5 FAT LOSS MYTHS
CHECK THAT YOU ARE NOT MAKING THE AMATEUR ERRORS THAT MANY OF US MAKE.
The Health and Fitness industry is continually challenged with fat-loss myths. Here we set the record straight:
1. SEVERAL SMALL MEALS ARE BETTER THAN THREE MEALS A DAY
Not if you want to lose weight. According to research, overweight subjects felt more satisfied and less hungry when they ate three times a day (compared with six) and also were less likely to put weight back on after five years. In practice, the more often you eat, the more opportunities you have to over-eat. Frequent eating only works if it's part of your daily plan and you choose nutritious and calorie/portion-controlled meals.
Research also shows that eating several small meals a day can make it difficult to keep your blood sugar levels stable. Stable blood sugar levels are key to consistent energy, managing cravings and fat loss.
We're all different. Ultimately the best eating pattern is the one that best allows you, as an individual, to eat right for your health and goals, whilst managing your cravings. Whether you eat three meals (or less) a day or eat little and often depends on your appetite and lifestyle.
2. EATING LATE IN THE EVENING CAUSES WEIGHT GAIN
Dubai’s long working hours mean late evening meals for many of us. However, contrary to popular belief, there is little evidence to suggest that your metabolism is slower in the evening or that eating late effects fat loss efforts. It is your total daily calorie intake, not what time you eat, that matters. If eating late means you eat more over the 24 hour period then this will impact your fat-loss efforts. The key issue here is the food type and quantity.
3. EXERCISE MAKES YOU LOSE WEIGHT
Exercise alone is highly unlikely to produce weight loss. In fact for many people, exercise increases appetite meaning they gain weight. Fat loss comes down to energy balance; consuming less than you burn. Get this right and fat loss is a scientific certainty.
Eating specific for your goals is 70% of the battle, however exercise does play a supportive role. Training correctly outside of your comfort zone enables your body's metabolism to permanently speed up aiding the future fat-loss process.
4. LOW FAT AND FAT FREE FOODS ARE HEALTHY
With many 'low-fat' and 'fat-free' foods, the reduction in fat is often substituted with sugar or refined starch, both of which may lead to weight gain. Often it can be better (and healthier) to choose the original full-fat version. Fat is powerful at stabilising blood sugar levels; its filling properties keep you fuller for longer helping manage cravings. However, do be mindful of the higher calories it contains.
5. VERY LOW CARB DIETS ARE THE BEST
Highly restricting/removing carbohydrates may produce short-term weight loss but very low-carb diets are rarely sustainable. When compared to other diets, research has shown extremely low-carb diets have the lowest adherence and achieve the lowest net weight loss after 12 months.
Regular exercisers should be particularly wary of these diets – you need a regular supply of carbohydrate to fuel your muscles and replenish your glycogen stores.
Consume fewer calories than you burn, stick to a balanced, nutritious plan, and you will sustainably lose the fat.