Keith McNiven founder of Right Path Fitness gives us the lowdown on the myths surrounding fat burning and weight loss.
- Training on an empty stomach. We tend to hear more and more now that training on an empty stomach is best for fat loss, and that is true to an extent. A study with obese people found that intermittent fasting combined with exercise worked better than diet or exercise alone. But use this technique with caution. For many people, a light breakfast can actually help them to perform exercises better and therefore elevate their fat burning potential.
- Cardio vs. resistance. There’s something about a cardio session that makes us think it’s doing more for us than resistance exercise. Maybe it’s because we can see the tangible effects of our effort like with distance we’ve ran but the truth is that resistance training can be more effective than cardio at fat-burning.
- Best time of the day to exercise. Everyone has their opinion about the best time to train but the truth is that any time of day has benefits. Train in the morning, and you’ll feel the benefits (and potential fat burn) all day, but train in the evening and you can burn off the fuel you’ve taken on board that day. Anytime of day is better than not at all!
- Sweaty vs. sleek. Often, we think that when we’re completely dripping with sweat we’ve put in a superior workout to when we’ve trained hard but not sweated much. It’s all psychological though, and sweat doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve worked harder. Everyone sweats a different amount, and exercise gets easier over time. The truth comes in how you feel.
- Train for life. People can be put off starting exercise programmes because they think it means they’ve got to do it every single day. Yes, it’s best if you can incorporate activity into your everyday life like a daily walk, running up the stairs at home, playing with the kids at the park but in terms of actual workouts, 3-4 fat burning workouts per week is a good goal.
- Post workout fuel. There’s nothing like a workout to make you feel completely ravenous and there’s this myth that everything you eat after training ‘doesn’t count’, well it absolutely does! You’re re-fuelling your body after depleting it of essential fuel so stick with foods that your body will thank you for. Go for a carbohydrate and protein rich snack in a 3:1 ratio (carbs: protein) like a few slices of chicken on a wholemeal pitta.