If you spend just ten minutes scanning the feed on Facebook or read the stories on Yahoo, you’ll find something about diet or exercise. Everywhere on the internet there are articles that have nothing to do with the truth about losing weight and profess that only the author has the inside track to a weight loss secret. The fact is, if weight loss were only a matter of consuming a certain food or taking a pill, there would be no obesity in America. Doctors would prescribe it and insurance companies would pay for that solution. To help clear up those misconceptions, here are a few fat loss facts to remember.
I often see people recoil when I suggest they eat healthy fat, but fat alone won’t make you gain weight.
Fat definitely is higher in calories per gram than protein or carbohydrates are, but you need a certain amount of fat to function properly. Gaining weight is about total caloric intake. If you stick with healthy sources of fat, such as nuts or avocados and keep your total calorie count within guidelines, you’ll lose weight. Don’t fall for the fat-free dairy options, either. In order to make fat free food taste good, manufacturers often add sugar. The fat in the original product also makes you feel fuller and more satisfied longer.
The best way to lose fat is to go on a diet.
Anyone who knows me, knows how opposed I am to dieting. That might sound funny, since I also talk about calorie intake for weight loss. The truth is that dieting doesn’t work, not only because it leaves you feeling deprived and hungry, but because diets always end. When it ends, people go back to old eating habits that put on weight in the first place, and sometimes even more. What really works is making lifestyle changes that focus on healthy eating, more whole food, eliminating sugar and cutting out processed food. That keeps body fat from returning.
Cardio workouts are the best way to burn fat.
That’s simply not true. While cardio workouts are necessary and burn tons of calories, they don’t discriminate where they get the calories. It burns both fat and lean muscle tissue for those calories. Since muscle tissue requires more calories for maintenance than fat tissue does, the more muscle tissue you have, the higher your metabolism is. The best route for burning high amounts of calories is strength training.
- Make your strength training a better fat burner. Turn those exercises into circuit training or high intensity interval training. Vary the speed of your workout or go from one exercise to another with little rest between the two.
- Make your workout work for you by varying it frequently. When you do the same workout consistently, your body becomes more efficient at the moves and burns fewer calories.
- Make water your best friend. Not only will staying adequately hydrated boost your performance, it also fills you up if you drink a glass before dinner and you’ll eat less. Even slight dehydration can drain your energy.
- Focus on workouts that have compound movements. They use more than one muscle group and therefore burn more calories—which ultimately burns fat.
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