Friday, 23 September 2016

Interested in Losing Weight?

What You Need to Know Before Getting Started
Weight loss can be achieved either by eating fewer calories or by burning more calories with physical activity, preferably both.

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A healthy weight loss program consists of:
  • A reasonable, realistic weight loss goal
  • A reduced calorie, nutritionally-balanced eating plan
  • Regular physical activity
  • A behavior change plan to help you stay on track with your goals
We want to help you with each of these components.

Keep in Mind
  • Calories count
  • Portions count
  • Nutrition counts
  • Even a small amount of weight loss can lead to big health benefits
  • Strive to develop good habits to last a lifetime
  • Discuss weight loss with your doctor before getting started

Getting Started
  • Check your Body Mass Index(link is external) (BMI) - an indicator of body fat - and see where it fits within the BMI categories.
  • Discuss weight loss with your doctor and decide on a goal. If you have a lot of weight to lose, set a realistic intermediate goal, maybe to lose 10 pounds. Remember that even a small amount of weight loss can lead to big health benefits.
  • Estimate your calorie needs. Using USDA's online Adult Energy Needs and BMI Calculator(link is external), you can determine the number of calories needed each day to maintain your current weight. To lose about 1 pound per week, subtract 500 calories each day from the daily amount. To lose about 2 pounds per week, subtract 1000 calories daily.
  • Score your current food intake and physical activity level using MyPlate SuperTracker. Taking a good look at your current habits will help you determine what changes you might make as well as what you are doing right.

How Do I Know Which Weight Loss Plan is Right For Me?
  • Keep in mind that you want to develop lifestyle habits that will help you maintain your weight in a healthy range. A short-term "diet" that you "go on" and then "go off" is not the answer to long-term weight management.
  • In choosing how to go about losing weight, keep in mind key habits of people who have lost weight and kept in off. These people are called "Successful Losers" by the weight control experts who have studied them.

Key Behaviors of Successful Losers*
  • Getting regular physical activity
  • Reducing calorie and fat intake
  • Eating regular meals, including breakfast
  • Weighing themselves regularly
  • Not letting small "slips" turn into large weight regain


Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Tips for losing weight healthily

The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommends that we all achieve and maintain a healthy weight. More than half of all Australian adults are above their healthiest weight.

How do you know if you are carrying extra weight?

Most adults can use the following graph as a guide to the healthiest weight for their height.  Draw a line across from your height without shoes in centimetres and a line straight up from your weight in kg with light clothes but no shoes. The point where these two lines cross will land in a BMI range. Your weight will be classified as ‘underweight’ (less than your healthiest weight), ‘normal’ (healthiest weight), ‘overweight’ (above your healthiest weight and at greater risk of some health problems) or ‘obese’ (significantly above your healthiest weight and at greatest risk of health problems).
You can also use the graph to work out what is the healthiest weight for your height. The graph cannot be used for children or people under eighteen years of age because they are still growing and developing.

A graph showing Body Mass Index (BMI) height and weight. Formula = weight over heaight.

If you are carrying extra weight losing even 5kg can make you feel better and lower your risk factors for health problems.
Everyday there are new ideas, diets, programs and books telling us how to lose weight. It can be very confusing and hard to know what to try.
It’s easier than ever before to gain weight and harder to take it off. Discretionary foods are cheaper and tastier, portion sizes are larger and we are less active at work and in our spare time.
So to lose weight that stays off we need to make small changes that turn back the clock. We need to limitdiscretionary foods, down size our portions, and find ways to be more active in our everyday lives.
To lose weight, we need to eat and drink fewer kilojoules that we use. Choosing foods from the Australian Dietary Guidelines will help us choose foods that provide the most nutrients, without the extra kilojoules. For example eating more coloured vegetables and salad will keep us feeling fuller for fewer kilojoules. In fact making half our meals coloured vegetables or salad and having smaller portions of the other foods, we can reduce the kilojoules by up to half.
There recommended number of serves can be used to plan meals and snacks for weight loss. Following the serves from the Five Food Groups and avoiding discretionary foods will help most people lose weight while staying healthy. Younger men, people who are taller than average or more active may find they need to include the ‘additional serves’.
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Planning is the secret to successful weight loss. By thinking ahead about meals and snacks we can spread the number of serves from the five foods groups over interesting meals and snacks and avoid unplanned eating of extra serves or discretionary foods.
Making a plan for meals and snacks will also make food shopping easier and quicker and cheaper and avoid unplanned extra kilojoules, because then we can buy exactly what we need. Also, knowing a few tips for getting the most out of food labels when shopping can help avoid extra kilojoules.

