The Three Most Common Weight Loss Myths

Weight Loss Myths

Weight loss myth #1: Crunches will eliminate belly fat. This common misconception is one of the reasons why so many infomercials have convinced people that they can have six pack abs in just 8 minutes a day or by using a specific abdominal machine or gadget. In truth, crunches will not eliminate belly fat. Without the aid of liposuction it is virtually impossible to reduce fat in specific areas. The time spent doing sit ups or crunches is better spent performing more compound movements which involve the whole body and burn more calories. Simply put, the best way lose belly fat is to create a calorie deficit. This is best accomplished by participating in consistent, specific exercise and reduction of caloric intake.

Weight loss myth #2: Weight training will make you bulky. Women especially are afraid of weight or resistance training for this reason. When performed consistently, the right type of weight training burns many calories during the workout and for several hours afterwards. This is due to the high demands for oxygen post workout that high intensity weight training will produce. Weight training will also increase an individual’s lean or muscle mass which additionally burns more calories at rest as well as during exercise. These factors all contribute to accelerated fat loss and easier maintenance of a lower body fat percentage.

Weight loss myth #3: Exercising at lower intensities will burn more fat. This may actually be true; however, you will need to exercise for much longer periods of time if you wish to lose fat this way. Here’s why. The body has two general states when engaging in activity: aerobic and anaerobic. Activities which elevate the heart rate moderately (generally lower than 80 percent of maximum heart rate) are considered aerobic; fat being the primary source of fuel for energy. When exercising at higher levels of intensity (generally 80% of maximum heart rate and above) the body’s state becomes anaerobic and relies predominately on glycogen for energy.

Even though a greater percentage of fat per calorie is burned during low intensity aerobic exercise, it is a greater percentage of a much lower total caloric output when compared to higher intensity anaerobic exercise. Because of this, 30 minutes of high intensity training (like the intervals described in last week’s newsletter) can result in more total fat being burned than with a longer period of low intensity exercise. What’s more, just as with weight training, more calories and fat will be burned post-workout.

Avoiding these top exercise myths can accomplish your health and fitness goals much more rapidly.

A Certified Personal Trainer can calculate specific heart rate ranges for aerobic and anaerobic exercise and construct specific exercise routines that will accomplish fitness and weight loss goals safely. You should always consult with a fitness professional before embarking on any new exercise routine.

Natalie Gibbins is a San Diego Fitness professional who’s passion for weight training and fitness began 23 years ago, while growing up in England. Her love of exercise prompted her to become a Certified Personal Trainer in 1997. She owns and operates The Private Gym, an affordable solution to finding a San Diego Personal Trainer.

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