Debunking Common Fitness Myths
With the recent pandemic, it’s become more difficult to be active and easier to stay inside, lounge around, and snack on whatever’s nearby. So when you finally get around to exercising once more, don’t be fooled by whatever you see on the internet. To help you avoid ineffective practices, we’ve laid out a few fitness myths for you. After all, there's a lot of myths in the fitness and exercise world that, if not addressed properly, can actually limit people from reaching their health goals.
Myth 1: I should exercise in the 'fat-burning zone' to burn the most fat
Truth: Exercising at a higher intensity will lead to more efficient results. You retain more muscle and potentially even grow more muscle with high-intensity exercise, something that doesn't happen with long-duration low-intensity exercise, particularly if you are eating less and exercising more in an attempt to lose body fat.
This doesn't mean that you shouldn't do low-intensity exercise, or exercise within the fat-burning zone. You may be recovering from an injury, having a light exercise day, or easing into a new exercise program.
It just means that you should know that doing so isn't necessarily best for "fat loss.”
Myth 2: Exercise on an empty stomach for maximum fat loss
Truth: Eating before exercise increases the amount of energy you use after exercise. But research has shown that performing exercise in a fasted or fed state does not have any meaningful impact on body fat in the medium to long term. This is because if you exercise on an empty stomach, your body might compensate by burning less fat after you finish exercising and eat a meal. This effectively balances out the overall levels of fat you use as fuel. Interestingly, eating before exercise seems to increase the amount of energy you use after exercise.
Myth 3: If I want to lose fat, I need to do cardio
Truth: The biggest impact on fat loss comes from better eating and drinking habits. New research found that strength training has a modest fat-loss effect in people who were not actively trying to lose weight.
However, the key to successful fat loss is not through exercise alone, but also through creating a meaningful caloric deficit over time. In other words, energy in, energy out — which is a pretty good overall summary of how to go about fat loss.
And the takeaway message: there's no quick fix. Fat burned during exercise is only part of the complex puzzle of metabolism and weight loss — but there are many ways you can reach your goals. Just find the one that works for you!