Eating away from home can be a challenge when wanting to lose weight, but again, thinking ahead and knowing some useful strategies can make it work.
If we eat more ‘mindfully’, turning off the TV, slowing down and savouring food, we can enjoy food more, be more in touch with how hungry or satisfied we are and eat less.
You will find plenty of great information and tips to help you with goal setting, increasing physical activity and making other lifestyle changes to help with weight loss at The Healthy Weight Guide website.


Sunday, 18 September 2016

What a Nutritionist Eats in a Week

nutritionist eats

I do believe in everything in moderation. I follow an 80/20 philosophy with my diet – where the 80% accounts for nourishing wholefoods, like organically sourced fruits/veggies/meat and plenty of good fats – and the 20% includes healthy treats in moderation; a few squares of dark chocolate or a glass of red wine at the end of the day. Enjoy the 20%, but make sure you are having a good quality animal protein and loads of colourful and green veggies to go with it!
Here is what a week on my plate looks like – I make sure to include heaps of variety – eating the rainbow is truly the easiest way to make sure you get all the essential nutrients your body needs!

Pre breakfast: lemon and ginger warm water + yoga + belly breathing exercise. (Everyday)
+ Morning piccolo coffee – 1 shot of coffee with a small serve of hot milk.
Breakfast: 1/2 cup organic rolled oats cooked in water/almond/coco milk and cinnamon. Topped with berries, a scoop of vanilla pea protein and some mixed seeds. It is so important to get some good fats and proteins in at breakfast time to keep your blood sugar levels stable until dinner.
Daily vitamins: Fish oil, Multi mineral, Vitamin C. (repeated daily)
Snack: Green apple with cinnamon and ginger lemon tea
Lunch: Salmon trout served on a mixed leaf salad with avocado slices. Lemon juice and Dijon mustard mixed together for the dressing.
Snack: Carrot sticks with clean hummus
Dinner: Grilled sea bass/snapper with sautéed/steamed garlic broccoli and grilled asparagus. Lemon ginger tea/chamomile.
Nighttime vitamins: Magnesium powder and a probiotic.

Breakfast: Power protein shake: scoop of vanilla pea/whey protein, 1/2 frozen banana, 1/2 cup frozen berries, 1 tbsp chia seeds, cinnamon, 1 tsp almond butter, vanilla stevia, 1 cup ice cubes, 1 cup almond milk. Blend. This keeps me so full and satisfied all morning.
+ Morning piccolo coffee – 1 shot of coffee with a small serve of hot milk.
Snack: small handful of raw almonds
Lunch: Tuna and roasted cauliflower salad: a bed of lettuce, chopped carrot, artichokes, avocado, onion, cucumber and roasted cumin spiced cauliflower. Tossed with sesame dressing made from Dijon mustard, sesame oil, tamari and white balsamic.
Dinner: Grilled salmon served with pesto green beans and a mixed salad

Breakfast: 150-200g Greek yoghurt/Coyo with 1/2 cup mixed berries. Add a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and chia seeds. Top with a handful of raw almonds and a drizzle of honey/stevia/cinnamon to sweeten.
+ Morning piccolo coffee – 1 shot of coffee with a small serve of hot milk.
Snack: 1x boiled egg + fresh green juice
Lunch: Grilled chicken and avocado salad with rocket leaves and grilled zucchini. Top with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
Snack: Carrot and cucumber sticks with tahini dip
Dinner: Piece of lean eye fillet steak served with cauliflower mash (recipe from my book, The Healthy Life) and roasted sweet potato slices.
Dessert: 2-3 pieces of 80% dark chocolate.

