5 Workout Myths That Keep You Fat

body fat calipers

There are plenty of exercise misconceptions out in the world, some of which may still creep into your mind (even though you have me on your side) and hold you back from your best body.

Do the following 5 exercise myths sound familiar?  This may be exactly what you need to hear.

1) Exercising anytime on an empty stomach will burn more calories.

Doing cardio on any empty stomach? YES!  Doing strength training on an empty stomach?  NO WAY JOSE!

The theory that most people believe is that if there’s no fuel in your body to burn then you’ll end up burning fat, but research has proven otherwise.  When you strength train, instead of pulling the energy from stored fat, your body will look to energy in your bloodstream and muscle stores.  Basically, your body needs carbohydrates for muscle contraction, not fat.  Further drawbacks to strength training on an empty stomach include shortened workouts due to lack of stamina, and dizziness or nausea from low blood sugar.

Instead of going hungry, enjoy a small, nutritious meal/snack about 30 to 90 minutes before you exercise.  If you strength train first thing in the morning then go for a small yogurt or small piece of fruit as little as 15 minutes before exercising (depending on your individual digestion time) to help fuel that workout.

2) Cardio is more effective for fat loss than strength training. 

A lot of women fall for this one.  Perhaps you know a friend or co-worker who swears by this.  For some reason people seem to fall in love with running on a treadmill or pedaling the elliptical to death than lift weights.  Sorry, but cardio alone is never as effective as a routine that also includes strength training.  I know I’m preaching to the choir here because you are a client of mine.

But just pass along this tip to those around you who think cardio is more effective for fat loss.  Strength training is essential for building lean muscle tissue, which increases your metabolism and decreases your body fat.  Enough said.

3) If you exercise enough, then you can eat anything you want.

This myth makes me cringe, as I’ve seen so many people throw away their hard-earned fitness results by thinking that they can eat junk and get away with it.  Even if you exercise daily at an intense rate, what you eat still matters, A LOT!  To top it off, most people overestimate how many calories they burn as well as underestimating how many calories they are eating.  This can be a fattening combo.

For best results, maintain a portion controlled nutrition plan filled with fresh, wholesome ingredients.  No one ever ends up overweight eating healthy foods.

4) For optimal fat burning, exercise longer at a low intensity. 

Wouldn’t it be nice if this one were true?  That instead of pushing it hard in the gym we could all simply go for a nice, long stroll to burn fat.  Umm, usually if something sounds too good to be true that’s because it is too good to be true.

Intensity matters when it comes to getting great results, so always challenge yourself.

5) Unless you exercise for 30 minutes or more, anything less is a waste of time. 

I’ve had some past clients who had the mindset of, “if I don’t have at least 30 minutes to do cardio I might as well not do any,” and so they wouldn’t.  They couldn’t have been more wrong on that one.  Research continues to prove that any exercise is better than zero exercise.  In fact, the less time you have to devote to that particular workout the more intense you should make it.

Only got 15 minutes?  You better make it as fast and powerful a 15-minute workout as you can.  Your whole body better be on fire!  Okay, not literally, but you get my point.  Make it tough!

I’ll leave you with these points…

– Be Consistent: Exercise at least 5 times each week for continuous improved results.

– Be Challenged: Always keep your effort intense.

– Be Patient: Getting true fitness results takes time, but the results will stick around.

– Be Excited: Raise your energy and look forward to working out, like it’s oxygen.

Committed to your fitness success,


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