10 Jan The 5 Worst Fat Loss Myths
If you tell several people you want to shed fat and lose your beer gut so you can regain your confidence and energy, you’ll get a million and one pieces of advice on how to achieve your goal.
- Bob from Marketing tells you to jog five times each week because cardio is the best way to reveal the type of body you want.
- Your sister begs you do a 30-day challenge with weird juice cleanses and five diet pills to swallow at each meal.
- Social media is worse. Everyone tells you to either avoid meat, carbohydrates, or fat altogether. Hell, if that’s the case, what are you supposed to eat? Air?
Don’t get bogged down by a plethora of unsolicited advice from average Joes. Information overload prevents you from doing the number one thing required to reveal the body and mindset of your dreams:
Forget the nonsense and leave the confusion behind. Rely on expertise and accountability from a trusted source who has been through the same trials and tribulations as yourself.
When I worked a 9 to 5 job, I tried every diet and training program imaginable. Some worked for a while, but it’s the lessons I learned along the way that have given me the tools to maintain a great physique year-round.
I want to share these lessons with you.
Let’s reveal and dispel the five worst fat loss myths and how to conquer each one in your quest to improve your health and feel unstoppable.
Myth #1 – You Need to Train Every Day
You may have the urge to train daily, but “Woah Kemosabe!”
Slow down so you can provide your body and mind with ample recovery.
If you hit the gym and train hard every day, you’ll inch closer and closer to a cringe-worthy result. The consequence will be one or more of these tragic events:
- Chronic Injury
- Chronic fatigue and low energy
- Poor eating habits
- Mood swings
- Diminished interest in training
Your performance will suffer, results you achieved will seem non-existent, and motivation will disappear. Soon, you’ll associate the gym with pain. Instead of grinding out sets of deadlifts so you can feel like a superhero, you head home to Netflix and chill.
The primary purpose of training is to shed fat and improve your health so you can have more energy and confidence. Don’t torture your body into oblivion.
What You Should Do:
Determine how many days per week you can train consistently. Next, choose and stick to a plan based on your set number of days. Do this in a phase lasting 4-6 weeks. After you’ve completed at least four cycles of the workouts, decide how many days you can train weekly for the next phase.
Not sure how to split up your training based on a set number of days per week?
Use the information below to jump-start your training:
Day 1 – Full body
Day 2 – Full body
Day 3 – Full body
Day 1 – Upper body
Day 2 – Lower body
Day 3 – Upper body
Day 4 – Lower body
Day 1 – Chest/triceps/shoulders
Day 2 – Lower body
Day 3 – Back/biceps
Day 4 – Lower body
Day 5 – Abs/conditioning
Day 1 – Upper body push (chest/triceps/shoulders)
Day 2 – Upper body pull (back/biceps)
Day 3 – Lower body
Day 4 – Upper body push (chest/triceps/shoulders)
Day 5 – Upper body pull (back/biceps)
Day 6 – Lower body
On rest days, be active and get some blood flow. Go for long walks or participate in an outdoor activity with your family.
Myth #2 – You Need a Special Diet
In the age of social media influencers pushing the latest fad diet and 30-day challenges that restrict what you can eat, you must come to terms with the idea that less is better. Losing fat is hard, but how you accomplish it is simple.
Diets like Keto, vegan, or a carnivore diet aren’t required for you to reveal the type of body you’re proud to see when you wake up each morning and look at yourself in the mirror.
A caloric deficit is required for you to lose fat. There are three ways to do it:
- Consume less calories
- Increase your activity
- Do both
What You Should Do:
First, keep things simple. Use an app like MyFitnessPal to track your food for two weeks. During that time, weigh yourself each morning after you’ve used the bathroom and before you consume any food or drinks. Record your weight each day. If your weight is down, you consumed fewer calories than your body needed to maintain its previous weight and created a caloric deficit.
If you weigh the same or more, don’t panic. Analyze your food entries, then adjust. Find areas where you can eliminate excess calories. Here are some ideas:
- Remove late night snacks
- Pick a side salad instead of fries when dining out
- Drink sparkling water like La Croix instead of soda, juice, or bottled smoothies
- Substitute one meal with a protein shake
Second, monitor your daily activity. Training and sleep account for 8-10 hours of your day. The other 14-16 hours are just as important. NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) is responsible for anywhere from 15-50% of the calories you burn each day. You create NEAT by doing things like fidgeting, cleaning, and walking.
For busy executives, sales personnel, and entrepreneurs, this creates a monstrous issue. Important meetings, sales calls, and vital work projects can keep you glued to your desk all day.
If you don’t plan your day, someone will do it for you. Use the power of choice. As George McKeown says in his book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less:
“We often think of choice as a thing. Our options may be things, but a choice is an action. It’s not just something we have but something we do.”
Choose when you’re going to be at your desk. Schedule three appointments per day for you to get away and walk for 15-20 minutes. You’ll burn an extra 150-200 calories per day while you clear your head.
Myth #3 – You Need a Ton of Supplements
At New Year’s, Spring Break and Summer, we usually see a spike in ads that try to sell you the latest cleanse, detox tea, or diet pill that works like magic.
