Fitness Guide: Common Misconceptions and Questions Answered

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gtty123
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Hi, I'm Gtty123. Now, you may (or may not) have seen me in these forums. Just for a bit of context, I'm an 18 year old male, who is passionate about fitness (alongside other things). Now, when it comes to fitness (in particular on TSR) I see posts, relatively often, which make no sense, or have logic which is flawed and idiotic. Now, by no means am I an 'expert' in fitness (nor do I claim to be) but, I have more knowledge than the 'average' person, and I bring forward helpful and logical advice which is beneficial for people to see. Often, people see fitness as a 'complicated' thing, not 'advanced' per se, but more 'complicated' than it needs to be. It's all really quite simple, that is when you understand the 'basics' and are aware of 'tips and tricks' which makes your fitness journey easier. Now, I'll be exploring a key element of fitness - weight loss (there's more elements, such as weight gain etc., but my main focus now is on weight loss).

What is weight loss?
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Weight loss, quite simply, is the process of losing weight.

Why do people lose weight?
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People may want to lose weight because:
They want to be 'healthier'.
They want to be 'leaner'.
They aren't satisfied with their current body.
But, the main reasons vary from person to person. Keep in mind, there are more reasons, but I'm not going to write them all out; it will be too long lol.

How long does weight loss take?
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The truth is that weight loss takes time, and it doesn't happen overnight. Most people, starting a diet, expect weight loss to happen within a couple of weeks. The fitness industry in general, is flawed. They set out false expectations and realities which gullible people follow, and when it doesn't work for them, they give up. Yes, you can lose weight extremely quickly. Then why don't you? Well, I'll explain it now. Losing weight quickly is more detrimental than beneficial. Rapid weight loss can include a bunch of health problems, such as:
Gallstones, Dehydration, Malnutrition, Electrolyte imbalances, Headaches, Fatigue, Dizziness, Hair loss and Muscle loss, the list goes on. Why on Earth would you want to have them problems? Most people, don't consider this when they are going on 'fad' diets or 'starving' themselves. I'll provide an example now between 2 people, with one having a realistic approach and the other not. Let's say, for example, two men are both 90kg at 5 foot 10, and they want to go down to 78kg. Man 1, adopts a realistic approach. Man 2, on the other hand goes on a 'fad' diet they found online. For Man 1, a healthy rate of losing weight (per week) is between 0.5kg and 0.9kg (any more and they risk losing muscle etc.). If they were to lose 0.5kg exactly per week (the lower bound) it would take them approximately 6 months. Why? I'll show you now. Losing 0.5kg a week means losing 2kg in a month. He wants to lose 12kg (90-78= 12). 12/2 = 6 months. Now, by following this approach Man 1 has maintained a 'decent' amount of muscle and is happier and healthier. Man 2, however, wants to lose 12kg (explained above) within 3 months. That means 4kg a month. They do this, but at what benefit? Man 2 loses muscle mass and is considerably weaker. They also feel a lot worse about themselves. Now, let me ask you this, is it beneficial to take the 'safer' and 'healthier' method at double the time, or take half the time but overall you are in a worse position? I, personally, would take Man 1's approach. That is much more realistic, as opposed to them 'fad' diets people read.

I'm not losing fat on my face only, what am I doing wrong?
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Often, people wonder - why can't I lose my face fat? Or something along them lines. Whether it be face fat or belly fat or thigh fat, YOU CAN'T SPOT REDUCE. Doing 1 hour of crunches or 1 hour of leg lifts does not = fat loss. I'm sorry, but that's the reality. I'm not going to sugar-coat the truth. In order to 'slim' down and lose whatever fat you're looking to lose, you need to be in a caloric deficit. However, keep in mind, even by losing weight you're not guaranteed perfection. You don't decide where you lose fat, your body does.

