By: Robert A. Schinetsky
Summer is here, and for many of us, that means it’s time to shed the pounds gained during the winter holiday bulking period and start getting slimmer, tighter, and a bit sexier for beach season, and all the fun in the sun that accompanies it.
In your attempt to get beach ready, you’ll inevitably start cutting calories, changing exercise routines, and maybe even toy around with the latest fad diet sweeping the landscape, but before you make any drastic changes, take a second to check out these 5 important fat loss myths, and make sure you’re not being duped into following any of them.
For decades, you’ve been told by trainers, coaches, doctors, and nutritionists that fat is the enemy. Under this ruse, you were told the key to a lean body and healthy lifestyle was adopting a low-fat, high carb diet. Ditch the butter, oil, bacon, and lard, and you’ll ward off obesity, cardiovascular disease, and a host of other diseases.
As a result, people flocked to anything and everything marketed as “fat free” or “low fat”, with the belief that it would be their ticket to health, happiness, and longevity. Little did they realize that all they were doing was swapping healthy fats like butter and olive oil for a bunch of cheap, highly refined, insulin-spiking carbohydrates. Over consumption of these cheap carbs has led to a host of problems today including the ongoing obesity and type 2 diabetes epidemics.
You see, fat isn’t the enemy, quite the opposite in fact. Fat is essential to your health, as it’s required by the body for optimal hormone production, and also for the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, & K). Furthermore, fats can actually help you lose weight due to the fact that they have a higher satiety effect than carbohydrates and they also increase digestion time, which keeps you feeling fuller for longer periods of time, ultimately helping you consume less calories throughout the day.
Perhaps the biggest fitness myth related to losing weight is that cardio is the best way to get rid of unwanted body fat. Nothing could be further from the truth.
While it’s true that steady-state cardio burns more fat while you exercise, the calorie burn essentially ends when you stop jogging, walking, biking, etc. Furthermore, cardio doesn’t do anything to help you build lean muscle mass, the real metabolism booster and fat burner.
Resistance-training helps preserve and build muscle while dieting, and it also boosts your metabolism for hours afterwards, something steady-state cardio can’t. If you do want to do some type of conditioning work, make sure it’s high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which supports lean muscle mass and revs your metabolism for up to 48 afterwards. Plus, it also takes far less time than trodding along on a treadmill for an hour.
For decades, savvy marketers have promoted the idea that breakfast was the “most important” meal of the day. Ads splashed on tv and printed in magazines gave the idea that eating breakfast “jump starts” your metabolism and gave you an edge in burning more calories during the day.
But, as research has pointed out, people who skip breakfast actually lose more weight than individuals who eat breakfast each day. Furthermore, it’s not entirely necessary to eat every 2-3 hours to “keep your metabolism running.” For years, it was believed that consuming multiple small meals throughout the day gave you an extra calorie burn by constantly making your body work to breakdown food, but as research has shown, your body burns the same amount whether you’re eating twice a day or six times a day.
At the end of the day, as long as you’re staying within you calorie/macro guidelines, that’s all that matters. What time you eat and how many meals you break you food into is ultimately irrelevant for weight loss.
In an effort to lose weight fast, many people will cut a drastic number of calories from their diet, essentially undertaking a starvation diet where they are consuming no more than 1000 calories per day. The thinking is that by doing so, they’ll drop weight fast.
This is exactly what you don’t want to do when trying to lose fat.
Creating such a dramatic calorie deficit only puts you at risk for losing a lot of lean muscle while dieting, which leaves you with the dreaded “skinny fat” look at the end of your cut. Sure, you’ll be thinner, but it won’t be a good kind of thin.
Retaining muscle is key when trying to drop fat, and to ward off any potential muscle loss, it’s essential to use a moderate calorie deficit (~500 calories below maintenance) and maintain a high protein intake (1-1.5g/lb bodyweight).
Finally, we have the most “popular” fat loss myth that has permeated the fitness industry for over a decade and only seems to get more momentum as time goes on.
The king of dieting myths is that carbs are the enemy. In other words, you have to completely and utterly avoid carbohydrates at all cost.
Ditching carbs has become the trendy thing to do these days, as a lot of misinformation has been spread around carbohydrates, especially by the keto and paleo communities.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with carbs, and in fact they contain a plethora of essential vitamins and minerals your body needs. What these low-carb enthusiasts fail to realize is that vegetables and fruits are also “carbs”, and banishing these valuable foods from the diet sets you up for some serious fiber and micronutrient deficiencies.
Carbs are NOT the enemy of a lean, sexy physique. The overconsumption of nutrient-void, calorie-laden foods like french fries, potato chips, and cookies is what leads to fat gain. No matter if your calorie excess comes from protein, fat, or carbs, if you continually eat more calories than your body needs, and you’re not working out, you will get fat. There’s no two ways about it.
Carbs can and should be included in a fat loss diet. Embracing the “all or nothing” mindset is a surefire way to increase your stress and develop a potential eating disorder.
Cutting fat doesn’t have to be complicated, provided you’re armed with the proper information and guidance. Use these tips to help get lean and mean in time for summer, and if you need some extra help dropping the fat and eliminating those hunger cravings, grab a bottle of Apollon Nutrition Chaos.
Chaos is a high potency thermogenic fat burner that revs your metabolism and ignites your body’s natural calorie burning mechanisms. Each serving of Chaos delivers the energy and mood enhancement you need to make it through the day, no matter how low your calories are, and it also helps reduce cravings, keeping you on track with your diet and ensuring your weight loss venture is successful.