Two major goals of any fitness enthusiast is to “Lose Fat Mass” and to “Gain Lean Body Mass”. To change your Body Composition you need both.
If you try to find out “Losing Fat Mass” goal is the most misunderstood with Myths, Pseudoscience and full-blown quackery. The main reason for this is as people don’t want to listen to the hard fact of fat reduction: if you want to lose Fat Mass, you need to be in a caloric deficit (which means eating less than your body demands, increasing your energy output, or probably both), and it’s going to take longer than you might want.
Yes you can take a short-cut by enrolling in a diet program or any other quick fix program by spending money and yes most of the people love it, desiring results without putting in the necessary effort.
Don’t be fooled.
This is my take on some of the worst offenders and see what science has to say about them.
#Offender 1 – All you have to do is – workout
Your Fat Loss journey can start at a Gym, it is a very good start. But you might be wasting your time if you are not careful with what you eat.
Fat loss occurs as the result of being in a caloric/energy deficit. That means you have to take in less calories than your body requires. According to the research by Centres for Disease Control, USA, you need to reduce your energy intake by at least 500 calories a day to lose around a 1/2 Kg of fat per week.
Follow my article on Basal Metabolism Rate [BMR] & Total Daily Energy Expenditure [TDEE] to understand your dietary requirements.
Now this is a vicious cycle, due to your working out “your metabolism is speeding up” and you end up eating more than your dietary requirements and you’ll negate any energy deficit you worked for, leading to no fat loss.
So let go of the old saying “as long as you’re working out, you can eat everything”.
#Offender 2 – If you eat at night, you get Fat
I love this one, I used to be a follower of this for long. In the above point I mentioned about BMR.
This thinking ignores a basic physiological process: your metabolism, which is more formally known as your Basal Metabolic Rate. Your BMR is the amount of calories that your body consumes over a 24-hour period at rest, it’s the amount of calories you burn over a 24-hour period that affects your weight. That includes when you sleep.
Let’s assume your BMR is 2,000 calories/day. That means your body is burning roughly 83 calories per hour, which multiplied by 8 for an 8-hour sleep is a little over 667 calories are burning.
It’s much more important about how much and what you ate rather than when. If you love snacking before bedtime, but your daily calories intake is already more than your BMR, no matter what, you will likely gain weight. But if you’re watching your caloric intake and a bedtime snack is still within your limits, you will be fine.
#Offender 3 – I can buy “Detox”, “Juice Cleanse” diet program to Lose Fats
This is due to our guilt of not eating enough Vegetables and Fruits, which we are supposed to do.
Juice cleanses promise to remove harmful “toxins” from your body, which are blamed for causing everything such as tiredness, sluggishness, poor health, and of course: weight gain.
I tried to google and any scientific evidence that going Detox, Juice Cleansing or Juice Diet and its impact on weight loss, none available from reputed research institutes.
I was clinically obese once upon a time, and I did all that was advertised. I spent quite a good amount on money on a calorie deficit diet plan.
You need to understand this if you are planning for a Crash Diet Plan – most of the diet plan deprive your body of essential macronutrients, causing you to go into a temporary caloric deficit as well as significantly reducing the amount of glycogen in your body. This has a significant effect on weight loss, albeit temporary weight loss.
Glycogen is an energy molecule that your body creates primarily from carbohydrates. Your body loves glycogen, and under normal circumstances is its preferred energy source. When you significantly cut carbohydrates out of your diet, your glycogen stores become depleted. Reduced glycogen in your body has a significant effect on your weight because water bonds to glycogen at a rate of about 3.5 grams per gram of glycogen. Cut out the glycogen when you go on a juice “cleanse” for a couple of days and all you’ve done is lose water weight, which you’ll gain right back after your expensive “detox” ends.
I have an easy solution for this – buy a nice blender, make your own juice, or rather best, start eating more fruits and vegetables.
#Offender 4 – If you want to Lose Weight, go on a Low Fat Diet
This one is a bit tricky because technically, this is partially true: cutting dietary fat out of your diet will cause you to lose fat if it causes you to be in a caloric deficit, but that’s only because cutting anything out of your diet will also cause you to lose fat too, regardless of nutrient source. Fat alone doesn’t make you any more fat than carbs or protein do. Yet, a stigma against dietary fat still exists.
I am not saying you can eat as much French fries, butter chicken, chole bhaturey or fried foods, and every other delicious fat-filled treat and expect to avoid health problems? Of course not. There is still such a thing as good [Monounsaturated fats] and bad [Saturated Fats or Trans fatty acids] types of fat. Trans fat is still super bad. But this does mean that outright cutting out all fat from your diet or stressing about reducing your dietary fat intake isn’t always necessary.
While cutting fat is a good way to reduce overall caloric consumption (at 9 calories per gram, fat is the most calorie-dense macro-nutrient), what’s more important for most people is to try to stay within their recommended daily caloric intake and not take drastic dietary steps like significantly reducing or eliminating an entire nutrient group.
#Offender 5 – You can Spot Target your Stubborn Fats with Exercise
Can you really spot target your stubborn fats?
I have been asked many time “how to get rid of my belly fat”, I don’t have any answer for that, but yes I do have an answer on how to get rid of fats. This is a popular myth that your Spot Fix your Fats and many fitness trainer will charge your enormous amount of money to help you.
There are endless articles in web which says you can reduce fats solely by “resistance training or strength training”. This is not entirely true.
Strength and resistance training is designed to build muscle, not burn fat. The more crunches you do, the bigger and stronger your abs will be; but you won’t get any closer to actually seeing abs without reducing your body fat percentage.
Does this mean that developing your muscles won’t result in burning fat? No, it actually can, but the fat loss won’t be specific to the area you worked out. Increases in Lean Body Mass (which your skeletal muscle makes up a part), influence your metabolism by increasing your BMR. This means the amount of calories you’re eating plays a role as well.
Just remember when you lose fat, you generally lose it in across your body at the same time. You can’t target any particular area over another.
I am in the process of writing a blog on “stubborn fats”, stay tuned.
Having extra fat on your frame can be very frustrating because it can significantly influence your appearance, how your clothes fit, and your health that’s the main reason we tend to believe in any myth related to weight loss /fat-loss, and they promise results if you believe and follow them. Lots of companies make a living out of it.
Don’t waste your time, energy and money on any shortcut that advertises “weight loss secrets” and/or “diet hacks”. You need to go back to basics to lose weight. Proper diet and exercise might not sound like a fast and easy way to go, but there’s a reason why all scientific researches, sports literature will exactly tell you the same: because it works.
When you hear something about fat loss that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Stick to the basics and you will see results – slowly but surely.
Let me know if you disagree with me. Drop me an email on email@example.com or leave your query on the blog.