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Get Fit for Summer: Tackling the Diet Myths

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Waseda chapter.

Have you spent the long depressing winter eating convenient store food, and hiding your body in thick sweaters? Well, summer is by the door and it’ll soon be the season of crop tops, high-waisted short shorts, and bikinis. The last thing you want is your food baby peeking out. If you’re still looking for signs to diet, this is it. HC Waseda is going to tackle diet myths. 

Ignore the Number

One huge mistake that many girls make is confusing fat loss with weight loss. Not only do we want to size down, we also want a shredded body with toned abs, arms, and a perky booty, right? Yet, many of us spend way too long on our weighing scale, mourning over that stubborn number that remains unchanged from last night. One thing that people should know is that scale number is often misleading. Remember, girls: muscle is denser than fat. Thus, a fat person and a toned person of the same height may weigh exactly the same despite the different body fat and muscle ratio!

Furthermore, obsessive scaling can lead to decreased confidence and eventually diminish motivation. Rather than checking the scales once every day, keep it to once every fortnight. This will give your body sufficient time to change and a clearer difference  can be observed. Make sure that scaling is done first thing in the morning before any water or food intake! Also check for body fat content monthly at the gym or the hospital to ensure that you remain at the pink of health even when you’re dieting. HC tip: Take photos regularly to see how you progress over time! 

Diet for a Foody

“Abs are revealed in the gym, but made in the kitchen.” If you want to shape up, 70% of the progress will come from dieting and 30% will come from exercising. You can’t out-exercise a bad diet, so don’t expect to burn 500 calories at the gym and eat that pizza and ice cream because Math simply does not work for a calorie deficit!

Myth 1: Healthy food taste bad

All you foodies out there, don’t be discouraged! It is absolutely possible to pacify your ridiculous cravings while on a strict diet. You just have to be smart around your foods. A misconception that people often have is that all the “weight loss” food tastes bland. NO! You don’t need to eat rabbit food (unless you prefer it) to lose those extra pounds. There are many healthy modifications to all the savory food out there on the internet. Finding and trying out those recipes can be fun! Sharing your meal via social networking sites such as instagram, tumblr, or Facebook can make the whole eating process even more exciting!

Myth 2: I can eat junk food as long as I control my calories

A healthy female can consume around 2000 calories per day, and controlling daily calorie intake within that range is typically believed to be an efficient way to maintain weight. Managing calorie while having junk food can be very tricky. A pizza or burger may ‘only’ have 800 calories per serving, but these sorts of junk foods are full of ‘empty calories’ – calories that came from processed sugar and has zero nutritional benefit for the body. They are often high GI food, meaning that they will not keep you full for long. The next thing you know, you will be searching the cabinet for other junk food to satisfy that unappeased stomach. Remember collegiettes, you are what you eat, so don’t be fast, cheap, easy, or fake. 

Exercise for a Bikini Body

A good diet can help you slim down, but it is the workout that tones you up.

Myth1: Exercising will make me bulky

I’ve heard way too many girls refusing to workout because they are afraid that their body will turn bulky. WRONG! It is actually very hard for your body to become bulky. Female bodybuilding competitors dedicate HOURS daily at the gym doing killer exercises and eating crazily high protein diet in order to maintain their physic. Some even have to take medications such as steroids to stay muscular. An appropriate amount of weight training will make your body toned at the right places and absolutely sexy. Lower weight, high repetition training is perfect for girls who want to look  slightly athletic and fit. A good stretch after exercising will help lean out the muscle groups, and over time form ‘pretty’ muscles.

Myth 2: Exercising is boring

For all you people out there who think that working out is boring, here’s news for you: it is not! Never limit the way you exercise. You don’t always have to be hitting the gym or be on the treadmill to drop your size. Get some badass workout with different routines! Hiking, biking, dancing, swimming, doing yoga and Pilates all make great workouts. You just need to explore and find that perfect routine you enjoy doing. Another tip to make workouts more interesting is to find a cute workout outfit. Go creative and colorful with your outfit. Looking and feeling cute serves as a great motivation to hit the gym!

Water is Nature’s Best Gift

“I’m going to get bloated if I drink too much water.” No, your going to be bloated if you finish that McDonalds burger in your hand. Bloating does not come from drinking too much water; it comes from a high sodium diet. Ever heard of how salt retains water? The whole osmosis process we learned in 9th grade Biology class? Ask anyone who have successfully transformed their body for diet tips; 11 out of 10 people will tell you that they drink loads of water. Water is arguably the cheapest, most natural, and most effective supplement we should be dosing up on. Water increases body metabolism, and lubricates food parts to ease digestion. Supple, zit-free skin is just one example of the extra perks that water brings. If you are someone who really hates drinking water, try sugarless tea or lemon water. For a fancier drink, slice some fresh berries, cucumber, lemon slices, and mint for some awesome detox water. 

Please remember that dieting can be as difficult and painful as you want it to be, or as fun and exciting as you make it to be. It all depends on how you choose to perceive it. Small changes that you make now will accumulate and eventually turn into a habit and lifestyle that will benefit you in the long term. You will never look back in regret.

Shu Shien is a sophomore at School of International Liberal Studies, Waseda Unviersity.