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Well it is that time of year again where a great number of us resolve to make a change with our bodies. Whether it be weight loss on the scale or to put on some new lean muscle, for either of those to be enhanced, body fat loss is the key to better physical appearance and enhanced internal functions. Are we up for the challenge? Let’s find out by knocking out 10 very common fat loss misconceptions that might be standing in your way of getting leaner and meeting that 2013 resolution.
Myth No. 1: You can use spot reduction to shrink trouble areas. You cannot target and lose body fat in a specific area. Fat loss takes place at a chemical level in the body as a whole, meaning you will lose fat throughout the entire body at roughly the same pace. So stop trying to focus on getting certain body parts ripped and focus on the entire body.
Myth No. 2: Cardio exercise needs to become more intense. Using a moderate pace and an increase in the heart rate delivers a much greater metabolic bump and utilization of stored fat cell reserves than anything you would get from 40-yard sprints at 90 percent maximum heart rate. Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to cardio exercise.
Myth No. 3: Seven days a week for success. Your body – specifically your central nervous system requires a break from time to time each week from intense exercise and dieting rituals. You are doing more work with what usually is a calorie-restrictive diet. If you are not willing to take rest days, sickness is sure to come.
Myth No. 4: You need to use higher repetitions to carve definition into your muscle groups. This is probably one of the most popular myths. You need to continue training hard and heavy to hold on to that hard earned muscle, which will only assist in further fat loss.
Myth No. 5: Weighing yourself daily is imperative. While seeing the numbers on the scale drop is motivational, it can also be counter productive. The daily fluctuations you are going to see on the scale (due to water levels and food in the digestive tract) can really wreak havoc on an otherwise smart and well-planned diet routine. Weigh yourself once a week. Even then you should be using your clothes and the mirror as your primary tools in determining your rate of improvement.
Myth No. 6: Cutting out all the fat in your diet is the way to go. Your body needs fat to function. Your organs, muscles and brain require fat to function. What they don’t require are the crazy levels of carbohydrates you have been eating over the past year to add muscle or body fat to your frame. If you want to get lean, cut back on the carbs, but hold onto the fat for function.
Myth No. 7: Circuit training with weights is the best way to get lean. Circuit training on paper looks like the way to go with quick work done with weights and cardio. But you lose muscle, which will slow your fat burning metabolism.
Myth No. 8: Getting ripped fast is the way to go. Trying to crash diet your way to getting lean is completely counter productive. A reduction of 100 calories per meal, 500 per day, equals 3,500 calories, which is what you need to lose a pound per week.
Myth No. 9: Cardio in the morning is the only way to get lean. While it is true that cardio performed upon awakening is the most effective, you can and will get very lean by completing your moderate cardio at any part of the day. The key to success is to limit the number of carbs you have in your system at the time of cardio exercise.
Myth No. 10: Some people just can’t get lean due to their body type. While it is true that some people will have a more difficult time than others due to genetic composition, the fact remains that every human being will use stored fat for energy, given the right set of circumstances.
Now that you know what does not work, it is time to get busy doing what you know works. Train hard with the weights. Cut back on the carb and bad fats, to a lesser extent. Be consistent with your cardio and supplements. Be patient and, over a period of weeks, you will see the body shed the fat. Use pictures to document your progress – you will treasure them for years to come!
Tip to LEAN out – If you eat white, you won’t look or feel right! i.e Milk, bread, white flour, etc.
Beau Arney is the owner of Mass Appeal Personal Performance Training, a personal training/fitness program design business in Carrollton. Questions or to request for training or program design, contact Beau at (502) 645-9560 or via Facebook at Mappt Beau Arney.