Having spent the whole of my adult life studying everything to do with health and fitness, I can spot a myth a mile off.
Here are 8 of the most common myths around fat loss:
FAT LOSS MYTH 1 – You need to cut out all carbs
Carbs are NOT the enemy!
It used to be that fat was demonised, but in more recent times carbohydrates have got the bad rap.
There is nothing inherently wrong, unhealthy or fattening about carbohydrates.
Yes, cutting carbs CAN initiate weight loss, but only because it limits what foods you can eat.
If cutting down on carbohydrates makes you miserable, DON’T DO IT!
Keep eating your favourite carbs in moderation, just make sure you stay within your calorie allowance.
FAT LOSS MYTH 2 – You need to cut out all fat
Eat fat – get fat…this is the trap that millions of people fell into for decades.
We now know that this vilification of fat was unjust! Eating fat doesn’t make you fat…eating more calories than you burn makes you fat.
Dietary fats are essential to keep your body functioning properly and getting a range of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids is very important.
Don’t neglect your fat intake…make sure you eat a range of oily fish, avocados, eggs and nuts and even supplement with some fish oils.
FAT LOSS MYTH 3 – You MUST do hours of cardio
Granted, cardio training is a good way to burn additional calories…but spending hours on the cross trainer just isn’t necessary.
For too long people have prioritised cardio if they’re trying to lose weight…STOP!
Cardio is like the icing on the cake…getting your diet right is the main spongey bit, resistance training is the delicious creamy filling and cardio is the icing…it’s still a functioning, delicious cake without the icing, and a nice bonus WITH the icing.
Diet comes first, resistance training second, only then should you concern yourself with cardio.
FAT LOSS MYTH 4 – Clean foods only!
‘Eat clean train dirty’…Vom.
This #fitspo way of thinking is (thankfully) slowly being phased out.
Trying to ‘eat clean’ 24/7 isn’t a sensible idea for most people.
Eating clean normally means bland food the majority of the time and probably limiting favourite foods.
Restrictive dieting like this tends to lead to binging and sometimes a fairly unhealthy relationship with food.
Remember – creating a calorie deficit is what matters and you’re far more likely to stick to your deficit if you’re still eating your favourite things.
FAT LOSS MYTH 5 – To tone and tighten, you must use at least 15 reps per set
Heavy weights WILL NOT make you bulky.
Stimulating your body so you retain lean muscle mass is essential for efficient fat loss…the best way to do this? Lifting heavy stuff.
FAT LOSS MYTH 6 – If you eat less than six meals per day, your metabolism will grind to a halt
How much you eat matters, when you eat doesn’t matter so much.
Prefer eating twice a day? That’s fine, do what suits you best, as long as you’re in a calorie deficit, it doesn’t really matter if you’re eating eight meals or two, the result will be the same.
FAT LOSS MYTH 7 – You need to stop eating bread….IMMEDIATELY
In isolation, bread will not make you fat.
For some reason our crusty and delicious friend has been demonised in recent years and has been blamed for the obesity and diabetes epidemics.
That being said, if you’re having six slices per day, it could be a contributing factor to your bulging waist line.
But that’s only because it’s additional calories that you probably don’t need.
Try swapping your sandwiches at lunch for a salad for a few weeks and see what difference it makes.
FAT LOSS MYTH 8 – If you’re not doing 100000 crunches per week, you ain’t gettin no six pack
Unfortunately, doing a tonne of ab isolation exercises will not get you a flat stomach.
The idea of doing a particular set of exercises for a specific body part in the hope that you’ll lose fat from that body part, is called spot reduction and it doesn’t exist…sorry.
The only way to get a flat stomach is to be consistent with a calorie deficit safe in the knowledge that the fat will disappear…eventually.
What would you add to this list?!