweets for months and ending up eating a mountain of ice-cream in just a couple of weeks once you ”fall of the wagon”. Completely rejecting food categories from your diet with no rational reason at all can also become a mental problem after some point.
Bottom line: If your diet covers your needs in essential nutrients you can include a moderate amount of junk food and sweets even on a daily basis. Our recommendations is to keep your daily diet based on 80-90% ”clean” foods and the rest of your food choices can come from the rest of the foods you might be craving.
Myth #3 – Does eating late at night make you fat?
This is a myth that is quite outdated but there are still a lot of people who believe in it. Nutritional tips such as eating after 6 pm will make you fat or that you need to avoid carbs late in the day are the typical ideas surrounding this myth. These beliefs are usually based on the fact that because food will not be used during the night as fuel it will become fat. A reason people often have the illusion that this is true is because when you stop eating after a certain time at night you decrease your daily eating window meaning you simply have less time to eat. Due to this many people might eat less calories and in general avoid overeating. Diets that have helped a lot of people in the last years lose weight, such as intermittent fasting type of diets (like the Warrior Diet), place a lot of times the biggest meal of the day late at night and restrict food consumption during the day. This again works in the same way.
Bottom line: Whether you eat more of your calories during the night or during the night does not really matter because the key to successfully losing weight is creating a calories deficit (consume less calories than your body requires on a daily basis
Myth # 4 – Do you have to eliminate sugar to lose weight
Table sugar or sucrose has been always considered one of the primary reasons that causes people to become over-weight. Because sugar-based foods are high in calories and low in nutrients they are easy to overeat and to be underestimated as to their caloric intake. For these reasons food categories like sweets can contribute to weight gain. That doesn’t mean though that you have to leave sugar untouched while dieting. As a matter of fact allowing yourself a piece of cake or a small bowl of ice-cream instead of restricting yourself, even on a daily basis will not cause weight gain but it will also usually help you avoid huge binges which are caused by extreme diets and food restrictions.
A common misconception surrounding the ”Sugar Myth” is that consuming sugar decreases insulin sensitivity and your ability to process glucose thus it has to be food category that cannot be included in a weight loss diet. Human studies (not rat studies which are usually used to promote these myths) have disproved this fact and have shown that if you eat controlled portions of sugar-based foods and remain in a caloric deficit you lose weight just as you would with any other food category.
Bottom line: Consuming moderate amounts of sugar such as 10-20% of your daily calories will not cause you to gain weight as long as the rest of your diet is also balanced and will help you create a more sustainable diet with fewer binge-eating episodes.
Myth #5 – Eating every 2-3 hours to speed your metabolism
Eating every 2-3 hours seems to be a tip reproduced over and over again in the last years. The idea is that you are “heightening” your metabolism so you can burn more fat. We have known through various studies, that this is not the case anymore. The whole myth really took off when supplement companies wanted their protein powders or meal replacement products to sell. So the triad of breakfast, lunch and dinner had two snacks now, between meals, to “ignite our body’s fat-burning furnace”.
So with what frequency should you eat? The answer is that it depends on your schedule. Some people have the luxury of eating 5 meals a day while others can only snack during the day and eat the majority of their food at night (check the next myth if you don’t agree with this tactic).
Bottom line : Plan your meals according to your everyday life, and not your everyday life according to your meals. You will be less stressed when you stop looking at the clock and thinking that you have X minutes before eating.