Five Weight Loss Myths – BUSTED

Dec 3, 2016

#1: To Maximize Fat Burn, Do Cardio Workouts in the “Fat Burning Zone.”

This myth is based on a misinterpretation about where the body gets energy during exercise. The body has two sources of energy during exercise: glycogen and fat stores. At lower intensities, the body tends to prefer drawing energy from fat stores. This is because the body doesn’t burn more fat during this period. This means that in the “fat burning zone,” the body burns a greater proportion of fat but less fat overall. High-intensity exercise, on the other hand, will burn more calories after the workout is completed.

The takeaway: Focus on burning as many calories as possible to lose fat.

#2: Doing cardio on an empty stomach is the secret to burning fat

It is true that the body gets its energy from two sources during aerobic exercise – fat tissues and carbohydrates.

The body will first burn glycogen during aerobic exercise and then metabolize fat for energy. Although it may sound logical to say that if you don’t eat anything before cardio, you’ll have no glycogen from carbs and your body will start burning fat, a 2010 study have shown otherwise. It showed that in a comparison of healthy men and women who trained either with or without eating before steady state cardio, that the difference in carbohydrate or fat use between the groups who fasted overnight and the groups who were fed was insignificant.

Although doing cardio on an empty stomach could yield results for some people, it is still not a recipe to maximize loss of fat.

The takeaway: Don’t stress about eating/not eating before cardio.  Focus on high-intensity workouts and burning calories if you want to burn fat.

#3: The best way to lose weight is to do lots of cardio, cut calories, and avoid weight lifting

This being one of the most common myths about fat loss and weight loss: it holds that the key to a skinny physique is lots of extremely long cardio sessions in addition to a severe reduction in calorie consumption and avoiding weight lifting.  This myth primarily targeted at women fills gyms worldwide. It is true that modest calorie intake and cardio will burn fat and lead to weight loss. But the extremes people take with these strategies can jeopardize your aims. Aerobic exercises too will also burn fat and lead to loss of weight. But burning just fat alone can be tough. If your aim is to lose weight alone through cardio, the chances are that you’ll also lose muscle and water together with fat mass.

Weight loss can also result from cutting calories. But as stated earlier, a lot of people go to extremes doing this and it can have adverse effects.

The takeaway: If you want to be fit, try eating healthy food in healthy amounts, not skipping dinner and be consistent in your exercises. 

#4: Eating at night makes you fat

For a long time, eating at has been linked with weight gain. But the fact today remains that calorie is calorie, not minding when or how you eat it. What this means is that you’ll gain weight if the amount of calories you consume is greater than the amount you burn regardless of whether you take these calories by 12 am.

The takeaway: It’s the amount of calories that matter, not the time.

#5: “If you want a 6-pack, it’s all about crunches.”

Crunches won’t reduce fat on specific spots on your stomach since they only engage a percentage of your abdominal muscles and they can put a strain on your lower back and hip flexors. Crunches don’t build 6-Packs. Instead low body fat does. 1,000 crunches per day is an ineffective overkill.

The takeaway: Focus on getting very lean and reducing your body fat percentage for a 6-pack.