Feel like you’re going round in circles with weight loss? We’ve debunked five fat loss myths to make things easier
Struggling to shed the weight? We’ve busted some fat loss myths with a little help from PT Ollie Frost…
LOTS OF CARDIO IS BEST FOR FAT LOSS – Myth!
“Many believe that long duration exercise aka low intensity exercise (LISS) – think a duration of longer than 30 minutes – is the best and only way to lose body fat. LISS is great for overall cardiovascular health and improving aerobic capacity but, if performed too frequently, LISS increases our stress hormone, cortisol, and this can put the brake on fat loss.”
“Include LISS into your training programme once a week, for your other workouts incorporate high intensity interval training (HIIT) involving short bursts of effort followed by short periods of recovery. Sprint for 20 seconds, rest for 10 and repeat eight times. HIIT training raises your metabolism for hours after your workout, meaning you’ll burn more calories at rest for up to 8-10 hours, depending on the intensity and duration the session.”
FAT IS MAKING YOU FAT – Myth!
“Fat has long been the scapegoat for rises in obesity rates. Whilst a gram of fat has more calories per gram (around 9) than protein or carbs (around 4), the blame is unjustified. Blaming one single food group is wrong – it’s about the total amount consumed throughout the day rather than singling out one particular food group.”
“Include healthy fats such as avocados, nuts and coconut oil into your diet. These fats will keep you fuller for longer and reduce inflammation. When paired with a slightly lower carbohydrate diet, your body will use the fat for fuel, ultimately speeding up your fat loss and not slowing it down as so many believe.”
LOTS OF REPS WITH LIGHT WEIGHTS FOR FAT LOSS – Myth!
“Lifting light weights for a high amount of repetitions is similar to the long bouts of cardio at low intensity. Your body doesn’t have a magical ‘fat burning zone’ as a result of lots of reps; get stronger by performing fewer reps using heavier weight.”
“Change your body shape and drop body fat by stimulating your muscles. If you put your central nervous system under stress, you recruit as many muscle fibres as possible. The more lean muscle tissue you have the more calories you burn at rest. Keep it simple; choose big lifts, such as squats, lunges and overhead presses. Begin performing four sets of eight repetitions on all exercises.”
EATING LESS IS THE BEST WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT – Myth!
“Crash diets or extreme diets involving meal replacement shakes do a lot more harm than good. Initially, weight loss is fast and water is stored within the muscle alongside glycogen. As we use up glycogen stores, our body drops the water weight unless we replenish the stores with more glycogen. Every gram of carbohydrate in the body holds up to 3-5g of water, so as the scale weight is rapidly decreasing, the weight lost is purely water and probably some lean muscle tissue. Then, as normal eating returns, the weight magically lost is piled back on!”
“Focus on the total amount of calories consumed throughout the day, as long as you are expending more through eating slightly less or exercising more you will lose body fat. Choose single ingredient foods that will keep you fuller for longer and provide sustained energy throughout the day.”
THERE’S A MAGIC PILL – myth!
“The market is full of diet pills that promise weight loss, but one single pill cannot simply provide this. Don’t fall into the trap of expensive diet pills and meal replacement diets as, again, they will probably give you fast results but these results will not last for very long. There are also plenty of harmful pills and weight loss supplements on the market.”
“Focus on the quality of foods eaten rather than looking for a quick fix. As a rule of thumb, if it doesn’t swim, run, or fly, or isn’t green and grow in the ground, try and avoid it where possible. Try to fill your week up with 80% single ingredient foods and leave 20% for other foods you enjoy for a healthier you for years to come!”