It seems like the fitness industry has a new fat loss myth every day. Myths like, “doing an hour of fasted cardio every morning is going to help me lose more stubborn fat in my midsection and thighs”, “eating 6–7 small meals per day has really ramped up my metabolism” and lastly “I don’t eat coconut oil or bacon because it is going to put me at greater risk for being obese”. These myths have one thing in common: they’re all wrong! As it turns out, there have been studies done dispelling these fat loss myths, and having a negative effect on your body’s ability to burn body fat!
Myth 1: Doing high amounts of cardio for fat loss
Many people believe that cardio is essential for burning body fat. Although some cardio is important for overall health, it is not going to be (in the long term) best for burning fat. Cardio in the short term can be very effective for weight loss because it burns the most calories. But here’s the issue: cardio (in any form) makes your body much more efficient at burning calories (slowing down of the metabolism). When your metabolism slows your fat loss results will follow suit. Along with that comes chronic fatigue, weakness, cravings for very sugary processed foods and even the possibility of weight gain. Cardio should actually be your last option for burning body fat. Instead of doing high amounts of cardio, putting your focus on your resistance training program is going to be the best way to lose body fat in the long term. Studies show that a well-developed resistance training routine alone increases metabolism, builds muscle and burns more body fat than any kind of cardio will be able to do.
Myth 2: Eating 6–7 small meals to lose body fat
Everyone has heard about how eating 6–7 “small meals” throughout the day will speed up your metabolism. This is simply not true, and there are numerous studies that have been done to prove against this. Supplement companies use marketing to make you believe that you should be eating every 2–3 hours. Eat four real meals a day, and in-between those meals have a protein shake packed with harmful artificial sweeteners. Eating less frequently has a lot of benefits including, increased chemicals (norepinephrine) that speed up metabolism, reduced blood sugar and increased protein synthesis. These benefits will set you up for optimizing fat loss while maintaining and/or gaining lean muscle mass. Try going longer periods without food and eating 2–3 meals a day. This will help you get closer to reaching your fat loss goals.
Myth 3: Eating foods that are high in fat will make me fat
Recently I have been hearing a lot of negativity around consuming dietary fat. More specifically, saturated fat. Saturated fat has been given a bad rep through medical doctors as something that causes heart disease and obesity. The problem is, most of the modern diet consists of HIGH amounts of processed sugar, polyunsaturated fats and trans fats. These kinds of fat have negative effects on the body and can lead to chronic disease. These fats have a very negative inflammatory response and will make it impossible for your body to ever lose the fat you want it to. Instead of eating processed sugary foods and unhealthy fats, you want to shoot for healthy saturated fats. These include: coconut oil, fatty meats, fish, egg yolks, avocados, full fat dairy products and nuts. Eating a diet that is high in good saturated fats has been proven to be healthier, and a better way to burn body fat than the typical highly processed diet. Eating more healthy fats also sends a very unique signal to your brain: that you are full! Research proves that eating healthy fats leaves you much more satiated over the course of the day. This will help lessen your cravings for sugary processed food!