Ah ha! Weight loss… A topic that’s filled with vast arsenal of knowledge and information that you can find on the internet. However, this is where it creates confusion, and you don’t know what is true or false.
Don’t worry about it, I will explain everything as simple as possible to the point even sloths can understand.
It will be a long read, but I promise you, it will be a worthy read.
Here are the 12 dark truth about weight loss that you should know:
1. Weight loss is a long and arduous journey
This is the truth about weight loss that most people don’t seem to understand. You will no doubt see weight loss with a 14 day or 28 days weight loss program, but that is short term and it won’t sustain.
Technically, the weight loss program is “time-based” and once you are done with the program, you will usually revert to your usual lifestyle and this will diminish all your weight loss progress.
The journey to losing weight and maintaining your targeted weight will be tiring, hard, challenging, tough, etc…
Are you able to maintain the lifestyle you had when you were losing weight or are you gonna revert to your lazy couch potato lifestyle just because it is tiring, hard and challenging…?
You may see SOME weight loss progress within weeks of following a weight loss program, but to achieve the final results you want, will be much longer than that.. It could be months or years.
Watch the video below for a healthy dose of weight loss motivation:
It took Vance 365 days (one year!) to lose 198 lbs, but this didn’t come easy. He had to grind, strive and work damn hard through the ups and down to achieve the results he wanted.
I can bet you that weight loss journey will never be easy and it will be a long and arduous journey, BUT the outcome will be extremely self-rewarding!
Always remember: What comes easy, won’t last. What lasts, won’t come easy.
2. Weight loss is 85% diet and 15% exercise
You can lose a lot of weight by restricting your diet and controlling your calories intake. It is easier NOT to consume a burger with 600 kcal of calories than to burn it off later.
It is easy to exercise your mouth by eating non-stop, but it isn’t easy to literally work out. If you want to lose weight, you don’t need to focus on the 15%, you can focus on the 85% and still see results.
However, here is the catch, it is extremely challenging to restrict your diet and control calories intake, especially high calories food intake.
Many people are consuming foods that are high in calories, high in fat and high in sugar content on a daily basis, which leads to obesity, diabetes and other health problems.
Are you able to cut your sugar consumption (soda, sugary drinks, etc) to ZERO and cut your delicious food (burgers, pizza, bacon, etc) intake to a minimum or possibly ZERO…? Once a week is fine, no more than that.
Besides, did you know alcohol has way more calories per gram compared to sugar? Yes…. Alcohol has 7 kcal of calories per gram compared to sugar that has 4 kcal of calories per gram.
Alcohol is another common cause of weight gain, cut it to a minimum and you will see instant weight loss results.
By restricting your diet and controlling your calories intake, you can see huge improvements in your weight loss journey, even without starting any exercise routine.
3. Weight loss is mainly diet restriction, but it won’t work in the long term
Yes, you can control your diet and everything, but can you DO IT for a long time? Or are you doing it just for the sake of losing weight?
If you are doing it just for the sake of losing weight or just to have your great summer body, then it won’t work in the long term.
Losing weight is not about “I just want to lose weight”, “I want to be slim”, “I don’t like my body”, etc…
Losing weight is about TAKING CARE OF YOUR HEALTH! Being overweight or obese have serious consequences.
Besides, a good balanced nutrition diet can help you lose weight and sustain long term.
Some health problems you risk developing are diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol level, atherosclerosis, stroke, osteoarthritis, and the list goes on.
Lose weight FOR YOUR HEALTH, not for the sake of looking nice or because of peer pressure. Make sure your weight loss journey is because YOU WANT TO DO IT and not because YOU ARE FORCED TO DO IT.
Don’t allow anyone else to dictate how you should look like or the so-called “ideal body weight look”. It is YOUR BODY, YOUR CHOICE.
4. You cannot target specific body parts to lose body fat
In simple words, this is called spot reduction. Spot reduction refers to the claim that fat in a certain area of the body can be targeted for reduction through exercise of specific muscles in that area…
One word for this, BULLSH*T.
It is unlikely and IMPOSSIBLE to target a specific body part to burn fat, fat in your body is lost from the entire body and not specific parts.
With proper diet and regular exercise, you will lose weight and burn fat (up to a certain limit) from the entire body.
You can’t tell your body which body fat it needs to use/burn. Your body will do it on its own, automatically.
5. Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for your well-being and weight loss journey
Don’t ever underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep — afternoon naps doesn’t count!
If you don’t have enough sleep… You will GAIN WEIGHT instead… Not because you don’t sleep enough that causes you to gain weight.
When you are sleep deprived, it causes your hormones and internal functions to wreak havoc.
As your hormones and internal functions are in a state of confusion, it causes you to feel hungry and increases your appetite to eat.
This effectively create an intense craving for high-sugar and high-fats foods because it is extremely delicious and you get a huge serotonin punch. Serotonin is also known as the happy hormone.
That’s why after eating these kinds of foods, you feel happy, less worried, have greater sense of well-being and feel less stress.
6. Doing lots of cardio is effective for weight loss only in the short term
Cardio is a type of low intensity exercise, such as walking, jogging and swimming. Mainly to get your heart rate up and fast. Cardio is a great workout for beginners to see short term weight loss results.
