Fat Burning Myths: Don’t be Fooled

fat burning myths

Even fitness experts believe certain things about burning fat that have existed forever but there is little or no scientific backing for those claims. Take a look at this short review of the most popular and wide – spread fat burning myths.

Myth # 1: Cardio Is Best for Fat Loss

Most people believe that performing cardio for long periods of time is the best way to lose stubborn fat.

In reality cardio will help you lose weight, but a significant amount of that weight will potentially be muscle tissue. Losing muscle will slow down your metabolism and as a result you will burn even less fat! Build more muscle and become a fat burning machine! Burn the muscle by performing too much cardio and become skinny fat.

Myth # 2: Spot Reduction

Corporations, fitness gurus and exercise regimes offer ideas of quick fat loss in specific areas such as the thighs or stomach. In reality the spot reduction theory is an absolute myth. Fat loss occurs throughout the body depending upon genetics, sex (hormones), and age. Overall body fat must be reduced to observe loss in any particular area. Although fat is lost or gained throughout the body, it seems the first area to get fat, or the last area to become lean, is usually the midsection, hips and thighs. Don’t waste your time doing thousands of crunches to slim down your waist. Instead, invest your effort into a healthy diet and reasonable exercise.

Myth # 3: You Shouldn’t Eat After 6PM

In reality the amount of calories consumed will determine whether you will lose or gain fat. Secondly you should worry about the macro and micronutrients necessary to keep your body running smoothly. Timing is of secondary importance.

A recent study by Italian researches compared eating in the morning to eating in the evening. The result showed no difference in weight loss between the two groups, but fat burning was actually higher in people who ate their meals after 6pm.

 Myth # 4: Eating Every 2-3 Hours Will Speed Up Your Metabolism

Many people preach that small, frequent meals increase your metabolic rate, which is true. But that does not necessarily promote fat loss.

In recent studies it was discovered that groups of people eating the same amount of calories divided into 5 small, or 3 larger meals didn’t show differences in fat burning.

Myth # 5: Fasted Cardio is Necessary to Lose Fat

Training fasted puts you at risk of losing lean muscle mass and we have already discussed why you wouldn’t want to do that. Training in the morning is not really special. What really matters is that you train regularly, intensely and consistently. People like believing in ‘secret’ ways to lose fat that are super-efficient and superior to others. Sorry, I have to disappoint – you will have to work hard for a lean body – day or night!




Breaking Through the Sticking Points

Everyone has hit a sticking point or plateau at some point. This could be related to your goals of fat loss, weight gain, or strength of a certain lift. What separates those who succeed and those who fail is pushing through and breaking down the wall that is between you and the finish line. You can attempt to break through with a plan or simply keep doing what your doing, banging your head against the wall, and eventually get a crack it even though it will be painful.

Draft a Plan

When you train, you should be following a program. Whether it be for powerlifting, bodybuilding, crossfit, a running or obstacle event or overall health. This is the benefit of having the luxury of a personal trainer or coach, well a good one at least. A good trainer will discuss your goals and formulate a road map of how they plan to get you there. It is your job to navigate it when they are not present as your co-pilot. If you cannot afford a personal trainer currently, but feel you are motivated enough to make changes and have a solid background knowledge of fitness, you can pay someone a smaller fee to create a plan specific to your needs and goals. I do this for many clients and basically train them via email and text. The program is periodized to progress through the weeks and they just need to follow it each week until it is time to update it. This is the next best option to having the personal touch as it is specifically tailored to what you want to achieve. Next, you can search for a program online that has already been created for a large population. Many famous trainers and coaches have released 8 and 12 week programs. Although they are not specific to you, you will see results if the plan is based on progression.

Sample microcycle mesocycle bodybuilding and powerlifting plan

This same concept can be applied to your diet. Your best option is having someone that is educated and knowledgable in this area to sit down and determine a plan specific to you. This should include a calorie goal and well as targeted macronutrient numbers (Carbohydrate, Fat, Protein). I find plans that don’t address these areas do not work as well in the long run. For example if you begin a diet and your body is accustomed to consuming 3000 calories/day and you immediately drop it to 2000 you will see rapid weight loss. BUT you will hit a sticking point or wall much sooner and have to reduce calories even more as opposed to starting with just a 250-300 calorie deficit per day. There are diet plans out there already in cookie cutter format, but this area is even more important to have specific to YOU since each individual is so different.

If you are not tracking your macronutrients you are at an extreme disadvantage. This is just as important when gaining weight. When in the process of gaining weight you obviously want to gain more muscle than fat, who cares what that number on the scale says? Start where you are at and add a specific amount, 250 calories/day for example. Wait two weeks and see if you are getting the results you want. If you are seeing no gains, add 250 more. If you are seeing gains, hold off on adding more until you hit stalemate again and repeat the process.

I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes “Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.” Ben Franklin. Apply this to your training and know what you are going to do not just before you goto the gym each day, but what you are going to do for the next 4, 8 or 12 weeks. Apply this to your diet by knowing how much you are going to be eating for the coming weeks. Apply this to what you are going to eat by preparing lunches and dinners for a majority of the coming days so you will not be thrown for a loop and be forced to eat out.

Feel free to contact me with any questions, comments or feedback on Twitter or Instagram, @LukkoV or by my contact information below.

Stay Fit,

Luke Koval Fitness