Burning fat is of course an important part of losing weight, but many people don’t understand how to really burn fat and lose weight. Understanding how fat (and your body) work, and how weight loss happens, can help. To that end, these five myths and their associated facts can help you learn more about fat burning.
Myth # 1: Weight training slows fat loss.
Fact # 1: Weight training improves your metabolism, which causes your body to burn fat faster. Many people believe fat can somehow become “trapped” in muscle when you work out, but this is not true. Weight training is an excellent way to build muscle, increase your metabolic burn rate, and lose weight.
Myth # 2: Doing weight training before aerobic training is essential to burning fat (the opposite is also sometimes stated as fact).
Fact # 2: Exercise is exercise. Your body uses exercise to burn calories and fat. It doesn’t care what order you do the exercise in.
Myth # 3: Cortisol can help you burn “belly fat.”
Fact # 3: Your body doesn’t know “belly fat” from any other kind of fat. People with a cortisol shortage do tend to carry extra fat around the abdomen, but people without a cortisol shortage will not notice any effect by taking cortisol supplements, except that their wallets will be much lighter.
Myth # 4: Spot exercising helps burn fat in one area, for instance the abdomen.
Fact # 4: Like cortisol, this is a myth. Your body burns all fat the same. Exercising burns fat, but you cannot “spot reduce,” in any area. It just doesn’t work like that.
Myth # 5: Jogging one mile burns calories faster than walking one mile.
Fact # 5: Fortunately for those of us who hate to jog, your body burns 62 calories for each 100 pound of body weight when you travel a mile on foot. Walking and jogging burn the same number of calories.
Most of the myths about fat burning are built around the idea of rapid or spot reducing. The fact is, you put the fat on one ounce at a time, and it comes off the same way. But by knowing what really does burn calories, you can exercise more effectively and reach your weight loss goal in a reasonable amount of time, rather than wasting time chasing myths about burning fat “instantly.”