Breakfast: Power protein shake: scoop of vanilla pea/whey protein, 1/2 frozen banana, 1/2 cup frozen berries, 1 tbsp chia seeds, cinnamon, 1 tsp almond butter, vanilla stevia, 1 cup ice cubes, 1 cup almond milk. Blend. This keeps me so full and satisfied all morning.
+ Morning piccolo coffee – 1 shot of coffee with a small serve of hot milk.
Snack: 1 cup of blueberries sprinkled with cinnamon
Lunch: Tuna and avocado brown rice sushi – from my local Japanese café.
Snack: 150g Greek yoghurt sweetened with cinnamon and stevia granules. Topped with some raw almonds – keeps my blood sugar levels nice and stable until dinner.
Dinner: Snapper in a bag – with lemon, rosemary and garlic – baked in the oven. Served with sautéed garlic spinach and a fresh green salad.

Breakfast: 1/2 papaya with a squeeze of lime juice. Topped with Greek yoghurt and mixed seeds.
+ Morning piccolo coffee – 1 shot of coffee with a small serve of hot milk.
Snack: Carrot sticks with a smear of almond butter
Lunch: Pesto Zucchini pasta with chicken breast – amazing pasta alternative. So satisfying.
Snack: Herbal tea
Dinner: Grilled lemon and herb chicken breast served with sweet potato mash.
Post dinner: Chai tea with almond milk and cinnamon

Image result for cinnamon oats tumblrBreakfast: Warm cinnamon oats topped with 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt, banana slices and a mix of nuts and seeds.
+ Morning piccolo coffee – 1 shot of coffee with a small serve of hot milk.
Snack: 1 carrot sliced – sprinkled with rock salt.
Lunch: Chicken, pumpkin and avocado salad – spinach leaves as the based. Drizzled with a miso salad dressing.
Snack: My signature Power Protein shake – minus the fruit.
Dinner: Garlic and Ginger Prawn stir fry – with lots of greens and fresh herbs. Served with brown rice. Glass of red wine.

Breakfast: Treat breakfast of an Acai bowl from a local acai bar in Bondi.
Snack: Morning piccolo coffee
Lunch: Roasted chicken with grilled parmesan asparagus and big salad – enjoyed with my family.
Snack: Greek yoghurt sweetened with cinnamon and stevia
Dinner: Scrambled eggs with pesto and served with avocado – Sunday nights are always easy egg night!


Saturday, 17 September 2016

What Does Organic Really Mean?

In Australia, the Australian Certified Organic ‘BUD’ logo is a great way to check whether the product you’re buying is, in fact, organic. If you see this logo on a product you’re buying, it means it’s met the requirements of the Australian Certified Organic standard.

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Choosing organic produce where and when you can means that you’re making a decision that helps support the soil, animal, plants, people and the environment we live in on a day-to-day basis. The more chemicals we spray on our soil, the more chemicals that can end up in our food and water supply, and potentially in our bodies.

The ‘Dirty Dozen’ is a list of fruit and vegetables that are the best investments when it comes to choosing organic. In other words, if you’re shopping on a budget and want to know the best foods to prioritise when choosing between organic and non-organic, I think these are the ones to pick. I also choose to buy organic dairy, chicken and red meat.

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  • Apples
  • Celery
  • Grapes
  • Peaches
  • Blueberries
  • Potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Nectarines
  • Capsicum
  • Strawberries
  • Lettuce
  • Cucumber

Eating organic is an investment in your health – you’re helping to avoid eating unnecessary chemicals.

