3 Fat Loss Myths - BUSTED!
Take 10 minutes to browse the web for fat loss advice and you’ll undoubtedly come across a plethora of questionable tips and techniques. A lot of this ‘advice’ has been around for decades and – despite the efforts of thousands of qualified fitness and nutrition professionals – simply won’t go away.
Regardless, we must continue to fight the good fight. So here are three common fat loss myths and why they’re total nonsense.
1. SPOT REDUCTION
Spot reduction is a widespread myth. It’s the idea that by working a specific body part you’ll be able to reduce fat in that particular area. This is rubbish and simply not possible.
Over the years we’ve unfortunately been bombarded by countless seven minute ab workouts, crazy ab machines, exercises for bingo wings and so on. There’s still widespread belief that these machines and exercises will tone or develop these muscles.
Just think of it this way – if I gave Peter Kay the best ab routine in the world would he end up with a set of washboard abs topped off with fat arms, legs, back and a double chin? Of course not. He may have the best abs in the world but until that layer of fat is gone no one will see them!
To ‘tone’ a muscle you must increase its definition. To do this you must shift your body composition by reducing body fat. Strength training will help build your muscles but ultimately you need to drop the fat to show those muscles, or, ‘tone’ them.
Body fat is universally reduced around the body. Imagine your body was a swimming pool being drained. The water lowers at the same rate yet the shallow end will show first as there is less water there. This is the same as when people complain that they are losing fat from their face, arms and legs but not the problem areas. The fat in these areas is reducing, there’s just a higher concentration of it, so it will take longer to go. These problem areas are your ‘deep end’.
2. FAT BURNING ZONE
On the majority of cardiovascular machines there’ll be a little graphic showing your age and where your fat burning zone is. This is a low intensity level that burns fat as its primary fuel.
Yes – you will be burning fat as fuel but this is not the only way to skin the fat cat nor is it the most optimal way.
To lose fat you need to burn more calories than you consume. If you’re holding excess fat and training at low intensity, your excess fat will be your primary fuel but the calorie burn will be very low in comparison to HIIT (high intensity interval training) session.
HIIT will burn more calories both during and post session as your body tries to regulate itself from the large demands put on it.
3. FASTED CARDIO
Training first thing in the morning means your body will use its fat as its primary fuel source. Wrong!
As above, this all comes down to the overall calories burned. This is similar to the don’t eat after 6pm rule. If you eat 1000 calories before 6pm you’re still going to gain weight. If you burn 1000 calories in a workout it doesn’t it doesn’t matter what time you do it – it’s still 1000 calories burned
If you want to perform fasted cardio and you feel good doing it then go for it. Performing any exercise consistently is much more important than the time of day it is performed. Just be consistent!