When it comes to fat loss, there have been some wild and confusing methods suggested by “experts” that has left me more confused over the years. With contradicting information and new research being evidenced on the daily, understanding what needs to be done to lose body fat is a topic that needs debunking.
Common misconceptions I have made in the past relate to the following questions:
- Do you need to cut out carbs?
- Does your metabolism speed up by eating more frequently?
- Do fat burning supplements really help?
We have all attempted our fair share of fat loss techniques, I have made plenty of errors and now realise there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach involved. The journey to fat loss is made less confusing by focusing on the mistakes we commonly make.
Mistake #1: If I cut out carbs, will I lose weight?
As a society we have been looking for the culprit of fat accumulation and let me say, carbohydrates should never have been ear-marked as enemy number one. *Cue disapproving ketogenic enthusiasts* Information circulating that carbohydrates spike insulin levels promoting fat storage have been rendered useless. In a 2015 study, a low-fat diet was compared directly with a low carb diet which resulted in equal fat loss when participants consumed the same number of restricted calories. Eating carbs doesn’t equate to gaining fat however eating less calories does result in fat loss.
Mistake #2: Will fat burners help to burn fat?
Fat burners are marketed SO well aren’t they? They suggest they will stop you feeling hungry and give you an energy boost to help you during your daily activities. You can save yourself a great deal of time and money by simply drinking pre-workout and ensuring you are eating enough lean protein in your diet. For the short term, fat burners may truly live up to their claims. However, taking these magic pills is not a great long-term solution. Eating fish, chicken and steak as well as having a coffee here and there would be better for you for the long haul.
You don’t NEED caffeine or fat burners to lose weight however it may be something you would like to use to get a diet and exercise routine started.
Mistake #3: Can I eat as much fruit and vegetables as I want?
I absolutely LOVE vegetables and fruit, in that order. The nutritional value, natural fats and most importantly the flavour. Big fan. The issue with over eating certain fruits and vegetables is that because they are healthy people tend to forget they too, contain calories. For example, a large avocado can contain up to as much as 400 calories. You could eat a junior burger for less with just 370 calories. Of course, the avocado would be more filling and nutritionally beneficial, but the key take-away (no pun intended) here is that over consuming healthy calories results in the same amount of weight gain if you are constantly in excess.
Mistake #4: Does eating smaller meals more frequently speed up your metabolism?
It would be great to think eating small meals more frequently help speed up the metabolism, however as you can guess: this simply isn’t the case.
Let’s use this example to demonstrate why it is not.
There are two people who are both consuming 2000 calories daily. Person A decides to eat 3 times a day and person B decides to eat 8 times per day. At the end of a 24-hour period both dieters would have the same caloric intake. So, eating smaller portions more regularly doesn’t really boost your metabolism, this is a myth. The confusion is that if you eat something small pre and post workout, you are aiding the body to build muscle and in turn reduce amount of fat on the body.
One of the biggest mistakes in the fitness industry is that it is implied everyone fits under the same bracket when it comes to dietary advice. Before you start trying out all the advice you read on the Instagram accounts of self-proclaimed fitness gurus, remember that we are all individuals. A diet that works for one person may not work for or be right for another person.
Understanding these common myths may help you find your very own perfect strategy, or they may not apply to you. The key point of this article is that you find a routine that suits you in order to reach your goals.