I'm doing everything right, why am I not losing weight?
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This is another common question, and the likelihood is that you're experiencing a plateau. Pretty much, it means you've gotten to a point, where your body has adapted to your workouts, and due to this, it isn't improving. How can you fix this? Well you could:
Increase your workout intensity.
Try doing new exercises, if you continuously do an exercise (depending on what your goals are, as it varies) it often gets quite boring.
Lift weights (if you aren't already). This is because, having muscle increases your metabolism and helps you lose fat.

I'm gaining weight on a caloric deficit, why?
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Now, you've stepped onto the scale and it says you've gained weight. Don't panic, this is completely normal (for the most part). Why? I'll explain now. Even if your weight increases, you may still be losing body fat. Muscle, in general, is more dense than fat and it takes up less space. Also, if you're taking regular measurements and you're losing inches, you're doing it right (even if the scale says otherwise). It's not always a reliable method to look at the scales. However, that said, if the above points don't apply, then you're doing it wrong. You may be eating in a caloric surplus due to not accurately understanding what you're eating. If this is the case, reevaluate your diet and make sure you're in a deficit.


Does Keto etc. work?
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Many of you have heard of diets such as Keto etc. and you may be wondering - does it work? Now, to bluntly answer this question, yes diets such as Keto and Atkins do work. However, are they sustainable and good for the future? No, they're not. Why? I'll elaborate now. Let's look at why these diets work. They aren't a magical formula for success, nor are they any more beneficial than eating 'healthily' and in moderation (explained later on). The reason as to why these all work are because - they place you in a caloric deficit. Nothing more, nothing less. They aren't 'good' for long term sustainability. Let's look at Keto. The main principle is that it follows a 'very low carb' and 'high fat' approach i.e. it involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. This is good, right? No. I'll tell you why. Keto diets have you eliminate certain food groups and hence a variety of food choices are 'banned' for you. For example, on a Keto diet one may not have:
Sugary foods, Grains or starches, Fruit, Beans or Legumes, Alcohol and Sugar-free diet foods etc. This, in my opinion, is quite frankly stupid and far too unrealistic for an 'average' person. Now, am I saying don't follow it? No, I'm not advocating whether you should follow it or not, I'm merely explaining why I believe it's too restrictive and how you can enjoy foods, such as fruit, without being on Keto. I mean, seriously? Not allowed fruits? It's stupid, honestly. But hey, if it works for you, do what you do.

How often should I eat to lose weight?
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This is quite easy to answer really. It doesn't matter how often you eat, but what matters is that you're in a caloric deficit for them meals. For example, let's say your intake is 2500 calories a day. Using this, we can see that a deficit of 500 calories is needed for a 'safe' and 'healthy' weight loss. Now, you have 2000 calories to consume. How you do it, doesn't matter. You could have 2 meals at 1000 calories or 5 meals at 400 calories. As long as you're in a deficit, that's all that matters.

Can I eat whatever I want and lose weight?
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Quite contrary to the popular belief, you can eat whatever you want to and lose weight. Surely not, right? Wrong. Of course you can. It doesn't matter whether you eat pizza or chocolate or salads to lose weight, if you were in a deficit you would lose weight. However, that said, there's an important point to add. Most times people hear that you have to eat fruit and vegetables and avoid chocolate, but they're never told why. I'll tell you now. Eating 2000 calories (example above given) of chocolate and 2000 calories of fruit and vegetables, are two completely different things. What matters here is the satiety effect of the foods. What I mean by this, is that eating fruits and vegetables will give you more satisfaction and hence make you feel more satiated, thus making weight loss easier. However, having 2000 calories of pizza is likely not going to keep you as satiated as the fruits and vegetables would. What matters here the most, is moderation. By this, I mean having the foods you enjoy (whilst in a deficit) and eating 'healthily'. I, personally, would recommend the 80:20 approach. For example, let's say you eat 3 meals a day. That's 21 meals a week. Now, 80% of the 21 meals should be 'healthy' and 'wholesome' foods incorporated. That means out of 21 meals, 16.8 i.e. 17 meals should follow this. The other 4, however, can be 'unhealthy' and whatever you like to eat. This, imo, is the key to success and long term results.

