Now that summer is coming to a close, you may be dreading that “winter body” that always seems to creep up as temps get cooler. Here’s how to get the most from your workouts.
Orshi McNaughton is the owner of SIX workout experience and a fitness expert. She’s breaking down some of the biggest myths surrounding diet and exercise, including how often you need to workout, WHEN to do it, and what type burns the most fat.
MYTH: Exercising on an empty stomach burns more fat.
TRUTH: Orshi says, “This theory says that if there’s no fuel in your body to burn then you’ll end up burning fat, but research has proven otherwise. Instead of pulling the energy from stored fat, there’s a better chance that your body will look to energy in your bloodstream and muscle stores. Further drawbacks to exercising on an empty stomach include shortened workouts due to lack of stamina, and dizziness or nausea from low blood sugar.
WHAT TO DO: Instead of going hungry, enjoy a small, nutritious snack about 90 minutes before you exercise.”
MYTH: Cardio is more effective for weight loss than weights.
TRUTH: “For some reason, women seem to love the idea that they will burn more fat by running on a treadmill than by lifting dumbbells. Sorry ladies, but cardio alone is never as effective as a routine that also includes resistance training. Strength training is essential for building lean tissue, which increases your metabolism and decreases your body fat.
WHAT TO DO: If your goal is weight loss, then make friends with some dumbbells.”
MYTH: If you exercise enough, then you can eat anything you want.
TRUTH: “This myth makes me cringe, as I’ve seen so many people throw away their hard-earned fitness results by overeating. Even if you exercise daily at an intense rate, your diet still matters. 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.
WHAT TO DO: For best results, maintain a calorie-controlled diet filled with fresh, wholesome ingredients.”
MYTH: For optimal fat burn, exercise longer at a low intensity.
TRUTH: “Wouldn’t it be nice if this was true? Then 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.”
WHAT TO DO: “Intensity matters when it comes to getting great results, so challenge yourself.”
MYTH: Unless you exercise often, exercise is a waste of time.
TRUTH: I hear this myth in the form of an excuse from people who haven’t started an exercise program due to the idea that they won’t be able to exercise enough to make it count. Research continues to prove that any exercise is better than zero exercise. So you can only exercise once a week? Do it.”