The honest truth about burning body fat
There are many myths and misconceptions when it comes to burning fat. People are constantly looking for the newest methods to drop weight quickly. In this blog post, we will debunk some of the most common myths about burning body fat and discuss how exercise, diet, supplementation, and sleep all play a role in fat loss.
Myth #1: You must eat less to lose weight.
While you need to create a calorie deficit to lose weight, you should not drastically reduce your calorie intake overnight as this can lead your body to hold onto fat stores. To see long-term results, you must make sustainable diet changes. Focus on eating whole foods and reducing your portion sizes. Concentrating on eating nutrient-rich foods and avoiding processed snacks and sugary drinks will help create a calorie deficit without sacrificing essential nutrients.
Myth #2: All calories have the same value.
When it comes to weight loss, not all calories are created equal. Some foods, like processed snacks and sugary drinks, are loaded with empty calories – meaning they provide little nutritional value and don't help you feel full. Eating too many nutrient-void foods can sabotage your metabolism and contribute to cravings.
On the other hand, nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are packed with fibre and other nutrients that help keep you full and satisfied. They also tend to be lower in calories, so including them in your diet can help you lose weight without feeling deprived.
Myth #3: Eating fat makes you fat.
You will gain weight if you eat too many calories, whether from carbohydrates, protein, or fat. It is not the fat that makes you fat; it's the excess calories.
The body needs fat to function correctly. Fat provides energy, helps the body absorb vitamins and minerals, and supports cell growth. When you eat fat, it is broken down into fatty acids and glycerol. These are then absorbed into the bloodstream and transported to the cells that need them. The liver converts the fatty acids into ketone bodies, which are then used as fuel by the body.
Steer towards unsaturated fats found in foods like nuts, seeds, avocados, and fish like salmon and sardines. These foods can help to reduce inflammation and increase feelings of fullness. Avoid trans fats and minimise saturated fats found in processed foods. When it comes to fat, quality is more important than quantity.
Myth #4: You must do loads of cardio to lose weight.
One of the biggest myths about weight loss is that cardio is the only way to burn fat; this is not true! When you perform cardio, your body primarily uses glucose for energy. However, when you lift weights, your body uses both glucose and fatty acids for energy. You will burn more calories when you lift weights, leading to greater fat loss.
Weight training helps you burn fat in two ways. First, it helps you build muscle. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so increasing your muscle mass will help you burn more calories throughout the day. Second, weight training helps you burn calories after your workout. When you do strength training, your body continues to burn calories for up to 24 hours after your workout. Weight training also helps to tone your body and improve your metabolism, which further aids in fat loss.
Myth #5: You must cut out all carbs to lose weight.
Carbs are not the enemy; they're an essential part of a healthy diet. The key is to eat the right kinds of carbs. Complex carbs like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are slowly digested by the body and provide lasting energy. Simple carbs like sugar and white flour are quickly digested and can cause spikes in blood sugar levels. Be mindful of the types of carbs you're eating and how they fit into your overall health goals.
Myth #6: Exercise is the most important factor in burning fat.
While exercise is vital for overall health, it's not the most critical factor in burning fat. Diet plays a much more significant role in weight loss, with studies showing that diet accounts for 80-90% of weight loss success. So, if you're trying to lose weight, focus on changing your diet first and foremost. Exercise can help you burn more calories and build muscle, but as the saying goes, you can't out-train a bad diet!
Myth #7: You have to burn 500 calories a day to lose weight.
Ultimately, we must create a calorie deficit to lose weight, but we must look at it in parallel with our caloric intake. A fat loss strategy should also consider variables like age, gender, current weight, and body composition.
Here's something else to consider: exercise makes up no more than 5% of your daily burn, while other (non-exercise) activity makes up around 15% of your daily burn. So, how we spend our time outside of the gym can have the most significant impact on daily calorie burn. Simply making a conscious effort to move more in your day-to-day life can significantly affect your overall energy/calorie burn.
Myth #8: It's better to work out in the morning.
It doesn't matter what time of day you work out; what matters is that you're consistent with your workouts. If you find that you're more likely to stick with your workout routine if you work out in the morning, then, by all means, do it. But if you find that working out at night works better for you, then do that instead. The important thing is to find a time that works for you and stick with it.
Top tips to consider when on a fat loss journey.
Focus on fat loss instead of weight loss.
We often use the terms "weight loss" and "fat loss" interchangeably. However, they are very different things. Weight loss is the decrease in total body mass, caused by a decrease in body fluid, muscle mass, or fat mass. Fat loss, on the other hand, is the reduction of adipose tissue, or body fat.
What's the difference? Well, when you lose weight, you might lose muscle mass, bone density, and water weight, as well as fat. This is not only unhealthy, but it can also be frustrating because your weight may not change very much on the scale. Fat loss, on the other hand, is a more gradual process. You may not see results as quickly as you would with weight loss, but you're more likely to keep the weight off in the long run.
Focus on burning fat rather than just dropping numbers on the scale. To do this, you need to eat a healthy balanced diet which places you in a calorie deficit, and exercise regularly. Avoid crash diets – these can cause you to lose muscle mass and slow down your metabolism. Instead, aim for a steady rate of weight loss that will allow you to lose fat without sacrificing your health or your hard-earned muscle mass.
Get a good night's sleep.
There are countless benefits to getting a good night's sleep, and weight loss is one of them. When you don't get enough sleep, your body produces more of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol signals the body to store fat, especially around the belly.
But when you get enough sleep, your body produces less cortisol and more of the hormone leptin, which signals the body to burn fat. In fact, one study found that people who got eight hours of sleep lost more body fat than those who only got six hours of sleep.
Getting enough sleep also helps to keep your metabolism running smoothly, so you can burn more calories throughout the day.
Choose a fat-burning supplement.
Fat-burning supplements can give you an extra edge by increasing your calorie burn rate, suppressing your appetite and cravings, and boosting your metabolism. However, they are not magic pills that will make you lose weight without changing your diet or exercise regime. If you're looking to burn fat, the best approach is to focus on a healthy diet and regular exercise. But for an extra boost, incorporating a fat-burning supplement into your routine can help you reach your goals.
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