3 Common Misconceptions about Weight Loss

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Common Misconceptions When Training for Fat Loss

Written by Michael Lee | Posted under Exercising | 2 weeks ago
RunnerGraur Razvan Ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There is much confusion in fitness centres regarding what the best methods are for reducing body fat. So many people are using terrible training and nutritional protocols that I cringe every time I step foot in a gym! This article aims to help abolish some of the common misconceptions people have regarding fat loss, as well as offer some appropriate guidelines to achieving a more toned physique.

If I eat less and less, I will weigh less and less!

This is NOT the ideal method towards achieving fat loss! By starving yourself, you allow anabolic hormone production that is responsible for metabolism to go down. While it may be true that you will lose some weight initially, your metabolism controls the total amount of calories you burn on a day to day basis. Allowing your metabolism to slow down will actually make it more difficult to burn fat! There are several studies which examine this phenomenon. For example, one study held by the American Society of Clinical Nutrition measured the resting metabolic rate to lean body mass ratio in 6 six women over 3 weeks on a very low calorie diet. The study found that resting metabolic rate to lean body mass ratio decreased to an average of 82% of the original values within just 3 weeks! Assuming you had a basal metabolic rate of 2000 calories a day (the amount calories your body burns in a day), at 82% of that you would only be burning 1640 calories per day! So assuming you were to starve yourself, you may be able to lose weight at the beginning, but your metabolic rate would slow down and cause you to easily put the weight back on.

If I do Strength Training I will get Hyuuuuge!

Your body composition will change according to the amount of calories you put into it. People who are looking to burn fat are usually on a light to moderate daily caloric restriction and restricting calories is not conducive to muscle growth. For instance, you can strength train all you want, but you will not gain inches on your biceps if you are eating salads all day. However, strength training does have its usefulness in a fat loss program in that it can help to increase metabolism, and maintain fat free mass (lean muscle).

Aerobics are the Only Exercise I Need to Lose Weight!

Aerobics are an effective weight loss tool, but only when used in conjunction with strength training. Excessive aerobic exercise will cause you to lose muscle mass which is responsible for giving your body a healthy and defined look. So in other words, while you may be able to lose weight doing exclusively aerobic exercise, your body fat percentage will remain high because you will lose muscle mass as well. Strength training must be used in conjunction with cardio in order to attain a lean physique. Furthermore, the higher the intensity of the exercise protocol, the greater the effect on exercise post-oxygen consumption (EPOC). Your metabolism increases as your oxygen consumption increases, so what you ideally want is a large in increase in EPOC after exercise. Therefore, if you want to optimize your cardio, the best way to go about it is using high intensity exercise methods. I have my clients include interval training as cardio in conjunction with weight training. Aerobics alone are not as effective!

Guidelines for Effective Fat Loss

  • DO NOT starve yourself! Your body needs calories in order to maintain a healthy metabolism and hormone production.
  • DO perform strength training. A full body program which utilizes compound movements (exercises which work several muscle groups) will increase metabolism as well as maintain fat free mass.
  • When performing cardio it is best to use high intensity interval training for fat loss. This method elicits a greater oxygen consumption response within the body which will in turn burn fat.


Effects of strength or aerobic training on body composition, resting metabolic rate, and peak oxygen consumption in obese dieting subjects


Energy-metabolism adaptation in obese adults on a very-low-calorie diet


Strength training increases resting metabolic rate and norepinephrine levels in healthy 50- to 65-yr-old men http://jap.physiology.org/content/76/1/133.short

The effects of intensity of exercise on excess postexercise oxygen consumption and energy expenditure in moderately trained men and women http://www.springerlink.com/content/rgk7421182182pjm/



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