Being a Long Island personal trainer for the past 15+ years, I can tell you that fat loss myths are rampant. One of the biggest reasons false information is so common is because there is too much information out there. Simply do a google search for “fat loss diet” and you’ll see what I mean. One source will tell you that a low carb diet is the way to go. Another will tell you that you need plenty of carbs for energy. The next search result will lead you to a page claiming a high fat diet is the answer. If you keep looking you’ll find that fat is the enemy. Rather than keeping your head spinning, let’s get back to the basics. Simple education combined with some common sense will go a long way. Being a Long Island personal trainer with hundreds of success stories, I promise to not steer you wrong. Here are 5 Fat Loss Myths to avoid…
1. Resistance Exercise will Make you Bulky
This one takes the cake, especially for women. Women have on average 10% less testosterone than men. Even with all the extra muscle building hormones, men find it very difficult to pack on muscle mass.
With steroids, yes! Those grotesque looking female bodybuilders on the magazine covers are taking anabolic steroids. Lifting weights naturally will have the opposite effect. It will make you look more toned and increase femininity.
2. More Crunches will Reduce my Stomach
This is something we have to constantly drill into the heads of our Long Island personal training clients. Many of them are convinced that hundreds (even thousands) of crunches are the key to a “six pack.” We don’t even believe crunches are the best exercise for the abs and core but I’ll save that for another article.
While crunches and other ab exercises can help develop the muscles of the midsection, it will do very little, if anything to remove the fat that is covering them. This is known as “spot reducing” and unfortunately is a Big Fat Myth!
3. More Aerobic Exercise will Lead to Long Term Fat Loss Success
Sorry to burst your bubble here. I hate when I see people dependent on tons of aerobic exercise to maintain a certain weight. Eventually they run out of time in the day. They start with 30 minutes per day. After plateauing they bump it up to one hour. Sometimes even 2 hours. Next they are quitting their jobs and disowning their families just to get their aerobic exercise in.
Too much aerobic exercise, especially combined with a lack of proper nourishment can lead to muscle wasting. This will have the opposite effect of what you want. Metabolism will slow. The good news is that there is a better way; which our Farmingdale personal training clients are thankful for!
4. I’m Stuck with a Slow Metabolism and Can’t Lose Weight
Many people are stuck with a victim mentality, not a certain metabolism. While genetics play a role, blaming your fitness level on them is a lame excuse. There are so many lifestyle changes you can make which will change your metabolism for the better.
What changes can you make? I’m glad you asked.;) Here are a few…
• Eat a healthy breakfast daily
• Write down what you eat for a few days
• Perform exercise on most days with some of those days increasing the intensity (for your level)
• Get 8 hours of sleep
5. Losing Weight on the Scale Equals a Leaner and Healthier Body
People that focus on developing healthy habits rather than the number on a scale tend to do much better. The scale can be misleading. We do periodically take measurements of our clients including scale weight. This is just to make sure they are on track over the long haul. Weighing yourself every day is a mistake. Stop it. Seriously!
Fat Loss doesn’t have to be as complicated as we make it. As a Long Island personal trainer, I encourage my clients to make exercise fun by doing things they enjoy. We also recommend exercising for other reasons such as health, fitness, performance, and stress relief.
Focus on healthy habits while maintaining a positive attitude. Get as much enjoyment as you can out of your exercise routine. Make sure your caloric intake isn’t too high.
Keep a journal of your nutrition for a few days. This will help you see where you can cut some unnecessary calories. Over time, you will be astonished with your results!
Billy Hofacker is a personal trainer on Long Island committed to helping people get into the best shape of their lives and have fun doing it. He graduated Cum Laude from Queens College with a degree in Exercise and Nutrition Science. His fitness facility, Total Body Boot Camp, in Farmingdale, NY has been voted Best Boot Camp on Long Island 2 years in a row by Long Island Press Magazine.