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3 myths you need to know about weight loss before you start

3 myths you need to know about weight loss before you start

Starting a weight loss journey is challenging. Check out what are the noob mistakes that you make after beginning  a weight loss program.

4 steps to healthy life mindset even if you are lazyWhen you start thinking about weight loss while being overweight, you start with an idea in your head about weight loss. You believe that you know exactly what you need to do in order to achieve weight loss. You believe your only problem is starting and sticking to a weight loss program.

So what are the myths that every noob believes at the start of their weight loss program?

Myth #1:

I have to do an hour or more cardio per day for helping my weight loss

Noobs believe that doing hours cardio will burn off that extra pizza slice they had for snack. If you still believe that you can burn off extra calories you’ve eaten, you’re wrong. Here, let me prove this by giving you an example of how many calories you burn with cardio and how many pizza slices you’ve burned off*:

Burn off that pizza slice
Exercise type Calories burned/hour Pizza slice burned off
yoga 148 kcal 50% of a pizza slice
pilates 148 kcal 50% of a pizza slice
walking 177 kcal 60% of a pizza slice
belly dancing 266 kcal 93% of a pizza slice
aerobics 384 kcal 134% of a pizza slice
spinning 413 kcal 145% of a pizza slice
swimming 413 kcal 145% of a pizza slice
running 472 kcal 166% of a pizza slice
zumba 519 kcal 182% of a pizza slice
elliptical trainer 531 kcal 186% of a pizza slice

* used MyFitnessPal’s calculator based on: a pizza slice has 285 kcal, a person has 59kg/130pounds.

So basically you can see that doing belly dancing for an hour will burn off that pizza slice that you had for a snack, but it won’t make you lose weight. Doing hours of cardio won’t help your weight loss.

Don’t get me wrong, cardio is beneficial for you because it can help you build endurance. It has many other benefits as well, as it can stronger your heart and lungs, reduce stress, make you feel more energized, help you increase bone density, reduce the risk of heart attack, make you sleep better and so on.

But relying solely on cardio for weight loss is naive.

Here comes the second myth:

Myth #2:

I must exercise to lose weight.

3 myths you need to know about weight loss before you start
You can sit on that machine for hours and it won’t make you lose a single pound

This is a lie. In reality: weight loss is only 20% gym and 80% kitchen. It means that you can lose weight by changing eating habits, you won’t need to step into a gym at all. However, everyone knows that exercising has many health benefits, so it is always a good idea to exercise. I am the spokesperson of healthy eating, but if your single goal is weight loss, you can always achieve it by eating less calories than you are currently eating.

I am not a fan of different crash-diets, detoxes, cleanses, but these also work for weight loss (even if they are unhealthy and bad for you in the long run) because the require you to eat at a caloric deficit.

You don’t see fat kids starving in Africa. So chances are, if you are twice as heavy as your healthy weight, then you are eating for 2 people. No matter how much you exercise, you can’t outrun your bad diet.

Myth #3:

Doing a bunch of ab exercises will give me defined six pack abs

No amount of ab exercises will give you great six pack abs. I learned this lesson by doing tons of ab exercises daily to loose my belly fat. It was successful until a point, where I could not lose the leftover belly fat from my bottom half no matter how hard I tried.

I had abs of steel, but they were invisible under that layer of body fat. So I seriously considered the truthfulness of the following statement:

Abs are formed in the gym but revealed at the kitchen. [Tweet this!]

3 myths you need to know about weight loss before you start
You can do 1000 crunches a day and still won’t have her abs

So I’ve tweaked my nutrition, and bamm, visible abs! I considered myself a fool for not making the connection between body fat and visible abs, as well as for not thinking about the importance of nutrition as a component of having abs of steel.

Once I made a mistake of telling the girls at my Zumba Fitness Core class that they won’t get abs of steel by attending these classes once a week, but they looked at me in disbelief, like I was crazy.

Sure, they will strengthen their core and sculpt their abs, but they are expecting flat tummies and six pack abs at the end of the 4th week. Well, reality check: if you keep eating that pizza slice for breakfast every morning, no abs of steel for you lady.

 So remember: in order to lose weight, start eating healthy, pick up healthy habits such as regular exercise. You’ll lose that fat in a healthy way for good!

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Are you suffering from phantom fat? Easy steps for accepting the new fit body after weight loss

I've lost significant weight and my body changed. Every morning I look in the mirror I get surprised at the mirror image: it can't be me. I'm fat, not as thin as that reflection! I still feel like I take up a lot of space! What can I do to make myself see my new fit body after weight loss for the body it is now and not the body it was in the past? 
From Fat To Fit Girl
Fat Girl in mirror, Fit Girl in reality. My mind is messed up.