Why I said beginners? Because it is low intensity and once your body has adapted to it, you won’t see any changes/results no matter how tired or sweaty you are.
Ohhhh for your information, sweating less or more doesn’t mean you are burning less or more calories, respectively.
Generally, men sweat much more than women. And, we sweat because our body temperature is higher than normal temperature (obviously!).
No doubt cardio is a great way to build muscular endurance and improve your cardiovascular fitness, but it isn’t a great way to lose weight once your body has adapted to cardio.
F.Y.I. our body is extremely good in adapting to cardio and low intensity exercises. But our body take much longer time to adapt to high intensity exercises.
Therefore, it is easier to keep jogging or running for longer and longer distances instead of increasing running speed.
So what you can do about it?
Progressively overload your exercise routine and incorporate HIIT workout and if possible cross-train.
Progressively overload = gradually increase the volume and intensity over the weeks. So your body needs to keep improving and also burn more calories to keep adapting to the greater demands of your workout.
HIIT workout = high intensity interval workout to really tax and challenge your muscles and body.
Cross-train = doing any other exercise or workout other than the ones you currently doing, e.g., you love jogging, but this time try to go for a swim or cycle.
7. It is not necessary to go to a gym and lift any weights (not everyone got time for this)
Yes, no doubt resistance training at a gym is great for building strength and burning fats. But not everyone got time to do this or you just don’t feel comfortable going to a gym.
You can do strength training at home and this is called body weight exercises. Besides, you can even make use of your household items as resistance for your exercise.
Strength or resistance training at home is no different than doing it at a gym, so don’t think that you need to go to a gym to workout…
This is a great example of home workout with a pack of rice:
8. Working out longer doesn’t mean you are burning more calories
You can work out for hours and burn less calories than someone who worked out for 20 minutes only.
It is not about HOW LONG you workout, it is about HOW EFFECTIVE is your workout.
A 10–20 minutes HIIT workout will effectively burn more calories than an hour of cardio. And I am sure you can slot in a 10–20 minutes of HIIT workout into your busy schedule.
It is extremely high intensity and is MORE EFFECTIVE in burning tons of calories, leading to quicker weight loss.
Also, you can do HIIT workout without any equipment if you are not into running.
An example of a 10 minutes at-home HIIT workout without equipment:
9. Your body may not look like what you wanted or worked for
You can work out day-in, day-out and don’t see the body you wanted or worked for, that’s okayy… There is nothing wrong with it.
You will lose weight and have a toned body, but your body will never be “perfect”, no one is perfect anyway…
Don’t compare yourself to so-called influencers or strangers online showing their body as the “ideal body”. Actually, everything you see online can be expressed as “expectations vs reality”.
This is Sara Puhto, and she posts pictures of her body “instagram vs reality” posts.
Her instagram is saggysara on instagram, her post is the truth of how your body will look even by controlling your diet and regular exercise.
Also another one:
Whatever body size or shape you achieve, be proud and happy of it. Don’t ever compare yourself to another person’s body. You are YOU, a unique individual.
Every individual is unique and different, stop comparing yourself with another person.
Take care of your body and your body will take care of you!
10. Men can eat more than women without putting on weight
This harsh truth is because men generally have more muscle mass (fat-free mass) compared to women. When you have more muscle mass, your body needs to use more energy (higher metabolism rate) for the sustenance of your muscles and body.
Also, men generally have lower body fat percentage compared to women. Men don’t need those extra “energy” to bring another human to this wonderful world.
On the other hand, the main reason why women have higher body fat percentage is to provide enough energy for herself and a baby.
Hormones play a major role in this too!
Testosterone a.k.a the male hormone is one of the major hormone in the growth of muscles. This hormone is much higher in males compared to women. That’s why it is easier for men to build muscles compared to women.
Estrogen a.k.a the female hormone is responsible for storing fat in women. Therefore, women generally have more body fat than men.
Take a look at this picture to understand the difference between men and women body fat percentage:
If you noticed, women body fat percentage can only go as low as 10%, but for men is 3%, specifically competitive bodybuilders.
Generally, men are in the 15-25% body fat percentage zone, women are in the 25-35% body fat percentage zone.
You can read more about how hormones and metabolism rate affect weight loss here.
11. Doing everything correctly doesn’t always lead to the results you wanted
This is because your body refuse to cooperate with you or maybe you have hormonal problems. But that’s okayyy…
All you can do is just keep going and never give up, keep striving and working hard, and eventually, you will start to see results.
The most important is to NEVER GIVE UP once you have started your weight loss journey, no matter HOW LONG it takes. Just keep going!!
12. Slowly change your mindset and be positive
Everything you do will be pointless if you don’t change your mindset. Once you change your mindset that you are losing weight to BE HEALTHY instead of wanting the “perfect body”, you will start loving the journey and keep going.
It is about you WANTING TO LOSE WEIGHT and not because of peer pressure, chasing the ideal body, having the perfect abs, etc…
It is not about changing your body only, it is about changing your mindset and wanting to be healthy!
Once you have changed your mindset, you will look at things differently, you will never lack motivation and be able to control your diet intake.