Comment below any other articles you'd love to see or read about! xo


Thursday, 7 July 2016

6 Tricks To Combat Hunger And Lose Weight

Most of us know where our next meal is coming from. Yet our reaction to hunger has not evolved with our convenience-centered world. This is why even the thought of being hungry may send you running to the mini-mart for sustenance. It's also why some people get so "hangry" when they're hungry.
The problem: A lot of different factors influence how hungry you feel—many of which have nothing to do with your body's energy requirements. Your eating habits and schedule, the types of food you swallow, and even how tired or stressed you feel can drive hunger. 
These six tips help you control hunger and feel satisfied when you eat. 
1. Silence your gut
silence your gut

While fatigue or stress can trick your belly into believing it craves unhealthy junk foods, there are a few proven ways to help chill out its "feed me!" pleas. It may sound counterintuitive, but expending a little energy can help. A yoga practice, gym workout, or even a 10-minute stroll can help quell those fictitious hunger pangs. Keeping food out of sight can help, too. Seeing food makes you crave food, shows research from Cornell University. (Here are 5 ways to kill your food cravings.) 
2. Plan your meals
While "grazing"—or eating lots of small meals—had its day in the sun, the bulk of the research suggests sticking to three meals a day is a better plan for weight loss and hunger management. First of all, the fewer chances you give yourself to over-eat, the better. Also, when you only have three meals to manage each day, it's a lot easier to plan ahead—and that's exactly what you should do. (Follow these easy meal-prep tips to keep on track.) Again, you can't trust your gut when it comes to judging your food needs. By deciding ahead of time what you're going to eat at each meal, you won't be subject to your stomach's unpredictable whims. (Follow this perfect day of clean eating to keep you on track.)
3. Eat breakfast without fail
A recent study published in the British Journal of Nutrition tracked the diets of nearly 900 adults and found that when people ate more fat, protein, and carbohydrates in the morning, they stayed satisfied and ate less over the course of the day, compared with those who ate their bigger meals later on. Unfortunately, many Americans start off on an empty stomach: In one recent survey, consumers reported that even when they eat in the morning, the meal is a full breakfast only about one-third of the time. While it might seem tough at first, eating your biggest meal of the day in the morning—and cutting back at dinner time—can recalibrate your body's hunger cycles in ways that will lower your disease risk and help control your weight, shows research from the University of Southern California. 
4. Eat more healthy fat
healthy fat greek yogurt

There's a reason you keep hearing this advice. Not only is dietary fat extremely filling, but it also tends to turn off your body's fat-storage processes. Healthy sources include pistachios and other nuts, olive oil, avocado, and Greek yogurt. 
5. Munch fiber all day long
Because the body processes a fiber-rich meal slowly, it will stay in your gut longer and keep you feeling satisfied long after you've finished eating. One review recently published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association linked a high intake of fiber with lower body masses—as well as a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Leafy greens, fruit, and whole grains are all good sources of fiber. 
6. Include healthy protein at each meal
When researchers at Purdue University asked 46 dieting women to eat either 30% or 18% of their calories from protein, the high-protein eaters felt more satisfied and less hungry. Plus, over the course of 12 weeks, the women preserved more lean body mass, which includes calorie-burning muscle. Eggs, fish, legumes, nuts, seeds, and Greek yogurt are all healthy protein sources.


