“I’m losing the paunch, I’m getting a six-pack. It’s happening. Diet starts tomorrow, you try stopping me.”
For the sake of your friends and long suffering work colleagues then we hope you’re for real this time. Which is why we’ve done most of the hard work for you and interviewed health and fitness coach Jamie Lloyd: a man who spends a substantial chunk of his working day hearing all kinds of fast tips on losing a paunch.
Here he gives us the lowdown on the biggest myths going.
Myth: if I eat too many eggs it’s bad for my cholesterol
“I hear this time and time again as a Health and Fitness Coach. I often get asked, “How many eggs can I eat?” People are worried they’re having too many.
Well there's no recommended limit on how many eggs people should eat. Look, too much of anything is bad for you - so eat a balanced well-rounded diet. Eggs can be enjoyed as part of a healthy balanced diet, but it's best to cook them in coconut oil, poach them or boil them.
Although eggs contain cholesterol, the amount of bad food we eat has more effect on the amount of cholesterol in our blood than the cholesterol we get from eating eggs. So next time you munch into a big breakfast remind yourself that eating eggs lowers your cholesterol and they are perfectly safe.”
Myth: running will make me lose weight
”OK, you want to lose weight. Running will help you increase your aerobic capacity and shift a little body fat, but if you want to rev up your metabolism you need to do three or four weight training sessions a week.
After a post-workout run, you only burn calories up to two to four hours afterwards. By doing traditional weight training you only burn calories four to six hours post workout. But do some metabolic conditioning using a kettlebell – then you’ll lose body fat and get lean in no time: kettle bell training will help you burn calories up to about 24 to 48 hours after.”
Myth: drinking coffee will help me lose weight
“Granted, drinking coffee will act as a stimulant and help suppress your appetite, and it might also stimulate your metabolism by increasing your rate of thermogenesis (how your body burns calories to create heat and energy), but when you drink too much coffee, the caffeine can increase stress levels and cortisol which might lead to overeating.
It can also stop you from sleeping, which might also lead to a higher consumption of calories and elevate your cortisol levels for up to 24 hours with an increased level of blubber around your midsection. So before you go downing espresso shots before a gym session, try grabbing a bottle of water instead.”
Myth: doing a juice diet will help me lose weight
“You don’t need to be Arnie to know juicing is far better than demolishing your favourite chocolate bar, but drinking copious amounts of fruit-loaded juices will just feed your body with a load of sugar it doesn’t need. So when juicing, follow a 80:20 rule and go for 80 per cent green vegetables and 20 per cent low glycemic fruit like Royal Gala Apples. It might not sound fun but this sort of ratio could be the difference between the body you want and the body you don’t.”
Myth: pear shape is better than apple shape
“Doctors have long held the belief that fat which builds up in the thighs and ankles isn’t as bad as the fat that makes up muffin tops and love handles, since the latter contains metabolically active cells that promote insulin resistance. In truth, it doesn’t matter where the fat lies, it’s still bad for you and a huge risk to inflammation and insulin resistance.”
Myth: doing crunches will help me get rock hard
“No, sorry. You won’t just get rock hard abs by just doing crunches. You of course need to do specific abdominal exercises to strengthen the core, but you need to eat unrefined, clean unprocessed foods and do at least four training sessions a week and get to bed by 10:30pm to help your body repair.
“You also need to think about hydration and drink 1 litre of water per 50lbs of body weight and not eat after 7pm at night. Plus, if you really want rock hard abs limit your carb intake to 30/40g a day, and up your protein.”
Myth: weigh yourself once a month if you want to lose weight
“Most of us jump on the scales now and again or do a weekly weigh-in, in an attempt to tell ourselves we are progressing with out fat loss goals. Many people are told to weigh themselves once a month or once a week or use their jeans to assess progress, perhaps because the number on the scale can have a negative psychological effect.
“The truth of the matter is that the more you weigh yourself, the lower your body weight is likely to be – as you will be consciously in the zone with your weight loss goals and more focused. This daily weighing effect has been studied in randomised trials. Time and time again, daily weigh-ins have shown to positively influence weight loss or lead to lower BMIs.
“Don’t forget though, set yourself realistic weight loss goals and give yourself a reward like a massage or a night at the cinema – not a chicken chow mein loaded with MSG.”