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The 4 Biggest Fat Loss Myths Around Today

The 4 Biggest Fat Loss Myths Around Today

Chances are, if you’ve tried to lose weight before, you’ve heard these myths. Maybe it was from your family physician using an outdated nutrition textbook, or the fitness guru with a six-pack from your local gym. It might have even been an uninformed personal trainer.The following myths have been around since the beginning of commercial fitness.

The so-called benefits of these myths have been passed off as universally agreed upon truths for generations, but recent research exposes these “truths” as the fallacies they really are.

Cardio Is The Best Fat Loss Strategy

For some reason, a large majority of people believe that cardio–such as long distance running, biking, or even walking on the treadmill–is the key to fat loss.

Low intensity long duration cardio might help you lose weight, but a significant amount of that weight will be muscle. And the less muscle you have on your body, the more fat your body will store.

The reason for this is because of something called your Basal Metabolic Rate (or BMR), which is the number of calories your body burns at rest to support your lean muscle mass. As the amount of lean muscle on your body increases, so does your BMR.

In addition to losing lean muscle, your hormones will be virtually unaffected by low intensity long duration cardio. This means that the calorie burning will stop shortly after you step off the treadmill.

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A better alternative to low intensity cardio is High Intensity Interval Training (or HIIT for short). HIIT is a method of cardio during which you alternate periods of intense work (like sprinting), with periods of rest. Training like this burns more calories, keeps your metabolism elevated for longer,  and is much more time efficient.

One study showed that HIIT was 9 times more effective at burning fat when compared to long distance cardio. The reason for this was EPOC–Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption [1]

Put simply, EPOC means your body will continue burning calories up to 48 hours after your workout.

Don’t Eat After 6PM

Living in a world where you can’t eat at night means you can’t enjoy food with your friend and family. This restrictive myth is another reason why so many people are turned off when they hear the word “dieting”.

The fact is that eating too many calories causes weight gain regardless of when you eat them.

To quote the world-renowned nutritionist, Alan Aragon, “Your body doesn’t store fat more readily during the evening than any other point during the day”.

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A recent study by Italian Researches compared eating earlier in the day (10am) to eating later in the day (6pm). In the study there was no difference in weight loss between the two groups, but fat burning was higher in people who ate their meals after 6pm.

Another study by Israeli researchers proved this theory when they compared people who ate carbs in the morning, and those who ate them at night. The nighttime carb eaters burned more fat and experienced less hunger during the day.

The reason for this is Growth Hormone  (or GH for short).

GH is a powerful hormone that controls how much fat your body burns, and how much muscle it builds. Your GH peaks at night while you sleep, and shuts off the moment you have your first meal of the day.

A nice way to naturally boost the production of GH in your body is to push your breakfast back a few hours and enjoy most of your calories in the evening.

Breakfast Is The Most Important Meal Of The Day

Let me begin by stating that there’s nothing wrong with eating breakfast; it’s just not this powerful weight-loss solution that it’s promoted as.

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The moment you eat your first meal of the day, your body creates an expectation for calories. When you start those expectations first thing in the morning, you’re creating a huge feeding window for your body; the amount of hours you’re eating during the day.

The more calories you consume, the more calories your body will expect. In other words, the less you eat, the less hungry you feel.

In addition to the expectation of added calories caused by breakfast, eating first thing in the morning slows down production of the hormones that control how much fat you store, and how much lean muscle you build.

As you’ve learned, your body’s production of Growth Hormone peaks at night while you sleep, and slows down the moment you eat your first meal of the day.

Tomorrow, instead of eating first thing in the morning, drink some water or coffee and push your first meal back a few hours. You’re well on your way to creating a better environment for fat loss in your body. You wont feel hungry. I promise.

This new theory on breakfast is why Intermittent Fasting is the most widely discussed diet concept on the Internet right now.

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Eating Every 2-3 Hours Will Speed Up Your Metabolism

The theory behind this one is that eating more often increases your metabolic rate, which is true. But that does not necessarily promote fat loss.

There are 0 studies out there that prove this popular theory, but plenty that prove it wrong.

French Researchers found that “there is no evidence of improved weight loss” when eating more frequently.  Participants were told to eat 2,000 calories per day. There was no difference in fat loss between those who ate four 500 calorie meals, and those that ate two 1,000 calorie feasts.

Another recent study coming out of Canada compared people who ate three meals per day with those who ate six meals per day. There was no difference in weight loss. The only difference was that the people who ate three meals per day consumed less calories, reported feeling more satisfied, and felt less hungry.

Eating every 2-3 hours is how you develop unrealistic eating habits, carry Tupperware everywhere, and stress out when life happens and you miss a meal.

It’s just another myth that’s turning you off to the idea of a fit lifestyle.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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