Tuesday, 5 July 2016

What Role Does Sugar And Salt Portray In A Healthy Diet

It is only natural to like sweets. Many people have become used to having something sweet daily as part of their standard food consumption. Yet too many sweets in the diet can lead to weight gain and health risks. The fact the sweets contain refined sugars add to the complications in the diet.
Refined sugars have negative health effects including hypoglycemia, arthritis, diabetes, headaches, suppression of the immune system, osteoporosis, and depression. It also is stored as fat within the body increasing the weight of the individuals that consume it.
Replace the sweets containing the refined sugar with natural sweets such as fruits. Using the natural sweets to satisfy the sweet cravings will lead to weight loss and better health. Add grains and beans to the fruits to increase the natural goodness of the fruit. The natural sugar in the fruits provides the right kind of energy as well as essential fibers and nutrients.
Avoid consuming sugary drinks such as tea, coffee, and sodas. The average person will drink at least two servings of the beverages a day with the drinks containing about 10 teaspoons of sugar in each drink. The artificial sweeteners, used in the beverages, have been shown to interfere with the body’s natural ability to function properly; so even this type of sweetener is not good for a person. Instead of consuming the sweetened beverages, drink natural fruit juices, or water with a squeeze of lemon added as the sweetener.
Salt or sodium is another bad ingredient many people have in their diets. The issues with salt are that many people, highly over use it daily. They do not realize that they consume over 2,300 mg per day of the highly dangerous additive. Most of the foods consumed contain added sodium with processed, packaged, fast food, and restaurant foods. Even the canned soups and frozen meals have added sodium.
Sodium leads to weight gain, heart disease, and health issues related to the added chemical in the body and bloodstream. Sodium makes people retain water leading to the bloating of the body. It also tends to make people feel thirsty constantly, so when even consuming fluids, often times their thirst is not quenched.
Salt is not bad when used in moderation. There are high quality sea salts that have up to 90 minerals that are healthy for the body. Use sea salt that is either reddish or brownish in color or even the non-colored salt for the best type of salt to add to the diet. These types of salts do not have additives, chemicals, and are not bleached.
Your body does require a certain amount of sodium and natural sweeteners, in order to function properly. You should reduce the extra amounts you consume, to create a healthier life style and body. It is also important for you check with you doctor, prior to making major changes to your diet, in order to determine if it could affect your overall health adversely.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Get an amazing body

Celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson reveals her secrets to a slim, toned body.
You may not know her name, but you've seen the results of her work. Tracy Anderson is responsible for transforming hundreds of curvy men and women into toned, tight gods and goddesses, including Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow. Her techniques helped her shed 30 kilograms after the birth of her son. Here, she reveals her secrets.
Many of us yearn for flat, strong bellies because they make us feel sexy and attractive. But there's more to a strong abdomen than that, isn't there?
Our core is the centre of structural connection, connecting our lower muscles to the upper torso. Among other things, it is the area of structural stability: we need a strong core for good posture, improved balance and a pain-free back. Also, a fat abdomen increases the likelihood of heart disease and other killers. A strong core also helps us look sexier and feel more confident.
Can women who have had children ever get their beautiful, flat stomachs back?
Yes, absolutely! I'm a perfect example. But it's not easy. The only way is through smart, consistent exercise. I have dedicated much of my career to solving this problem for women because I was horrified by what happened to my body after giving birth to my son, Sam.
That's how I developed my post-pregnancy program, which reawakens the core abdominal muscles (which separate during pregnancy) through my unique sequence of exercises. The bottom line is start exercising immediately after your doctor gives you the green light.
Is it true that once we hit a certain age we're destined to have flabby stomachs and thick middles?
In my experience, anyone can have an amazing body at any age. All it takes is a consistent and intelligent approach. As I always say to my clients, young and old: if you do the work, if you exercise with focus, commitment and clear outcomes in mind, you will have a youthful, energised body. If you don't do the work, or don't do it in a smart way, then you will pay the price. That being said, it is true that when we hit 30 or thereabouts, our bodies begin to show signs of physical decline. We must fight for our quality of life and we should start now. But incredible change is possible in all areas, no matter who you are. Your mid-section can get tight again, your arms can get strong, your legs long and sexy. You can even regain sexual vibrancy again!
Does diet matter more than exercise, or exercise more than diet, or should we be focusing on both?
Both. Your body is a reflection of what you eat and how you move. The foods we eat and the exercises we choose have a direct relationship to our energy levels and body shape. If we do the work, the results will be visible for all. Inner and outer beauty require care and attention. But it can be time-consuming. For whatever reason, most people who have flabby bodies don't have positive associations with exercising and eating well, but those with sexy bodies usually have positive associations. Once we become fit, a great workout feels better than eating a chocolate sundae. When we eat clean, nutritious foods, we feel more powerful than when we're eating junk. It is just convenient to eat poorly and not exercise. In my experience, some of the most successful people in the world - those with the most demands on their time - make time for proper nutrition and consistent exercise. We can no longer make excuses.
What part does attitude play in our quest for health, fitness and beautiful bodies?
Attitude is everything. It is the inspiration that allows us to move our bodies when we are unmotivated. And it's the motivation that gets us to work consistently, especially when things get tough. Attitude helps us attain the body we always wanted, but thought was beyond our reach. I have learned through my years of research and training countless women and men around the world, that the mind, when used properly, is a powerful tool that can make our dreams a reality. But, like every other muscle, it must be exercised. So we must stay positive and fight for the physical and emotional health we deserve.


