There’s a lot of bullshit information and products out there that make it pretty hard to filter out what is factually correct or just another marketing ploy.
Ever notice the supplements that claim they can magically “burn fat while still eating what you want”?
Or the magical potions these Instagram models shove in your face that “help you lose that stubborn tummy fat”?
I know you know this already, but this is all bullshit. Some other common misconceptions and outright lies regarding fat loss include:
• Choosing where you lose fat. Imagine you got to choose where you lose fat LOL. That’s nonsense. Not true at all. You lose fat everywhere.
• All calories are equal. They’re not. Yes, you have to be in a deficit to lose fat. But eat 1200 calories of Mars bars instead of 1200 calories of meat and veggies and tell me how shitty you feel.
• Carbs make you fat. They don’t. They’re a great source of energy and recovery. You can enjoy them and still lose fat. Eating more calories than you’re burning with no exercises makes you gain fat. Not carbs.
• Fat makes you fat. It doesn’t. Healthy fats are essential to a strong, healthy body. They help you recover better, raise your energy systems, testosterone, and strength levels.
• “No Fat” and “Diet” labeled foods. Just because something has “0 Fat” or “Diet” smacked on the front of the label, doesn’t make it a healthy choice. These are usually sneaky marketing tactics companies use to catch the attention of their customers. They think “Zero fat must mean healthy and will help me lose fat!”. Most of the time there are other “fillers” and sugar/sweeteners to make up for the taste due to the lack of fat. So something that is “low fat” can still have an excess amount of sugar and sweeteners.
• You shouldn’t eat past 8pm or else it’ll turn to fat. Your body doesn’t recognize if you have dinner at 6pm or 9pm. If you want to lose fat, eat within a caloric deficit in a 24 hr period.
• Ab exercises make you lose stomach fat. They don’t. Core exercises strengthen your lower back and ab muscles. Everyone has abs. Some people have more fat over their abs than others. Use ab exercises to develop your core strength and musculature. Use optimal nutrition to lose the overlaying fat so you can see them!
• Over-restrictive diets. Not all diets are created equal. Actually, restrictive diets can be beneficial in some extreme cases. If they help someone see noticeable progress almost immediately, that can have a positive effect on their attitude moving forward and give them some extra motivation to keep things going. On the other hand, over-restrictive diets in a lot of cases are unnecessary. You don’t need to go on a “juice cleanse” after a three week vacation because you ate too much pizza and wine in Italy. Instead, go back to your regular eating routine. Don’t change a thing. Our bodies don’t respond well to extremes all the time, especially if we try to prolong them.
It’s easy to feel lost when there’s an overabundance of information out there. In my professional experience working with clients, and my personal experience training myself, there are some tried and true strategies that are basically bulletproof when it comes to losing fat.
Here’s how you actually lose fat and keep it off:
BE IN A CALORIC DEFICIT.
That’s science. You lose fat when you consume less calories than you’re burning. But, make sure the calories you’re consuming aren’t solely just to fit within a number. You want your calories to be nutrient-dense as well. 1200 calories of chocolate is different than 1200 calories of lean meats and veggies.
A lot of people think you have to do excessive amounts of intense cardio to lose fat. You don’t. Actually, lifting heavy weights burns more calories than cardio because more lean muscle means more calorie expenditure throughout the day. In a nutshell, cardio helps you burn fat during the workout, while lifting heavy helps you burn fat throughout the day.
SPRINKLE IN CARDIO.
Take care of your heart health as well and sprinkle in some cardio throughout the week. If you don’t like doing cardio, even just 20-30 min of LISS (low intensity steady state) 2-3 times per week is plenty to help you lose fat!
Find out which type of cardio you should be doing here >>>
FOCUS ON QUALITY OVER QUANTITY.
Another common misconception in the fitness industry is you have to train 6-7 days a week if you want to see results. That’s not the case at all. Let’s face it, a lot of people can’t make it to the gym every day, and frankly, most people don’t need to. Instead of working out every day and beating yourself into the ground, you’re better off training 3-4 times per week performing high intensity workouts. This will give your body enough time to recover between sessions so you can 1. perform better in the gym and 2. actually see the benefit from all your hard work.
Lack of sleep raises your cortisol levels which affects how much fat your body holds on to. Stress levels also increase due to lack of sleep and will cause you to gain fat. 7-9 hours is the sweet spot for most people. This is something that is non-negotiable. You need sleep if you want to perform better in and out of the gym. So get your z’s in.
ADD. DON’T RESTRICT.
Health and fat loss are established by what you do, not what you don’t do. Too many diets focus on restricting, rather than adding. For example, focus on adding vegetables to your diet and two things will happen:
1. You’ll be providing your body with micronutrients that are essential to a healthy, functioning body.
2. You’ll fill yourself up with fibrous, nutrient-dense foods which will help stop (or at least reduce) the cravings. So you’ll be restricting the processed stuff while adding nutrient-dense whole foods to your diet.
Any questions or comments about this article? Shoot me a message down below!