Today we are busting 5 BIG MYTHS that people tend to believe when it comes to FAT LOSS.
Several of these you’ve probably heard before.
If you do this ” ” you will lose weight, burn fat, and look better…NOT EXACTLY.
This is probably one of the biggest myths when it comes to fat loss. And we hear it ALL. THE. TIME. Just the other day, Austin was telling some people how he is dieting down to make weight for his next powerlifting meet. The first question they asked him was, “So how are you doing that? Cutting out your carbs?” We both kind of chuckled and Austin explained, that no he was NOT eliminating his carbs, but rather cutting calories pretty evenly all around to still keep a good ratio of protein, CARBS, and fats in his diet.
The biggest repercussion when people cut carbs, is they end up cutting off that energy source. Carbs provide our body with glucose which is absorbed in our bloodstream and is crucial to keep our body functioning properly. Have you ever experienced this before? Cut out carbs or restricted them pretty strictly, then wondered why you were so drained, irritable, and weak?
If you are going to continue to workout and train with intensity, carbs are your friend. Keep them in your diet. They will help keep your hormones balanced, keep your energy high so that you can go harder in your workouts, and along with protein, help preserve lean muscle mass. So even though you may need to reign in how many carbs you consume on a daily basis, cutting them out completely is totally unnecessary and not going to benefit you in the long run.
Just “EAT CLEAN”
This is another phrase that is thrown around A LOT. We’ve all heard this one at one time or another on our health/fitness journey and many of us even believed this at one time. I know I did. There was a time where I would follow a “clean eating” approach and my diet was SO boring. It consisted of plain chicken breast with nothing on it, lots of greens, the occasional sweet potato, not many grains because I was told those were “bad” foods, eggs, lots of coconut oil because I was told that was a “good” fat regardless of the portion size. You get the picture. I labeled foods as “good” and “bad.” Stuck to my “clean” foods as long as I could till I got absolutely sick of it and craved those “bad” foods, so I thought I deserved a “cheat meal” (or two). Then Sunday afternoon would roll around and I would feel like I had to work off those naughty food choices and get back to my “healthy” foods. I was determined to be even more strict on my diet that next week.
This disordered eating led to unhealthy relationship with food and unnecessary restrict/overindulge cycles. The truth is that there is nothing wrong with eating whole nutrient dense foods, in fact that is great and your body will feel SO good! But don’t think that is the “magic formula” for fat loss. Often when people switch to a “clean eating” approach, they slash their calories a ton, therefore they lose weight…at first. Often these people have no idea how much they are consuming on a daily basis and whether or not they are getting a balanced amount of protein, carbs, and fat. Sometimes they end up getting really low on calories, see results at the get-go and then plateau because their metabolism as plummeted. They’ve lost a good amount of muscle mass because they weren’t consuming adequate protein, and a lot of times they feel burned out and end up “yo-yoing” between eating “good” all week and then falling off into a caloric surplus on the weekends. Sound familiar?
So what’s the best way to go? We preach the 80/20 rule. Fill your diet up with 80% nutrient dense, whole foods and give yourself the rest to fit in foods that aren’t necessarily viewed as “healthy” but you enjoy them and you can fit them into your macros.
Not sure what your macros should be?
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Workout as much as possible, MORE is BETTER
I always tell my clients who are just getting started on a workout regimen to start small then work your way up as you progress. Point being, if you go from not working out at all to working out 6-7 days per week, then what are you going to do when you plateau and your body adapts to your current frequency? Add another day? Workout twice a day? Realistically, most people don’t have that kind of time.
So we think it’s best to start with maybe 2-3 days a week when you are first starting out and see how far you can get with that. Then add another day when you feel your progress is beginning to stall. We always say, “You want to do the LEAST amount while still seeing results.” I can tell you, I made the mistake of doing too much when I first got into working out back in my high school/college days. I got to the point where I was doing about an hour of cardio (or more) on the treadmill almost everyday and then sometimes working out for another hour another time that SAME day. It got to the point where I couldn’t really do more and eventually couldn’t keep that up. When I had to cut back due to an injury, the weight slowly crept back on because my body was so used to doing so much. (And my nutrition as mentioned above, wasn’t the best)
So workout and train SMARTER, not necessarily HARDER. Lift weights, add cardio in only as needed, and let your nutrition do the rest.
You must do FASTED CARDIO if you want to burn fat
Research shows that their is no difference in total fat loss between those performing fasted vs. fed cardio. Studies show that when you eat before cardio, you reduce lipolysis (fat burning) during that session, but it ends up not making a difference because over the rest of the day your body ends up oxidizing the same out of fat for energy. It also shows that you may even burn MORE fat over a 24 hour period when you eat beforehand because there is a GREATER thermogenic response to cardio as opposed to eating fasted.
Also training with depleted glycogen levels has been shown to increase proteolysis (breakdown of proteins or peptides into amino acids by the action of enzymes) which can lead to your body breaking down muscle to burn for fuel. Nobody wants that!
Lastly, eating before cardio will actually reduce your training intensity, therefore you will burn less calories during a fasted session because you won’t have as much energy available.
If you do have to train fasted or enjoy getting your cardio in first thing in the morning and don’t want to eat that early, we suggest taking in some BCAA’S before or during your session or having a scoop of whey protein shaken with water or unsweetened almond milk, then have your breakfast post workout.
Read the full research article on fasted cardio below:
Eat small frequent meals throughout the day to boost your metabolism
Again there is no evidence that shows that meal frequency leads to greater fat loss. Research shows that if calories are held constant, it doesn’t matter how you spread out your meals throughout the day. However, there is evidence that shows that at least 20g of protein per feeding helps kick off protein synthesis.
We recommend breaking up your meals into 4 meals per day because that seems to be optimal for spreading out ones protein and seems to be more satisfying for people than having 5-6 small meals or 3 meals with several snacks in between. Personally, I’ve found that having less frequent, bigger meals leaves me feeling satisfied, whereas if I have smaller meals I tend to want to snack more in between because I don’t really feel full or satisfied from the previous meal.
Overall, whatever you are going to stick with and works for YOUR lifestyle, is going to be the best way to go! As long as you are staying in a calorie deficit and hitting your macros consistently, fat loss WILL happen.