Saturday, 25 June 2016

Small steps for big weight loss

Most of these weight loss tips and tricks can be done either instantly or in under 5 minutes, so what are you waiting for? Browse through our collection for a low-effort, high-impact guide to weight loss.

Losing weight doesn't require strict dieting, steely willpower and deprivation. The small-steps approach to weight loss can be the secret to long-term success. Accredited practising dietitian Dr Clare Collins spills the beans on how to make small changes that have a big impact.

1. Re-introduce yourself to your hunger

Dr Collins says: "It's not abnormal to have hunger pains before you eat. It's super important and it's tragic if you don't experience it. The best way to work out if you're truly hungry or just hungry with your eyes is to have a glass of water. If the twinges go away, you're not really hungry."

2. Breakfast is your weight-loss weapon

Dr Collins says: "There is more evidence reconfirming that breakfast improves concentration, memory, test performance and long-term weight loss. Some people have a busy life; they don't get home till late and won't have dinner till 9pm, so they're not hungry when they wake up. The key to learning to eat breakfast is to move the chaos back to earlier in the evening so you can wake up hungry."

3. Don't drink your kilojoules

Dr Collins says: "Some of our appetite regulators rely on chewing, stomach distention and feedback from your stomach to let you know when you're satisfied. When you drink kilojoules they can slip past the radar: a slice of bread at 70 calories takes a few minutes to eat, but 70 calories of a drink slips down in seconds."

4. Get real on portion size

Dr Collins says: "Bring out those measuring cups and kitchen scales, and spend one day weighing and measuring to understand portion control. Or simply divide your plate into quarters and fill half with salad or veg, a quarter carbs and a quarter protein."

5. Smart ways to eat out

Dr Collins says: "If you only eat out once a month, have what you like, but if you're eating out regularly, eat smart. Skip the entree and only have a main with a side of vegetables."

6. Prioritise healthy eating

Dr Collins says: "Plan ahead and get in the habit of knowing what's for dinner for the week. Cook a casserole on Sunday night so you're zapping it in the microwave when you get home from work during the week. Or pack a zip-lock bag with cherry tomatoes, some mixed lettuce and baby carrots to go with a chicken roll at lunchtime."

7. Lighten the foods you love

Dr Collins says: "Add heaps of vegies to your meal. Vegies are your secret weapon to diluting kilojoules in your food - you can save between 25 and 50 per cent of your kilojoules. For example, add onion, finely diced carrot and zucchini, half a cup of red lentils, crushed tomatoes and garlic to your spaghetti bolognaise. You're maximising nutrients and minimising kilojoules."

8. Get the right advice

Researchers at the University of Minnesota concluded that dietary instruction from a registered dietitian was very beneficial when it came to long-term weight-loss success. A long-term study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health also found that dieters who attended counselling sessions with a health professional lost more weight than those who didn't. "An accredited practising dietitian has the skills to help you develop a personalised weight-loss plan," Dr Collins says.

