So you want to fit into your same jeans from college? Or you want can slim down so you can rock your tux from prom?

These are both sweet ideas, and depending on the circumstances, may or may not be realistic.

One of the biggest myths in fitness and nutrition is how to lose weight in a healthy manner. In as simple of terms as possible, I’m going to help you attack your weight loss goals with sustainable and attainable methods!

Myth #1: “I Need Cardio All Day, Every Day.”

Many people are obsessed with aerobic exercise these days. While a certain level of cardio is healthy, you don’t need to go overboard with daily running regimens or spinning class five times a week.

If you are excessive with your cardio training, you’ll create more muscle imbalances and increase your chances at injury. As holistic health expert Paul Chek says, “Our goal is to train, not drain the body!”

In addition, aerobic training causes the release of stress hormones, which are catabolic. This means that they are tissue destructive and will prevent you from forming additional muscle. This is a huge problem for your progress, because muscle is the most metabolically active tissue in your body.

Regardless of your fitness level, the most effective exercises to burn fat are compound movements. Some examples of these are a squat, push-up or sprint, where we need to engage multiple muscles and joints to complete the move.  This is the best way to elevate your metabolism and burn off those unwanted love handles.

Now, I’m not at all suggesting to stop cardio cold turkey.  In fact, I encourage you to find a form of cardio that you enjoy! After all, if you’re miserable during your training, there is a 0.1% chance you’re going to stick with it. Tennis, Swimming and even walking offer tremendous benefits and get your whole body working.

You will be much more likely to reach your weight loss goals if you find a balance between aerobic and weight training. I’ve noticed that a lot of women fear resistance training because they don’t want to “bulk up.” The simple solution for this is to finish your strength training session with 10-15 minutes of steady-state cardio to halt the formation of more muscle tissue.

Myth #2: “I’m Just Not Going to Eat as Much”

Throw away your scales! I’m dead serious. The scale does not tell you how much fat you’ve lost or how much muscle you’ve gained.

So many of us become obsessive about our weight, and don’t understand that muscle weighs more than fat. You may notice and begin to panic at the fact that you gained a couple pounds after weeks of consistent training. A common response to this might be to start eating less to cut calories. However, this is the most disastrous thing you can do.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has described obesity as a “worldwide epidemic.” Over 1/3 of American adults are obese and 60% are overweight.  These numbers are especially staggering when considering all of the fad diets we’ve been introduced to.

The body responds to caloric restriction by increasing the number of enzymes that store fat and decreases the number of enzymes that burn fat.  The body reacts by altering your hormones and slowing your metabolism so you can survive with the unsubstantial fuel.