As a fitness professional, I have people come to me everyday asking me questions about how they can exercise to lose weight. If there is one question that can get me on my soapbox, that is the one. There are so many lies out there that people believe when it comes to exercising to lose weight, and those lies will keep you from seeing success! Today, I am going to correct some of those lies.
1) If I lift weights, I will get bulky!
This might be the biggest load of crap I have ever heard. Getting bulky is roughly 75% what you eat, and 99% of the general population does not eat to get bulky, so really, just forget that lie even exists. You will not get bulky from lifting weights! In fact, it helps you slim down!
Lifting weights and gaining lean muscle boosts your metabolism. This metabolism boost will help you to burn more calories and fat, further whittling away that extra fat on your body. Don't be afraid of the weights! They help you lose weight!
Now, when it comes to how much weight to lift, you also cannot be afraid to lift heavy. Seriously. The groceries that you carry into your house weigh more than that five pound dumbbell that you are doing bicep curls with, so just stop it, it's not helping. Step into the next level of training and pick up a heavier weight! If you can complete 10 repetitions at a weight without struggling to finish the 10th repetition, then it's time to add more weight. Trust me, you are stronger than you think.
Out of the two pictures above, I would much rather be the girl on the left. She is fit and healthy. The girl on the right is not healthy. Some girls eat normally and are just naturally thin, but most girls that look like this are not eating properly, and this can lead to multiple health complications. Seriously, being fit and healthy is way prettier than being skinny.
2) If I workout, then I can eat more.
Just don't even go there. Really. If you want to lose weight, but every time you get a workout in, you are heading out to eat some of that white queso (yea I know it's good), then you are defeating the purpose of working out. There's this great saying that says: "you are what you eat," and that's no joke. If you shovel down some cheese dip, you're going to carry that fatty cheese dip around with you.
Nutrition is far more important in your weight management than working out. Working out is very important and should never be overlooked, but abs are made in the kitchen. Ps, if you want in on a little secret, it does not matter how few calories you are eating if they are not nutritious calories. You could eat 1200 calories of cupcakes per day, but that is not going to help you lose weight. You will be missing vital nutrients that your body needs, plus you'll be starving from eating only empty calories and that is not good either.
3) But I have to eat 1200 calories per day...
Let me start by asking a question. Are you a number? Do you want to be labelled by a number? Are you a drone that does the same thing as every other person on this planet? I'll go ahead and answer those questions for you: NO!
While 1200 calories may be a good estimate for some people, this number is NOT the right daily calorie intake for everyone. Eating too few calories can halt weight loss because your body will enter starvation mode and store your food as fat. Your best option is to talk to your doctor to see what is best for you when it comes to calorie intake. It depends on exercise, how active you are during the day, how fast your metabolism is, and how much weight you have to lose. My best advice here is to talk to your doctor before doing anything drastic so that you do not halt your weight loss!