5 Common Fat Loss Myths Debunked: Stop Believing These For Effective Results
Fat loss is different from weight loss. Here are some common myths around fat loss you should stop believing.
Weight loss and fat loss are not the same thing, says expert
- Calorie count is an important factor that affects your fat loss
- Not just cardio, you need to perform strength training for fat loss
- There is no magic pill for weight loss that can give overnight results
Many are now on a mission to make the last few months of this year count in terms of fitness. Social media is blowing up with #fitness as netizens decide to take the plunge and chase their physique goals. But in their quest for abs of steel, a lot of people succumb to fitness myths and misinformation. Many make you believe that getting fit is an uphill task and only things such as superfoods, cutting out entire food groups and drastic diets will do the trick. The fact is that these unscientific claims will do more harm than good and the only thing you'll end up losing are your money and health. Fitness is a simple science, provided you know what works and what should be avoided. Let's take a look at some of the most popular myths and demystify fitness for everyone.
Popular fat loss myths
1: Carbohydrates make you fat
This is a very popular myth that refuses to die. According to this myth, carbohydrates such as rice, sugar and potatoes are bad because they raise our blood sugar, and increase insulin secretion which leads to weigh gain. That's why you'll find many fitness experts either advocate a low-carb diet or recommend switching to so-called healthier carbohydrates such as brown rice, jaggery and sweet potatoes.
Fact: Carbohydrates are a source of energy. Our bodies metabolise them into glucose, which helps fuel our day-to-day activities. It is imperative to understand that a single food group or item will not makes us fat; what matters is overall calories. Even if you switch to brown rice, that does not mean you can eat it mindlessly. You need to measure your daily caloric intake and make sure that you burn more calories than you consume, if your goal is fat loss.
2: Weight loss equals fat loss
"I want to lose weight" is a common fitness goal for many people. They dream of "toned" bodies and flat stomachs, but chasing "weight loss" is where the problem begins.
Fact: Weight loss is not necessarily fat loss. When we step on a weighing scale, the number we see is the sum total of our body fat, muscle tissue, water, internal organs, and our bones. Weight loss can happen in a number of ways: we could end up losing water or, as is seen more commonly, people may even lose muscle. The easiest way to lose weight is to just stop eating but the resultant weight loss is neither desirable nor healthy.
Instead, focus on losing fat. Stop obsessing about the number on the weighing scale, and look at other factors such as inch loss, how your clothes fit and your energy levels. A quantified diet and a regular exercise routine are your best bets for burning fat and achieving the body you desire.
3: Cardio is the best form of workout
Cardio that is walking, jogging, or running on the treadmill, is considered the best workout because it gets your heart and pulse racing and makes you sweat. This is considered proof that it's a good workout. Some experts have gone to the extent of calling it the best workout for weight loss.
Fact: When you decide to shed those extra kilos, you need to focus on two things: losing fat and preserving or even gaining muscle. Cardio by itself may help you lose weight but, as we saw earlier, that's not the same as losing fat.
Resistance training or weight lifting remains one of the best ways to achieve both outcomes. Lifting weights coupled with a good diet has been shown to be effective because it arrests muscle loss and can also help you build strength.
4: To lose fat, drink warm water with honey and lemon
Some myths claim that green tea or even plain hot water possesses the same magical powers.
Fact: "Start your day with warm water, lemon and honey" is our generation's version of "an apple a day keeps the doctor away!"
It's just water, so the only benefit is that it'll keep you hydrated. There are no shortcuts to fat loss and no miracle drinks are going to melt your fat away.
5: Breakfast is the most important meal
"Breakfast like a King", so they say! Skip breakfast and your metabolism will crash, which will make it difficult for you to lose fat.
Fact: Breakfast is an important meal that you should consume daily. But there is no evidence that eating breakfast will help you burn fat faster. As always, overall calories matter.
Always remember: consistency, a healthy balanced diet, counting calories, proper exercise and adequate sleep are what matter the most on your fitness journey.
(Jitendra Chouksey is a fitness expert and Founder & CEO of Fittr)
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