Weight Loss Myths -- Busted!

Lorrie Hendry, host of ABC's "Fat March," a show in which a group of people trying to lose a lot of weight walk across the country dispels health myths and reaffirms the facts, so we can all be on our way to healthier versions of ourselves. Knowing the facts and fictions can help you lose weight and keep it off. Lorrie would know: She herself has lost 75 pounds, and kept it off.

Fact or fiction: You can't be overweight and healthy.

FICTION Health is determined by cardiovascular ability, not weight. If you can't walk a mile without getting winded, chances are, no matter how heavy or light you are, you're unhealthy. On the first episode of "Fat March," the marchers couldn't take 20 steps without getting winded.

Fact or fiction: Cardio exercising burns more fat than weightlifting.

FICTION Muscle burns more muscle than fat. A heavier person has to exert more effort to move because they're moving heavier "objects" compared to the average person. If you think of your body as your own personal weight system, a heavier person is going to use a lot more energy to climb up a hill. That translates to faster weight loss.

Fact or fiction: Eating before bedtime makes you gain weight.

FACT Our bodies recharge when we sleep. If you're giving your body extras, it has to work overtime and that's not good because it's concentrating on digesting the foods and not re-fueling you. Our metabolisms aren't as active when we sleep. It's crucial for us to get six to eight hours of sleep. We should feel fatigued enough to fall asleep and food doesn't help that. Food is for energy, not as a sleep aid.

If you just need to crunch on something or want to feel full, try "eat-free foods" instead -- pickles, red peppers and celery are great examples.

Fact or Fiction: Fifteen-minute power naps reinvigorate you.

FACT Power naps do re-energize you, but you don't want to make a habit of it. Then, you will feel groggy if you don't get it. Not to mention, most of us don't live a lifestyle that would allow us to escape for a few winks. Instead of relying on that cup of coffee to give you your midday jolt, it's better to re-energize with food instead. Some great power foods are grapes, for their natural sugars, and granola, for the good carbohydrates.

Mild dehydration is also an indication of fatigue, so be sure to hydrate yourself. Lorrie recommends packing yourself a lunch when you pack them for your kids. It's best to carry a lunch pail to be able to eat every couple hours.

Fact or fiction: Your body needs eight glasses of water a day.

FICTION This one is tricky. You absolutely need to stay hydrated because without water your body would shrivel up like a raisin. We're made up of 70 to 85 percent water and we lose 50 to 68 ounces by simply breathing, sweating and going to the bathroom every day. We should constantly be replenishing because dehydration is defined as a loss of only 1 percent or more of body weight. However, it doesn't have to be eight glasses of water. If you get bored with water, it's perfectly acceptable to switch in a glass of orange juice, milk or even diet soda and coffee. But one beverage that doesn't count is alcohol. It dehydrates you and upsets your water balance.

To learn more about how you can get fit the healthy way, visit www.presidentschallenge.org

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