Shopping for clothes comes with a revelation that I pick an item and think to myself there is no way I am going to fit in it… I try it, and it fits! I have so many insecurities now that I am finally thin. Thinking you are still fat when in reality you are not is a real insecurity issue, and know that you are not alone in this!

The phenomenon is known as ‘phantom fat’. Most people who used to be fat still have that body image in their minds even after their bodies have changed. Their perception of themselves did not change. This is especially the case if the weightloss happened fast. When I realized that I am not the only one facing this issue, it comforted me to some extent. I’d felt lost at times because no one around me seemed to understand the impact of this.

Get help dealing with distorted body image in order to truly accept it

The bad news is that it is harder to change the internal body image than the physical body. The good news is that this acceptance depends only on you!

The body image you have of yourself is based on your feelings and your subconscious. You are the only one who can change it – so you don’t need anything but self motivation to work on it! [Tweet this!]

Women who had to pay attention to their weight make more effort to look their best and they believe that how they look is an important part of their personality. We can be characterized by body dissatisfaction and excessive concerns about physical appearance.

The 2 main reasons of phantom fat and why you feel out of touch with your new body are:

  1. The internal image perception still did not change from overweight to fit the new body. You are still fat in your head. You need to change your image perception in order to accept the new you.
  2. There is a disorder in the energy field around your body. The size and shape of your body changed and this change is effecting the energy field around your body. It needs to adjust on a subconscious level in order for you to be balanced again.

Am I suffering from phantom fat?

If you agree with any of these statements, then it is highly likely that you suffer from distorted body image perception.

  • “I am afraid that I will get fat again.” After weight loss the fear of gaining weight or becoming fat again might be your best motivation to stay slim. However, if you know that your fear is irrational – because you exercise regularly like a beast and eat healthy – but still fear of weight gain, then it is a sign that your internal body image did not adjust to your real life body.
  • “I always have to look my best!” Formerly overweight woman value their appearance highly because it is an important part of who they are. If you spend a lot of time worrying about: your everyday looks – but you’re not a celebrity, putting together an outfit – but you’re not a stylist, then you are preoccupied with your appearance because you are insecure about yourself.
  • “Do I look fat in this dress? Do I look fit enough?” If you search for approval and reassurance that you are not fat and can’t believe when people say that you’re not fat or that you’re fit, then you surely have a problem.
  • “My ass is so big!”/”My tummy is really big!” You are not satisfied with your body image so you keep complaining about your looks to your best friend or workout buddy. You don’t realize that when you turn to your best friend and say “My tummy is so big” you are also saying “Your tummy is really big.” You are not just insulting yourself personally, you are also insulting others around you.

Steps to build a more positive body image perception to accept the new you

  • The first and most important thing to know is that fat loss does not change who you are as a person! Remember this: it is still you on the inside. Now that you are fit, try focusing more on your inside and not so much on your outside appearance. After all, it is still the same you!
  • Walk in the dark with closed eyes: you will need to rely on your other senses in order to navigate yourself. It connects the mental image that you have of your body with the real life body of yours. During this exercise you will need to work with the body you currently have, and not the image of the body that is imprinted in your subconscious. Do this for 10 minutes a day, and you will see improvements in sensing your whole body.
  • Backward walking: it works similar to the previous exercise, without closing your eyes. It is challenging to walk backwards because backward walking eliminates the typical heel-strike to the ground – the toe contacts the ground first. It is not just a simple physical activity, it requires brain activity as well. Plus it keeps you stay mentally sharp, puts your senses into overdrive, and it enhances vision as well. You’ll see all these benefits with a 10 minute walk a day for five weeks.
  • Shift your focus on the things you like about your body: it can be your newly toned arms or any other body part.  The important thing is that you start seeing your body for what it is from body part to body part. You’ll be able to see the whole new you in time. When we are in the process of losing weight, we tend to see only the fat parts of our body that need to change. So we get used to focus on the not-so-good-looking body parts.
    Bikinis everywhere!
    Bikinis everywhere!
    Image copyright
  • The summer is here! Stop wearing a swimsuit! Get out your bikini! Unless you are wearing it for an office event, you’ll see that no one else finds anything odd about it. Pool parties, here I come!

