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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 Maybe it was from your family physician using an outdated nutrition textbook, or the fitness guru with a six-pack from your local gym.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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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