We’ve all been there. There’s a special event coming up and you need to shed some pounds to prepare. Unfortunately though, there are a lot of fat loss myths out there that will not only lead you in the wrong direction, but might actually make your fat loss progress worse. Chances are, you’ve heard at least one of these fat loss myths before. We’re here to clear up the confusion and send you on your way.
Fat loss myth 1: Add more cardio
For many beginners who want to lose fat, adding on a ton of cardio seems to be the first step. It’s a common misconception that doing endless hours of (often boring) cardio will allow you to shed pounds in no time.
The truth is, you will see an initial drop when you hop on the scale. But the sad part is, if you’re only doing cardio, those pounds are a lot of water weight and maybe a little fat loss. *womp womp* The really crappy part of only doing cardio is that our bodies are constantly adapting to the stress that typically burns fat. So, in the beginning of your new cardio schedule you might be able to burn some fat by running two miles a day. But soon your body will adapt and it will take three or four miles to get the same results.
What’s worse? After a while if cardio is all you do, you will end up burning up all of your fat and muscle at the same time. So the pounds? Yes, they’ll drop. But you’re not really burning off the stuff you want to burn.
But trust us, cardio is NOT the enemy! Slow steady runs, bike rides or elliptical sessions once or twice a week are great! Just don’t make them your only source of exercise. Try doing a HIIT workout or some form of circuit training to keep your muscle, burn your fat and still lose some weight in the process.
Fat loss myth 2: Majorly lower your calorie intake
We live in a world where we believe if a little is good then a lot must be better. Cutting calories by too much will make you lose some serious pounds in water weight. You will also be hungry, grumpy, and tired the whole time. Eventually your body will go into survival mode and start to burn up muscle and fat at the same time.
And that’s not all. Let’s say you majorly cut your calorie count. If it’s not sustainable and you go back to your old diet, your body will hold onto every calorie it can and store it as much as possible. So as a result, you’ve now actually gained more weight than you were carrying before.
The good news with this myth is that there’s actually a right way to restrict calories. But, instead of restricting all calories, try to restrict only certain types of calories. Yes a calorie is a calorie, but we believe some are better than others.
If you were to eat 2 slices of stuffed crust pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut, that would be roughly 680 calories. That’s just two slices. I know when we go for pizza it’s not just two. Now, let’s make a 680 calorie meal that’s healthy and filling. 10oz of chicken breast 220 cal, 1 cup brown rice 216 cal, ½ and avocado 161, and 11 cups of spinach with a splash of vinegar and pepper. That’s a lot of food!
Related: Portion control in 3 easy steps
Fat loss myth 3: Stop eating carbs
This is not good for a couple reasons. First, carbs are where you get your energy for your workouts and your energy to, you know, just comfortably live throughout the day. If you cut them out, you’ll likely become tired and grumpy.
Second, let’s be honest, carbs taste really freakin’ good. And if there’s one thing we’ve all learned from Regina George is that when you try to completely knock a delicious food group out of your diet, you’ll be craving some dang cheese fries! Healthy versions of carbs like sweet potatoes and brown rice can help you form a healthy and nutritious meal. These carbs are good for your body and will give you the natural energy you need to stay on track with your diet and you workout plan.
Fat loss myth 4: Avoid fruit
There are a few people out there who believe that because fruit has sugar you should not eat it while you’re trying to lose weight. We have a similar response for this that we did for the no carbs myth, and that’s consume your fruits in moderation.
Here’s what we love about fruit though… When you’re craving sugar, it’s an extremely healthy alternative to candy. Fruit will provide you with vitamins, water and antioxidants: all at a low calorie count. Eat fruit, but focus your energy on eliminating unhealthy sugars and carbs.
Fat loss myth 5: Eat more frequently to boost your metabolism
This is a common one that trainers everywhere tell their clients. Essentially the myth is that because your body is being fed more often, your metabolism will rise to keep up. There has never been any scientific proof that this is the case.
While eating 6 small meals a day to get your calories in is not a horrible plan if it works for you, don’t get discouraged if it’s just not practical. If you eat 3 meals a day and keep them balanced, you will get the same benefits of 6 or 7 meals with the same food spread throughout the day.
Your next steps
Now that you know what not to do, where should you go next? That’s where we come in! We’ve developed an awesome challenge that will get you on the right track in just one week! Join our Back on Track Challenge by clicking the link below. The challenge will guide you in goal formation and provide you with a week’s worth of manageable daily workouts. And it’s completely FREE! We can’t wait to hear about your progress!