When it comes to fat burning, every Personal Trainer and website will have their own views and opinions on what is the secret to getting lean.
What’s true? What’s not?!
4 Fat Burning Myths
#1 Frequent meals increase your metabolism
This is a common presumption especially among the bodybuilding community. Studies have shown that eating more meals in close succession does not improve your metabolism any more than say, eating two big meals per day.
However, it is suggested that there is benefit in spacing out our protein intake if our goal is muscle growth and maintenance.
✓ It appears four to five meals per day (in which a meal may constitute a snack containing protein) is optimal.
✓ If you are eating to improve your metabolism, keep in mind that the more muscle you have the stronger your metabolism will be, so even when in a dieting phase, getting enough dietary protein into your body should be a priority.
#2 Drop calories very low to lose fat
This is a common practice many people perform when they want to shed body fat. Although of course reducing your calories dramatically will result in weight and fat loss, this has some serious downsides too.
Firstly, when you drop calories really low – and really fast, your body has a great knack of adapting to whatever you throw at it. So after a few weeks of running on empty your weight loss and fat loss will stall. This is because your body is great at surviving, and has now adapted to the lower calorie intake, often at the expense of other functions such as growth and repair.
✓ The other negative result from dropping calories too dramatically and too fast is the loss of lean muscle mass. This results in slowing your metabolism down further.
✓ Instead of dropping calories too dramatically, make slow gradual changes and get the best results possible with the least amount of changes to get the most benefit from a dieting phase.
#3 You MUST Exercise twice a day for results
Many people do significantly more cardio than is necessary to achieve fat loss. If you absolutely love doing cardio, or are training for an event such as a race, then of course you will want to place more emphasis on cardio sessions.
If you are just trying to shed some body fat or training for a bodybuilding competition, there’s not always a need to be performing endless cardio sessions to improve your body composition.
✓ By keeping cardio to a minimum in the off season, you can re-introduce it gradually and use it as a tool when you are dieting to avoid sticking points and improve conditioning.
✓ HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is a fantastic way to accelerate fat loss with minimal muscle loss. However, it’s important to not overdo this type of cardio and allow yourself sufficient rest days to avoid injury.
#4 Don’t eat carbs at night for fat loss
This is a huge myth that thankfully has been disproven in studies – however, that’s not to say it’s okay to eat a whole pizza before bed.
It is the overall calorie consumption that makes the most difference over the course of a day.
✓ Ideally you should try and include the bulk of your carbohydrates before and after training as this is when you will get the most benefit from them.
✓ That said, you don’t need to be afraid to enjoy some carbohydrates at night if you please!
Take home message
There is so much conflicting information available that it is tough to know what fact is and what myth is!
Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you're concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.