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The 3 Biggest Weight Loss Strategy Mistakes

weight loss fad diets

Guy: After working in the health and fitness industry for ten years I can safely say there are a lot of skewed ideas when it comes to what it takes for long-lasting weight loss. Sadly there’s a lot of hype and slick marketing at play that relies on glossy magazine style imagery and quick fixes.

It’s not exactly headline catching titles when the real message is to simply ‘eat real food’ for long lasting health, and then the weight loss will follow. Sadly it’s usually a celebrity endorsed product that promotes a quick sale with cheap products followed by the bog-standard count your calories lark.

So after observing this time and time again I thought I’d write my top 3 worst weight loss strategies that really don’t factor in the most important part; our long term health! So even if this seems common knowledge to you, maybe it’s worth sharing with a friend, as it really could help them if they are doing any of the following…

1. Follow a Low Fat Diet

food myths low fatThis theory sits quite comfortably within the weight loss world. Fats are packed with energy and too much of it will make you fat. You’ll also be in danger of high cholesterol and heart disease… Really? This is so simplistic and quite outdated. We’ve interviewed numerous health leaders around the world and they all say the same thing; Inflammation causes high cholesterol, along with weight gain issues stemming from dysregulated hormonal and digestive systems. I seriously avoid low fat foods as they are usually high in sugar/carbs and will be doing us no favours. Our body truly needs fats. Even our brain is made up of 70% saturated fat, so yes, it needs saturated fat!

I include good quality fats with each meal and have done for years. The last thing I’m worried about these days is weight gain or heart disease. I avoid the man-made fats like vegetable oils and margarines… yes the ones that claim to be ‘healthy’. My suggestion is to do your homework on this topic as it’s super important. Remember, no one is going to look after your health more than yourself. You can start your homework here with these videos. So if you are following a low fat diet to lose weight, maybe it’s time to think again.

2. Eat a Low Calorie Diet

low calorie dietIf you see low calorie claims on a label, beware! Just like the low fat myth, low calorie fits well within the ‘diet’ industry. The amount of people I hear wanting to go on a diet to lose weight is astounding. What they should be saying is ‘I really need to change the food that goes in my mouth’ because restricting the amount of food you eat isn’t the answer. Eating quality healthy whole foods is (including LOTS of good fats with every meal).

Many so called ‘diet’ foods and low calorie claims come packed with crazy ingredients and e-numbers galore. From weight loss shakes to low calorie breakfast bars, it’s a minefield! Do you think this will actually benefit your long-term health? Personally I don’t. From what I’ve witnessed over the years, most people who restrict calories and diet, generally pile the weight back on when they stop. This isn’t sustainable and is also seriously disheartening. Also, many people that use weighing scales don’t factor in muscle mass/loss and also fluid loss/retention. Generally, fad diets work in the short term because the body is measured inaccurately and only tells part of the story. This does not in anyway help with long-term health. If you want to learn why counting calories doesn’t work, click here.

3. Follow a Punishing Exercise Regime

exercise myths running weightlossThanks to TV shows like the Biggest Loser, there is a common belief that you have to follow punishing exercise regimes to lose weight. Whilst I’m a big advocate of daily exercise, the last thing I would do with my clients who wanted to lose weight was push them to the point of breaking. Here’s a few things to consider if you think it’s necessary to be punishing yourself at the bootcamp or in the gym to lose weight.

The more you exercise, the more your appetite increases and the more you eat. So people generally eat more of the bad foods that hinder their weight loss. Increased appetite does not mean a license to eat more bad foods. In fact it’s the opposite. The harder you train, the more you have to look after your body and eat healthy nutritious foods. Exercise is a form of stress and the body must be fed accordingly to enjoy full recovery. Also, over-exercising can cause a stress hormone response including hormones cortisol and epinephrine. This can effect the metabolic system which means yes, weight retention. Also, if your daily diet is wrong, you could be creating an insulin response after every meal. If the body is producing insulin, guess what, you can’t burn body fat, so all those punishing workouts are actually counter productive.

Like I said, I’m all for exercise… and if you want to go hard in your workout… great! But as a standalone weight loss strategy? I’d be looking at the bigger picture.

So the moral of the story? If you truly want great health for life, and lose weight in the process, clean up your diet first. If you are not sure where you should start first, start here and download our free info packed eBook.

Can you think of any others I’ve missed? Do you agree with this? Do you know anyone who is always on a ‘diet’ but struggles with their weight? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below… Guy

 

 

7 Exercise & Fat Burning Myths Exposed

exercise & fat burning myths

Guy: Working in the fitness industry for almost 10 years, I would get exposed to hundreds of people each week. It was during this time that I got to understand the public perception of the exercise and fitness world.

