3 Surprising Fat Loss Myths Debunked
There’s a whole industry built around confusing us about our bodies – how to get cut, how to lose weight, how to gain muscle, how to get that beach bod, how to stay in shape during the holidays. If you Google any of those things, you’ll find 100s of different (and conflicting) rules to follow – and plenty of products to buy!
But here’s the big, dirty secret the health and fitness industry doesn’t want you to know: Being healthy and losing weight is simple, not complicated! That doesn’t mean that becoming your best, healthiest self is easy. But it does mean that you can do it without relying on fad diets, weird eating rules, or dubious weight loss foods. In fact, you’ll be even healthier for it and more likely to drive sustainable results!
Fat loss is probably the most misunderstood health topic because it hits us where it hurts. When we know we have to lose a few pounds, we’re more open to hearing about that hot new (and sometimes dangerously unhealthy) fat loss product - leaving us more vulnerable to exploitative marketing tactics.
At FitLife, we are all about honest, natural health. And we give it to you straight. The truth is that no matter if you’re trying to lean out to see your abs, lose a few pounds to fit in your old clothes, or just shed some weight to become a healthier version of you, we all lose fat in the same way. There are no magic pills or secrets.
Here are 3 common fat loss myths that are totally wrong:
1. You have to workout and do a bunch of cardio all the time.
While working out and doing cardio promotes overall health and is a really good idea, don’t use it as an excuse to keep the pounds packed on. The truth is, it’s a lot easier to consume calories than to burn them off!
For instance, burning off a 500 calorie meal takes about 1 hour of jogging. And while 500 calories may sound like a lot of food, it really isn’t! For perspective, most 6-inch Subway sandwiches are about 250 calories without too many extras. A typical Chipotle burrito with meat clocks in at 1,000 calories. Add in sides and drinks and those calories start adding up!
The better solution here is to simply eat less (remember when I said it was simple, not easy?) rather than rely solely on increasing your exercise to burn more calories. The goal is to create a caloric deficit - meaning the calories your body has to burn to stay alive exceed how much you consume each day. If you are running a caloric deficit, you could lose weight without any additional exercise (though you should move your body more for overall health - and it will help speed up the process). So no excuses!
2. You can target specific areas for fat loss.
This one is a common misconception! Have you ever done ab exercises with the goal of losing belly fat? Tried to reduce your love handles with targeted exercises? Well, as much as the fitness industry would like you to believe, fat loss doesn’t work that way.
Your body decides how excess fat is distributed across your body. There is no way to target a specific area for fat loss. Instead, you must reduce your overall level of body fat by eating less and moving more. While this may be discouraging to hear at first, it is actually a relief. No special exercises or gimmicks are needed to get the body you deisre. Instead, simply reducing your overall level of body fat will take care of your ‘problem areas’.
3. You have to eat every 2 - 3 hours to keep your metabolism up .
A lot of dieting advice suggests that you must eat all the time to keep your metabolism up to burn fat effectively. This is simply not true and complicates the otherwise simple idea of calories in, calories out - perfect for an industry eager to sell you protein bars and shakes to snack on throughout the whole day.
Studies show that fasting - abstaining from food for a given period of time - and meal frequency have no significant impact on metabolism. This means that whether you eat your day’s calories all in one sitting or spaced out throughout multiple meals does not really matter. So stress less about your meal frequency and more about what you’re putting into your body. You’ll see the results in the mirror!
Effective and natural fat loss comes down to two principles: eat less and exercise more. (We’ll post more on that later.) Both require good old fashioned motivation and willpower - simple, but definitely not easy!
At FitLife, we make high-quality fitness-themed bracelets that you can wear throughout the day as a reminder to stick to your fitness goals. We believe that in moments of temptation and self-doubt, you can glance down to your wrist and see your bracelet for some much-needed motivation.