9. Go for wholegrains

Dr Collins says: "When you choose a wholegrain product you actually get a higher vitamin, mineral and fibre intake. They contain more vitamin E, zinc and iron, and more of the B vitamins, which are the ones you need when you burn up energy. From a weight-loss standpoint, wholegrains take more effort to chew, therefore your brain is more likely to receive signals letting you know that you're full."

10. Invest in your health

Dr Collins says: "The small steps really do make a difference. If you can invest and commit to those small steps you're much more likely to live your life in the healthy weight range."


Thursday, 23 June 2016

10 Weight Loss Myths You Should Stop Believing

Because none of us has time to waste secretly sabotaging our goals.

There’s a lot of bad advice out there when it comes to weight loss. And when you’re really trying to work hard and shed some pounds, chances are you’ll try anything that sounds promising. We’ve all been there.
But unfortunately, a ton of the “tips” you’ve heard are simply not true. In fact, some of the biggest weight loss myths are more likely to do the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve—yes, that means make it harder to lose weight. (No, we’re not trying to ruin your day.)
Here are the top weight loss myths you’ve probably heard, and what makes them total BS.

Myth 1: You can spot lose fat.

As nice as it would be to be able to choose the exact spots we want to lose fat and where we don’t (read: boobs), it just doesn’t work that way. “You can target areas when you’re working out, but you can’t choose where you’re going to lose your weight from,” Kira Stokes, celebrity trainer at BFX studios and creator of the Stoked Method and Stoked Series classes, tells SELF. “Your body is one complete unit, it has to be thought of as such.” Overall, you’re going to lose inches if you work out and eat healthy. But you can’t choose where you’re going to lose those inches from. “And everyone’s body is different,” Stokes adds. So the areas you lose inches in first will differ greatly from where your workout buddy does.

Myth 2: Fad diets work.

Just like all trends, fad diets are temporary. “You do it for two weeks and lose 10 pounds, but what happens after that deadline?” says Amanda Foti, M.S., R.D., a senior dietitian at Selvera Wellness. “They’re usually not realistic for long-term sustainability.” Without a plan for transitioning back into a regular eating pattern, most people just go back to old habits and regain the weight. You may want a quick fix (don’t we all), but it’s not going to make you feel so great. Fad diets are also very restrictive, which makes them really hard to stick to if you’re trying to live life in the real world. So when you have a work dinner and none of your diet-approved foods are on the menu, it throws you off and you just decide to throw in the towel. One bad diet down, you vow to start a different one next week, and the whole cycle starts anew. “I see a lot of chronic dieters, over, and over, and over,” Foti says, for this exact reason.

Myth 3: Cardio is better for weight loss than strength training.

Most people assume an hour-long run is going to burn more fat than a short lifting sesh. Not true. Cardio is important for weight loss, but if you’e pressed for time and have to choose one or the other, “you’re better off spending your time on strength training,” Stokes says. “Your body burns more at a resting state the more muscle you have on your body.” So building muscle will keep your metabolism revved for not just an hour after your workout, but all day long, since your body will be working to fuel and maintain those new guns.

Myth 4: Because one plan works for other people, it’s bound to work for you.

There really is no one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss. “Different bodies need different things, and one diet is not going to work for everyone,” explains celebrity trainer Anna Kaiser, founder of AKT InMotion and co-host of My Diet is Better Than Yours on ABC.  “Our bodies function very differently and need different things.” Which is why it’s important to pay attention to what eating plan and fitness regimen work for you. Sure, it’s great to take suggestions from friends who have had weight loss success, but there’s no guarantee you’ll see the exact same results.

Myth 5: If you work out hard enough, it doesn’t really matter what you eat.