You don’t need a cleanse or detox teas.
You don’t need a plethora of diet pills and other BS supplements to lose fat.
What You Should Do:
If you want to shed fat and provide your body with the necessary nutrients to dominate each day, trust these four supplements:
Vitamin D3, Fish Oil, Magnesium, and Creatine
Unless you get outside daily for a substantial amount of time and let sunlight touch every inch of your bare skin, you don’t get enough vitamin D3. It’s the most common deficiency in developed countries. Severe deficiency can cause osteoporosis and can be a contributing risk factor for cancer, hypertension, and autoimmune diseases. It provides bone structure support and improves your mood. The recommended serving is 400-800 IU (international unit) per day.
Unless you eat fatty fish daily, you don’t get enough fish oil (omega-3 fatty acid). Fish oil decreases the risk of cardiac death, decreases blood pressure, decreases symptoms of depression, and enhances your body’s ability to decrease your waist size. The recommended serving is 1-2g of combined EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) per day.
Even though it’s responsible for over 300 processes in the body, 99% of people don’t eat enough magnesium-rich foods. It’s the 2nd most common deficiency in the world. Magnesium improves your sleep quality, lowers anxiety and stress, aids in digestion, and decreases muscle soreness. Several types of magnesium exist but stick to ones labeled as a glycinate or taurate. The recommended serving is 200-400 mg per day before you hit the sack each night.
Creatine is naturally produced in the body from the amino acids glycine, methionine, and arginine, and is used in the phosphocreatine energy system which helps power the first 10 seconds of activity. We don’t produce enough to receive the maximum benefit. Supplemental creatine results in increased power, strength, and the ability to pack on muscle when used consistently. Use 3-5g of either creatine monohydrate or creatine HCL per day.
Myth #4 – You Need a Ton of Cardio
Remember Bob from Marketing? He claims he burned 500 calories during his morning jog. You begin to think Bob might be right. Maybe you should jog to shed fat.
Then, you realize Bob’s been jogging five days per week for a long time and looks the same. Bob still has a beer gut and never discusses his diet. Bob invests all his valuable time dedicated toward improved health into jogging and receives zero return.
Like many others, Bob is more concerned about the calories he burns than what he consumes.
If you always focus your energy on how many calories you burn, you put yourself in a precarious position of constantly having to do more.
Do you have time for that? No.
Let’s say you want to create a 500-calorie deficit. You have two options:
A) Jog for 40-50 minutes (depends on your bodyweight).
B) Subtract 500 calories from daily intake.
With option A, you must pound the pavement or spend your valuable time on a boring treadmill.
With option B, you plan. End of story.
What You Should Do:
For a better-looking body, stress, and recovery, go with option B every time.
You eliminate 500 calories from your daily intake with ease when you plan your meals based on better decisions. Drop the Starbucks iced caramel latte and drink black coffee. Discard the morning bagel slathered in cream cheese and skip breakfast. Instead of crushing six beers each night, allow yourself to have one low-calorie alcohol option (i.e. a vodka tonic, red wine, or a gin and tonic).
The best approach for you is to lift weights to protect your muscles. Use your diet to shed fat.
If you want to include cardio, do it 15-20 minutes after your workout.
(She lifts 4x per week and lost 8 lbs in 8 weeks. Outside of walking, an occasional sprint session is her only form of cardio.)
For other ways to include cardio in your training plan, check this out.
Myth #5 – You Need to Do Crazy Exercises
You walk into a crowded gym.
You turn to the left and see a guy with massive biceps crushing curls on a bosu.
You turn to the right and see a guy entrenched in a mix of box jumps and burpees followed by a lunge into a renegade row. (Sounds fun, but I’ll pass.)
It’s ok if you don’t know what exercises to use and how to perform them.
Since the dawn of man, everyone has been born with the ability to perform the same basic movements. The problem is that we lose the functionality to make these movements with precision over time. Prolonged sitting, aches and pains, and weight gain are the factors responsible for the problem. Combine those factors with a crazy exercise and you have a recipe for disaster.
Whether you’re the beginner who’s new to exercise or the lifter back in the gym after a break, simplicity is your friend. Perform exercises that correspond with the way your body works.
What You Should Do:
Learn and practice the basics.
Base your training around the six primal movement patterns listed below.
- Push (incline press, overhead press, flat bench press)
- Pull (bent over row, pull-up, seated row)
- Squat (back squat, front squat, goblet squat)
- Hinge (conventional deadlift, Romanian deadlift, back extension)
- Lunge (split squat, forward lunge, reverse lunge)
- Carry (farmer’s carry, front racked carry, overhead carry)
Become consistent and progress over time. I guarantee you will be ahead of the game.
Forget these wretched fat loss myths that have held you back.
You don’t need fancy tricks or hacks to get the body and mindset of your dreams. Focus on what’s essential to the process. Practice patience and consistency.
If you want help shredding inches so you fit better in your clothes, download The Essential Lean Body Blueprint for free.
Helms, Eric, Andy Morgan, and Andrea Valdez. The Muscle & Strength Pyramid: Nutrition. United States: Muscle and Strength Pyramids, LLC., 2019