Being in the firing line every day I got to cut through the noise, confusion and misconceptions of it all and felt inspired to write this post. So if you find yourself practicing any of the below, maybe it’s time to rethink your strategy.

exercise myths sit ups1. Sit-ups Burn Belly Fat

I can’t tell you how many people would be doing sit-ups, medball twists and crunches because they wanted their stomach and obliques (side ab’s) flat and toned. I know many athletes and weightlifters that have abs popping without doing a single sit-up. Why is this you may ask? Drum roll please… It’s because they understand nutrition, reduce inflammation and work with fundamental exercises that activate the core. Crunches give you strong abdominals, the fat that sits on top of that is a whole different story. If this sounds a little foreign to you and you want to learn more, download our free eBook here.

exercise myths running weightloss2. Running for Weight Loss

It’s a common sight, people pounding the streets or spending hours on the treadmill with weight loss as their goal. At first glance this seems like the right thing to do, but the simple answer is this – if you are running for weight loss, your diet is wrong.

So with this golden nugget of information, the first place you should start is the kitchen. Don’t believe me? Watch this short clip with Professor of Exercise and Sports Science, Tim Noakes, as we ask him what he thinks about running for weight loss.

exercise myths weight lifting3. Lifting Weights Make You Bulky

This is the greatest fear with women but I would see it with men occasionally too who don’t want bulky thighs and giant biceps! If only it was that easy. Lifting weights is one of the best strategies for increasing metabolism, toning the body, steadying blood sugars and burning body fat. Did you know fat occupies 4 to 5 times more space than muscle? If you exchanged 5kg of body fat for 5kg of muscle you would reduce your body size and have a more toned definition. This is why weighing scales should only be used to weigh your suitcase when you are going on holidays. Learn more reasons why weights are awesome here.

exercise myths carb loading4. You Need to Carb Load

This is the strategy we are taught as fitness trainers and is even more applicable to endurance athletes. Ramp up those carb’s to get you through your workout. The short answer to this is that there are many studies showing that fat adapted athletes respond better than carb loaders. Carb’s are reduced and natural fats are increased with some of the benefits of delivering quicker recovery times, reduced inflammation, less injuries, steady long lasting energy and reduced excess body fat. If you want the more scientific answer, listen to our full interview with running legend Professor Tim Noakes here.

exercise myths overtraining5. Spend Hours in the Gym to Get Fit & Buff

There’s a big perception that more exercise means more results, whether it be muscle building or weight loss. That is so simplistic it’s not funny as there are so many variables at play. There really is a minimum effective dose when it comes to results, and with the multitude of factors in place like nutrition (yes that means eating real foods and avoiding marketing fads), intensity, variation, recovery periods, sleep, type of exercise etc, you must have a clear understanding of all of these to realise your own true potential. They say a six pack is made in the kitchen, and I tend to agree with this. If you understand and implement all the other factors you’ll be the envy of all your friends in half the time :)

exercise myths exercise machine6. The Single Best Exercise for Weight Loss

This kind of marketing drives me nuts. I’m all for educating people and simplifying things so it’s digestible and easier to understand, but TV and dodgy advertising tends to skew the message. I would get constantly asked what the best exercise for weight loss was, and my answer would always be the same… ‘do you want the fluffy chocolate covered strawberry answer, or do you want the facts? Sorry to tell you that there is no single best exercise for weight loss… But if you want just the straight facts then watch this short video (2 ½ mins) with us and Australian Institute of Kettlebells founder Dan Henderson.

exercise myths yoga7. Yoga is for Women, Vegan’s & Tree Huggers

Being a male yoga fan, I had to include this one as I swear some of my mates think that I’m the only guy (pun intended) in the class breathing through one nostril and visualising flowers. To all the guys out there who are reading this, get in there as you are missing out! Especially if you’re an athlete or take your sport seriously, as I’ve seen many of them greatly improve their flexibility and mobility. Personally I practice two to three times a week and mine has gone through the roof. Physically and mentally I’ve found this the perfect counter-balance to the intensive training I do and it compliments it perfectly. There is also magic to be found in a Yin style class (i’m addicted), and I would urge anyone with high workout routines to check them out too. Yoga’s popularity over the years has grown massively for a reason, so don’t let the ego get in the way ;) Watch this 2 min clip with ex army officer Duncan Peak why athletes benefit from yoga.

Replace processed foods with a 180 superfood smoothie here

CrossFit journey part II. Measuring my body fat percentage with the Dexa scan


By Guy Lawrence

A big thanks to the guys at MeasureUp in Sydney for helping me get an extremely accurate reading of my body fat, muscle mass, bone density and overall weight. It’s a very cool machine and a fantastic place to start if you are serious about tracking yourself whilst on any kind of health journey.

In this video (length 3:04sec)

  • What is a Dexa scan?
  • Why it is a non-intrusive way of measuring body fat
  • Get accurate measurements for muscle mass & bone density
  • And much more…

The Dexa scan results

The first thing I asked Luke (who is also a gun CrossFitter & coach at CrossFit Active in North Sydney) is how accurate are they? He said accurate enough for the Wallabies rugby union team and Hugh Jackman (would be interesting to see Wolverine’s x-ray) to be using it… Sold! That was enough for me…

At the end of the consultation they also give you a very groovy looking report with several scans and x-rays of your body, with my body fat being in orange and muscle mass in red. I’ll let you guess what the blue is!

Body fat & muscle mass

measure_body_fat

Body Composition Results

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