Unfortunately,  you can’t just do one or the other and call it a day. “People don’t want to hear it, but you’re negating what you’re doing in the gym if you’re going out and sabotaging yourself by not watching what you’re eating,” Stokes says. “If you’re truly trying to make a change in your body, you have to make a complete lifestyle change, which includes both working out and changing your diet.” If you’re just trying to maintain your current weight, Stokes says a regular workout routine may be enough. But if weight loss is your goal, diet needs to be a huge part of the equation, too. “Especially for people who have just that last five pounds to go,” she adds, since those who have more to lose may notice immediate changes when adding just fitness or good nutrition into their lives; for those last five pounds, not so much.
In terms of what holds more weight, Foti says it’s very individualized. “I’ve had clients respond more to fitness levels increasing, others respond better to diets.” Usually, whatever is the more dramatic change will make a bigger impact upfront. But you’ll hit a wall eventually if you don’t focus on both.

Myth 6: Eating at night is bad.

Whether it’s due to the time of day or simply the food choices people make when they’re tired, late-night eating has long been associated with weight gain. But that doesn’t mean you have to be done dinner by 6 p.m. sharp. “It’s more about your overall nutrition,” Foti says. “If you don’t go to bed until 11 p.m., you can eat at 8 p.m. and still have ample time to digest it.” Going to bed stuffed can disrupt your sleep, but so can hunger pangs. Foti says at the end of the day (ha, ha), it’s better to eat something light before bed than skip a meal.

Myth 7: Indulging = cheating.

Foti encourages her clients to treat themselves a couple times each week. “It allows them to not feel so deprived, so they’ll stick with healthy choices longer,” she says. Rather than focusing on resisting temptation and completely avoiding certain things, work a few indulgences each week into your plan. That doesn’t mean three massive cheat meals a week, she says, but working three servings of something in will keep you satisfied without going off track. For example, if you know you’re going to a pizza place with friends on Friday, plan to have one slice. You have to keep your lifestyle in mind, and form a realistic plan that won’t make you miserable or skipping out on social events all the time.

Myth 8: You need to work out harder and longer.

Instead, focus on smarter workouts. If you’re pushing your body so hard that it can’t sustain it, you can end up doing the opposite of what you want to achieve (not to mention, seriously injure yourself). “Overtraining can actually take you too far the other way,” explains Kaiser. “Your adrenals can fail, causing your metabolism to shut down and go into starvation mode.” Which means your body will cling onto whatever fat it’s got for survival. If you’re not used to a rigorous exercise routine, start with just a couple days a week, and work up to a varied routine that includes a balance of cardio, strength training, and flexibility.

Myth 9: Becoming a vegetarian will boost weight loss.

Some diets, like vegetarian or vegan, have a halo of health that makes it seem like you’ll inherently drop pounds on them. But you can still gain weight on a meat-free diet if you don’t approach it the right way. “You can still be vegetarian and have a lot of junk food—the only thing it means is no animal products, so you can still have chips, sandwiches, unhealthy foods,” Foti explains. Sure, it will seamlessly cut (most) sources of saturated fats out of your diet, but you still have to be conscious that you’re making the right food choices and not loading up on simple carbs and sugars in their place.

Myth 10: Working out just makes you hungrier.

Some people tend to avoid cardio, especially running, because they claim it just makes them eat more after. But by that logic, you’re supposed to just not work out and not eat? Not only is it not effective (read: you have to workout and eat right to lose weight), but you’ll miss out on all of the other amazing benefits of exercise—and probably be pretty grumpy. Kaiser recommends checking your hydration levels first and foremost after getting sweaty. “Sometimes you feel hungry because you’re dehydrated and you sweat too much, but you’re actually just really thirsty,” she explains. Also, being hungry after a workout is a good thing—it means you metabolism is running strong. “The best time to eat is right after you work out because your body is going to use food instantly to recover.,” Kaiser adds. “If you work out and don’t eat, then you’re going to feel crazy hungry the rest of the day and eat more later.” You don’t need to have a full meal right away, but even something light like protein powder mixed with coconut water, Kaiser suggests, will help you avoid that ravenous feeling later.