Do you find that you have been working hard but you can't seem to get results? Maybe you are following some tips from a friend. Or maybe you are trying a new diet you heard about from a magazine. This is the problem with fitness and nutrition there is a lot of information but it can be difficult to know what is right and what is just a myth. Today I want to share with you 4 of the biggest fat loss myths that I encounter with my clients
Healthy, long term fat loss does not occur at a constant speed. There are lots of reasons for this and it is perfectly natural. Firstly there is something I call 'the law of diminishing returns'. This means that when you first start a program you will see results quickly, but as you progress you have to work harder to keep getting results. Secondly there are lots of other factors that will affect your progress on a day to day basis. For example how hydrated you are, hormones, stress levels can all affect progress in the short term.
Make sure you have a nutrition program and training program that is healthy and sustainable and the results will take care of themselves. Don't worry about measuring yourself every day or every week on the scales. Look at other ways to measure your progress. Do you feel fitter, healthier, stronger? Are your clothes fitting better? If so then stick to the process and concentrate on living a healthy, sustainable lifestyle.
The biggest myth I hear is that 'weight training is for building muscle and steady state cardio is for burning fat'. Unfortunately this isn't true and means that lots of people waste hours on the treadmill in the gym when they could be getting much better results. Research has shown that a much more effective way to burn fat is with high intensity interval workouts. This type of workout burns more calories per minute during exercise and also burns more calories after exercise than long distance running.
Weight training is also a great way to burn fat. This is because your body needs a certain amount of calories all the time just to keep you living (this is called the basal metabolic rate or BMR). The more muscle mass you have, the higher your BMR is. Try doing a mixture of weight training and HIIT workouts and you will see much better results
Another popular myth is 'If you eat less food your body will have to use fat for energy'. This causes people to starve themselves so that they can lose fat. Unfortunately this is bad for three reasons. Firstly this isn't sustainable and most people will end up binge eating or eating junk food after a few weeks because they are so hungry. This means they will lose any results they may have achieved. Secondly, starving yourself like this actually harms your body and can cause long term health problems and harm. Thirdly, your body will use some fat for energy but it will use muscle as well. This means that you will become weaker and your BMR will decrease (this is also one of the main causes of 'skinny fat). Healthy fat loss should be a long term, sustainable project and not a quick fix.
I am going to start by telling you that carbs are not evil and should be part of a healthy, balanced diet. Carbohydrates are your bodies preferred energy source (particularly for the brain) and good quality carbohydrates contain lots of important vitamins and minerals that we need. The problem is the amount of carbs and the quality of carbs people eat. Refined carbohydrates, such as white flour, white pasta and sugar are bad for you as they have had most of the vitamins and minerals removed. Also because they are processed you just get a quick energy rush before you are hungry again. This then causes you to overeat and this is why you get fat. However, good quality carbohydrates, like whole grains, fruit, vegetables and starchy vegetables (potatoes, parsnips) contain lots of vitamins and minerals and keep you fuller for longer.
I hope I helped you understand the truth about fat loss with this article. If you are still confused or have any questions then have a look at my other blog posts