With the popularity of the internet, and the sudden appearance of self-proclaimed YouTube fitness gurus, a bunch of fitness related theories have come around and repeated endlessly. Some of these people actually know what they are talking about, they have had some valuable experiences and also have some knowledge concerning these topics, however, some are just repeating what they overheard that one shredded dude in the gym say. There are many myths when it comes to fat loss but we’re going to separate fact from fiction.
Cutting out carbs is essential for fat-loss
Nope! Most people may have noticed that as soon as they drop the carbs, they drop a huge amount of weight and that’s just it. Its weight and not necessarily fat. Carbs encourage your body to hold on to a lot more water as compared to proteins and fats and when you drop the carbs, you also lose a lot of that water that your body held on to.
Another reason that people may notice more fat loss while on lower carbs is because of the reduction in calories. Say you normally eat a steak and a potato for dinner. If you cut out the potato (carbs) and just have the steak (protein and fat), that’s an easy 200-300 calories gone from your day. Repeat that daily and you have a 1,400-2,100 reduction in calories weekly! That’s almost a pound of fat!
Now there are some people who would benefit from lower carbohydrate consumption, but these people are mostly those who have very little fat to lose in the first place. If you are overweight, you will do just as well by just lowering your overall calorie consumption and having a decent macro nutrient split such as 40% carbs, 40%protein and 20%fat.
Cutting calories should be your main focus until you get to at least 12% body fat. After that you can start messing around with your carb intake. Remember, carbs are essential for your body (and brain) to function normally. If you feel terrible, eat more carbs!
Doing ab exercises will cause fat loss
You can do 5,000 crunches daily and all you’re going to get is a sore back and possibly some neck injuries. You cannot spot-reduce fat, if this was possible, everyone would have a shredded core. To lose fat, you need to burn more calories than you consume and if you’re in a calorie surplus every single day, no amount of crunches, or in fact, any exercise, will cause you to lose that fat. Eat in a slight caloric deficit, 300-500 less than maintenance, and you will see the fat melting away.
Fasted workouts burn more fat
This next myth is actually a tricky one because on the surface it seems to make sense. The myth states, if you work out first thing in the morning before eating anything your body will use your stored fats as fuel. However, if this was true, I could just workout in the morning, burn all that fat, and then eat a bucket of fried chicken because hey, I’ll just burn it off tomorrow morning. Not true unfortunately. Again, it comes down to calories in vs calories out.
There’s nothing wrong with working out first thing in the morning, if that’s the only time you have to work out then go for it! It’s just not going to burn more fat than if you were working out at any other time of the day. Eat in a calorie deficit and do a combination of cardiovascular and strength training and you will see fat loss. Doesn’t matter when you do it, just do it!