Get help dealing with body image issues after weight loss! Click here to get emotional help>>>

The struggle with body image distortion after weight loss

The struggle with body image distortion after weight loss
You’ve won the battle – time to enjoy!
Image copyright
You’ve lost significant weight. You have become healthier and stronger.
The body you see in the mirror is everything you ever wanted.

But it still feels strange? Still surprised when you see a photo of yourself?
We offer tips for accepting this new you.

Get 9 great tips to help with mental obstacles with your body image

The biggest struggle wasn’t losing all those pounds as you thought it would be, because once you change your habits and introduce regularity in your life, it’s all easy as a pie. The real disturbance is what you’re experiencing now, after the weight loss: the image of a body you see in the mirror staring back at you feels foreign. It looks good, attractive, but it is not you.

You thought that with losing weight you will gain a higher level of self confidence and a healthy level of self-esteem. You were wrong. You are more self aware than ever before.

You are used to watching beautiful bodies everywhere around you and wishing you had that flat tummy/toned arms/defined thighs/sexy booty. That’s what get you started on your journey towards healthy weight. But now you can’t believe you already did it – your body looks good! You thought you’ll never have that body, but now it’s yours. But the biggest problem you face now is accepting it. You are used to being overweight, it is familiar, and you learned to live with it.

Why am I dissatisfied with my body after weight loss?

Weight loss in itself is a major life change, much like getting married or moving to another country.
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Especially if the weight loss happened fast: your brain and your neurons are not as quick catching up to your new persona as your body is changing. The older you are the harder it is. Children are freely accepting changes in their bodies because they are still laying down images and views of themselves. Your view of yourself is more deep-seated when you become an adult, so it can be difficult to resolve changes with who you are as a person. This is due to the fact that the person you think you are is tied in to the body that you have. So body image after weight loss becomes a troubling and confusing experience.

A holistic approach sees this psychological trauma of being fat in the past as a disorder in the energy field. Everyone who ever experienced being shaped differently in the past go through this.

Acceptance of the problem

Also, you are used to focus on the negative things, the things that draw your attention and make you go “Ugh” about yourself. That’s exactly what kept motivating you throughout your voyage to Slim Town.

The struggle with body image distortion after weight loss
She runs everyone over on her way to Slim Town.
Image copyright

So the first step is to admit that you have a problem with accepting the new you. You might not even be aware of it yet; it might just come to you as a seldom thought when you see your reflection. Your mind can’t make the connection. That reflection is not you, it can’t be: You are bigger than that; your thighs are wider; your belly is huge and looks like a beach ball. That mirror is lying to you. Then a friend notices the change, and tells you that you look great. You don’t believe them. Then other friends and family notice that too and compliment you on your looks.

First you think they are lying; then you start doubting yourself and your judgment. Then you start looking for your reflection and start seeing what they are talking about

But that new body is you, however your brain has not caught up with the weight loss yet.

How to overcome body image issues

Having the body of your dreams is new: your mind will need time to accept it. It will happen in time, I assure you there is nothing wrong with your mental health. How to speed up the process of your brain accepting your new body image? Here are my tips:

  1. Put a photo of yourself on the fridge or another visible place where you think you look better than perfect
  2. Get yourself a pair of skinny jeans or colored pants that make you keep thinking “Girl, you are small!”
  3. Take pictures now & compare them to old pictures
  4. Ask a friend or a significant other you absolutely trust what they think about your looks after the weight loss
  5. Look yourself in the mirror while you work out and compare the body you see with other bodies in the gym
  6. Go window shopping! Pick something out that you would never have dared to wear before and try it on just for the fun of it!
  7. Try on your old over-sized clothes! This way you will get a clear perspective of your progress and your current body size.
  8. Ask a friend or your significant other to point out someone from a crowd of people who has a similar body size as you. You’ll be surprised! Also, seeing other people who are similar to you in size will not trigger the same emotional response as seeing a picture of yourself would, therefore it’s helping you rationalize your new body size.
  9. When getting a positive comment on your new body from others, don’t ignore it or dismiss it. It’s a bad manner and you come off as being rude. Say thank you for the compliments! You’ve just earned somebody’s respect and admiration. After all, you’ve worked hard for it, right? So don’t try to shy away from compliments about your looks. The other person sees something regarding your body size and lower weight that you don’t.

For best results, do all of the above!

Accept responsibility for your own success!  See your body for as it is – don’t allow your old fat identity to ruin the new you!

You have problems dealing with your new body image? Share your story in the comments section!

Interested in facts about your body after weight loss? Click here to find out more>>>