Getting the most out of your exercise routine is important so it’s time to separate the facts from the fiction so founder of The Right Balance, Kathleen Alleaume, leads us in the right direction
Fat fallacy 1: Doing sit-ups will help burn belly fat
Fact: Unfortunately, spot reduction doesn’t work. In order to lose weight around your waist, you need to lose it over your entire body. This means including aerobic activities such as walking, running, cycling or swimming for 30 to 60 minutes each day if possible. Strength exercises, including sit-ups, push-ups and squats, will help tone the muscles and increase calorie output so these are also a good addition to your routine!
Fat fallacy 2: Doing exercise on an empty stomach burns more fat
Fact: Without food your body has to use it’s own energy source to power your workout. So yes this means you burn some fat BUT it also starts to breakdown muscle tissue to use as fuel. Less muscle can decrease your metabolism, which is not what we want! Having a small meal before exercise will let you exercise longer and harder, meaning you burn more fat and energy overall. However, morning exercisers may not feel the urge to eat first thing, so I recommend including low GI carbs at dinner time (eg. pasta, noodles, rice) the night before to give enough energy to see you through your morning workout.
Fat fallacy 3: Low-intensity exercise is best for fat burning
Fact: During low intensity exercise, you burn a higher per cent of fat BUT expend less total energy compared to higher intensity workouts. This means you will have to exercise for a much longer period of time to get the same end result. If time is of the essence, high intensity interval training can be a great alternative. Many studies have found this type of training reduces risk factors associated with chronic disease, such as decreasing abdominal fat and LDL (or bad) cholesterol.