With so many ideas and opinions surrounding fat loss, it is often hard to distinguish right from wrong. It’s likely you’ve seen at least one of your friends or family trying different diets and doing various moves at the gym all in a bid to burn fat, which has in turn left you questioning if your own methods are right. Therefore, we’ve spoke to an expert to bust the most common fat burning myths.
FAT BURNING FACT VS. FAT BURNING FICTION
To help you differentiate the fat burning myths from the truth, and truly benefit from what your body can do, we chatted to personal trainer and founder of London based personal training company, Right Path Fitness, Keith McNiven. He’s shares his insider knowledge on some of the most common fat burning myths (and truths!) to help you understand what you need to be doing to lose fat, once and for all.
YOU SHOULD TRAIN ON AN EMPTY STOMACH
We tend to hear more and more that training on an empty stomach, also known as a ‘fasted state’, is best for fat loss, and that is true to an extent. A study with obese people found that intermittent fasting combined with exercise worked better than diet or exercise alone, as insulin sensitivity and hormone growth are higher when in a fasted state, which is known to increase fat loss. However, this technique must be used with caution. For many people, a light breakfast can actually help them to perform exercises better and therefore elevate their fat burning potential.
CARDIO IS BETTER THAN RESISTANCE TRAINING
There’s something about a cardio session that makes us think it’s doing more for us than resistance exercise. Maybe it’s because we can see the tangible effects of our effort, for instance the distance we’ve run or the time we have done it for. However, the truth is that resistance training can be more effective than cardio when it comes to fat burning, so you should never just opt for cardio in a bid to lose fat.
THE TIME OF DAY YOU EXERCISE IS IMPORTANT
Everyone has their opinion about the best time of day to train but the truth is that any time of day has benefits. Train in the morning, and you’ll feel the benefits (and potential fat burn) all day, but train in the evening and you can burn off the fuel you’ve taken on board that day. Anytime of day is better than not at all!
YOU HAVE TO BE SWEATY TO HAVE HAD A GOOD WORKOUT
Often, we think that when we’re completely dripping with sweat, we’ve put in a superior workout to when we’ve trained hard but not sweated much at all. It’s all psychological though, and sweat doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve worked harder. You may sweat more than other people, but more sweat does not mean more calorie burn nor does it affect how fat is metabolised in your body. The truth comes in how you feel and the effort you have put in. Never judge your workout by the amount you have sweated.
YOU HAVE TO WORKOUT EVERYDAY
People can be put off starting exercise programmes because they think it means they’ve got to do it every single day. Yes, it’s best if you can incorporate activity into your everyday life, for example, a daily walk, taking the stairs or playing with your kids at the park, but in terms of actual workouts, three to four fat burning workouts per week is a good goal and will really allow you to see results.
YOU HAVE TO REFUEL POST WORKOUT
There’s nothing like a workout to make you feel completely ravenous and for some reason there’s a fat burning myth that everything you eat after training ‘doesn’t count’… Well it absolutely does! You’re refuelling your body after depleting it of essential fuel so stick with foods that your body will thank you for. Try opting for a carbohydrate and protein rich snack like a few slices of chicken on a wholemeal pitta.