Fat loss myths are mainstream information that we are getting from the internet, a lot of “experts” in health and fitness and our beloved influencers that get a quick buck selling them to you.
Fat loss is not something difficult to understand and achieve. The problem lies where you want the results to be achieved quickly and this is where the myths begin to pop up in your conversations and in you Google search.
1. You Need a High Intensity Workout Routine To Lose Fat
A high intensity workout routine is one which you will constantly lift heavy in high volumes, have little rest between your sets and training days or you’re constantly training to put yourself out of breath.
Not only does this increase your chances of injury, but it’s not sustainable. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced athlete, you must train in waves, cycles or phases depending on what your goals are. Your training must gradually increase in intensity and then have a period of maintenance for what you’ve achieved or prior to a competition.
You should try train in 4-week cycles for about 12 weeks with a progressive increase in intensity. You then maintain or even measure your progress and look at how you can adjust to achieve your goals in the next 12-week period.
2. Carbs Make You Fat
Carbohydrates or carbs are macronutrients that our bodies require in relatively large quantities. They are also known as sugar molecules, which is probably why many believe that they are not good for fat loss. They are the main source of energy for the average person’s body, before protein and fats.
You get complex and simple carbs. Complex carbs have more molecular bonds than simple carbs making them slower to digest by the body. They both play their part in your health depending on your activity levels.
Your general every day life would prefer complex carbs as slow-burning energy that supports you throughout day. Some simple carbs can be beneficial if you feel drained and require a “pick me up” energy boost before your game or training session.
1. Complex Carbohydrates
- Whole grains: Brown rice, oats and whole-wheat pasta etc.
- Legumes: Lentils, kidney beans and black beans etc.
- Vegetables: Sweet potatoes, broccoli and carrots etc.
- Fruits: Apples, berries and bananas.
2. Simple Carbohydrates
- Soft drinks
- Sugary sweets
- Fruit juice concentrates
- Breakfast cereals
- Sports drinks
3. You Must Skip Meals And Not Snack To Lose Fat
Being in a calorie deficit can have people focus on the number of meals they have rather than what they are putting in their meals.
A person can be in a calorie deficit eating five meals vs someone that just eats three. This is dependent on how many calories and nutrients the meals have.
Focus on eating low-calorie foods that you can eat in high volumes to ensure that you remain full. This includes your snacks, which should consist of low-calorie snacks like fruits, nuts and seeds. The amount of meals will be dependent on your schedule and appetite.
Skipping meals and not snacking will make you even more hungry. It can lead to consuming a lot more calories than you need to on your next meal, because of it.
4. Low-Fat Labelled Products Are Always The Healthier Choice
Low-fat products can be helpful when you are looking to reduce your calorie count. Some low-fat products are highly processed which could mean that they are high in calories because of this.
Many low-fat products substitute ingredients with a lot of sugar or salt. The thing is, these days, saying something is low in fat always sells.
Before you pick product up next time, check the nutrition label for the amount of calories/kilojoules and make a comparison with its less processed competitor. The more whole the food is, the healthier it is.
5. Sweating Is A Sign That You Are Losing Fat
Sweat is a sign that your body is trying to cool down from the activity that you were doing. Some people sweat easily because of their metabolisms or a condition that they have.
Do not look at sweat as a sign that you’re losing fat as it is a myth. There might be a bit of weight loss due to water loss from sweating, but that will be short lived after you eat or drink something.
6. A Calorie is Just a Calorie
A calorie deficit is required for you to lose fat which has created the misconception that no matter what you eat, if you’re in a calorie deficit, you will lose fat. Theoretically, this is sound, but lacks practicality.
Calories from a highly processed pizza will not be the same as the calorie from a nutrient-dense chicken salad. When you’re consistently eating pizza, there’s a higher chance that you will be negatively affecting your health and weight.
Different foods have different affects on your hunger and hormones because of how they are digested by your body. Proteins can help reduce your appetite for example while ensuring you maintain muscle mass better than fat and carbs.
This is more beneficial when you’re trying to lose fat without following the fat loss myths.
7. Fast Food Makes You Fat
Fast food like the pizza mentioned above can be eaten in a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Fat loss myths become viable options when you’re looking to restrict yourself of the joys of life.
When you don’t restrict yourself, you won’t find yourself constantly looking for the next fast food you can indulge in.
Take time to indulge in a meal that doesn’t necessarily need to be fast food, but rather something that is out of your general diet, that you enjoy at least once a week or even twice.
8. Your Weight is an Indication of How Much Fat You Have
Your weight on scale is not an indication of how much fat content you have. Your body fat percentage is one measure in seeing how much fat you have.
A person can look the same but be heavier than you and have a lower body fat percentage for the mere fact that they have more muscle. How much more water content they retain also plays its part in that.
Your body fat percentage is not a sign that you are healthy or not either. You get anorexia and obesity for a reason, whichever side you’re closest too, doesn’t mean you’re better off in anyway.
Health is indicated by your overall wellbeing, especially looking at the factors affected by your fat loss journey. It is a mental, physical and emotional journey, some may say spiritual even and unless a doctor has advised you on your health condition, you’re probably healthy.
You are not one to listen to the fat loss myths, but rather listen to your body, it always speaks to you.
How Do You Lose Fat Without The Fat Loss Myths
When you want to lose fat, you must consistently be in a calorie deficit for a period of time. A calorie deficit is where you consume less calories than you burn. A calorie is the energy unit found in all food and drinks that we consume. You burn this energy unit through all your daily activities, from breathing to lifting heavy and running on a treadmill in the gym.
You’ve probably heard it being this simple, but this too brings about some of the myths which are more related to your health. Remember this: it is more important to be healthy than having a low body fat percentage. I mean your overall wellbeing is of utmost importance.
No matter how you plan to lose fat, you must work hard, be patient and consistent without hindering your overall wellbeing. This is what fat loss myths tend to forget when they enter your circle. The work you must put in, the time it takes to lose fat and overall, you must be so comfortable and happy with your routine, that you will be consistent with it and even make it part of a balanced lifestyle.