Whether you’re a complete beginner to exercise or an avid gym-goer, shifting stubborn body fat often sits at the top of the list of fitness goals.
Whilst fat loss may be a top priority, it can also be one of the most difficult things to achieve.
With the abundance of opinions and misinformation shared on the internet, it is easy to go about losing fat in the wrong way.
Or, even to fall victim to the internet’s favourite fad diets and myths that simply don’t work.
Did you believe in one of these myths? Let us know in the comments...
To help those looking for the truth on how to shed fat and slim down, Steven Virtue, Fitness Content and Programming Manager at Total Fitness, has identified and debunked five common fat loss myths that may be stopping you from accomplishing your fitness goals.
Myth: You can lose weight through exercise alone
There’s no denying that exercise offers many fantastic benefits to our overall health.
Nevertheless, research shows us that losing fat cannot be achieved by exercise alone.
You cannot ‘out-train’ a bad diet and increasing your level of exercise whilst still eating junk food will not facilitate fat loss.
In fact, the latest research actually suggests that 80% of your fat loss is dependent on a good diet.
Myth: Fat is making you fat
A very common misconception both in the fitness industry, and amongst members of the public, is that cutting fat from your diet is the key to a leaner physique.
While this may seem logical on the surface, there are plenty of studies that prove the opposite.
Providing you are eating within your recommended caloric range, diets containing high levels of fat are not associated with increased levels of body fat.
In fact, some fatty foods such as avocados and dark chocolate are actually very good for you.
Myth: Sit Ups for Abs
Although sit ups are one of the most popular exercises to include in a workout routine, it’s wrong to think that an excessive number of sit ups will shred fat on your lower abdomen and result in a six pack.
You can't spot reduce fat.
So, while crunches and sit ups will strengthen your core, they will not do anything to remove the layers of fat around your tummy.
Myth: Eating little and often accelerates fat loss
An old wives’ tale in the fitness world is that the rate in which you burn calories improves with each meal you eat.
Because of this misconception about metabolism, many people attempt to lose fat by eating little meals more frequently.
Studies have shown that there is no correlation between the number of meals eaten in a day and a person’s metabolism.
What and how much you eat is far more important than when you eat it.
So, rather than spend your time preparing six tiny portions to eat at allocated times throughout the day, focus on ensuring you are eating nutritious meals and on a calorie deficit.
Myth: Losing weight should be a slow process
To truly have a positive impact and change on your lifestyle, you need to form consistent habits over time.
However, that doesn’t mean that shredding fat needs to be a slow process.
Studies show that those who lose a significant amount of weight, relative to their bodies, in the first two to four weeks of their fat loss journeys are more likely to maintain and sustain this for long periods of time.
Put simply, the faster the scale moves down, the more encouraged you will be to stick to your diet.