What's more important: Diet or Exercise?
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There's a saying that goes around, diet is 80% and exercise is 20%. This is 100% true. Why? I'll tell now. You can't outdo a bad diet, you can, however, make your diet 'clean' (explained above) and simply follow it. That way, you're getting the best results for long term, and there's no fear of going on 'fad' diets and consequently gaining all the weight back. That said, make sure your workouts are tough and don't involve you being lazy in the gym; expecting results from not working out hard is unrealistic and unreasonable.

How do I know how much calories I need?
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I would personally recommend this calculator (linked at the end of this point) where you can input your details to find out, what you need. Keep in mind, however, not all calculators are accurate. The only way you'll find out what works for you is through 'trial and error'. Calculators aren't always accurate, but as a starting point it can certainly help. Try having a deficit of 500 calories. Work out your TDEE and eat 500 calories less than that figure. This way, you're ensuring that you have a slow and healthy weight loss.

https://tdeecalculator.net/

What is the best approach to losing weight?
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The best approach whilst losing weight imo, is to take it slow and easy. Don't restrict certain food groups, don't go on any 'fad' diets and certainly don't starve yourselves. Follow an 80:20 rule (explained above) and have moderation. You can count calories, but don't go too far. For example, if you're going to obsess about taking a scale with you, whilst eating out, you're better off without this method. But, if you manage it correctly, counting calories is very fun and easy to do, and it does make a difference whilst losing weight.

What are some tips when trying to lose weight?
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Here are some general tips whilst trying to lose weight:
Don't skip meals (honestly most people do, and it's bad imo). If you're in a deficit, you can certainly enjoy breakfast (but it is up to personal preference).
Don't lose weight too quickly.
Don't avoid the scale, but don't rely on it to measure your progress.
Don't go on any strict diets.
Get enough sleep.
Don't abuse 'fake' fat burners which don't help you.
Walk 10000 steps a day.
Drink plenty of water.
Eat satiating foods to help with hunger.
Eat enough protein.
Do strength training.
Quick point to mention: YOU CAN'T BREAK THE LAWS OF THERMODYNAMICS.

If anyone has anything to add/wants to correct me, please feel free to.
Dax_Swagg3r Nutritionist Reality Check AM.TSR Realitysreflexx Gone Revising II Smack RichPiana


If I've forgotten anyone I'm sorry.
Last edited by gtty123; 2 months ago
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Nutritionist
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Sadly nobody will read this and we’ll still get 10 new threads a day asking how to lose weight
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gtty123
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(Original post by Nutritionist)
Sadly nobody will read this and we’ll still get 10 new threads a day asking how to lose weight
Yeah, I agree. I just wish that people would open their eyes and use common sense. It's not as hard as they make it out to be.
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5hyl33n
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(Original post by Nutritionist)
Sadly nobody will read this and we’ll still get 10 new threads a day asking how to lose weight
You can say that again.
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RichPiana
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I think a thread like this will be very beneficial, especially as a lot of people on TSR ask about losing weight. Perhaps we could get the mods to get this thread on the featured list? I’ll tag in chelseadagg3r cause she’ll know more about this.
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Dax_Swagg3r
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There's no such thing as confusing your muscles, when your body becomes accustomed to a certain exercise, you increase the weight.
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gtty123
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(Original post by Dax_Swagg3r)
There's no such thing as confusing your muscles, when your body becomes accustomed to a certain exercise, you increase the weight.
Hence why I had written it as 'confusing'. I should've been clearer. What I meant is that, if you continuously do an exercise (depending on what your goals are it varies) it often gets quite boring. But yeah, I do get what you mean.
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Dax_Swagg3r
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(Original post by gtty123)
Hence why I had written it as 'confusing'. I should've been clearer. What I meant is that, if you continuously do an exercise (depending on what your goals are it varies) it often gets quite boring. But yeah, I do get what you mean.
Then say that instead of saying something that is not true.
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