Three HUGE Fat-loss Myths

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“YOU SHOULD ALWAYS BE DOING LOTS OF LONG CARDIO SESSIONS”

Question: If in the first 6 minutes of exercise we burn primarily ATP and glucose for energy, and by the 40 minute mark we are burning 40% fat for fuel, doesn’t that make working out for longer time the key?

Answer: NO!  In fact, this could not be farther from the truth!  If you ever think “Oh, well if I just need to do cardio for a long period of time, won’t that burn more fat?”, the answer is no.  To this day, I still see dozens of bodybuilders prepping for competition doing HOURS of LISS (Low Intensity Steady State) cardio, walking at slow pace on a treadmill with a hoodie on for nearly 2-3 hours at a time, believing this is the best way to lose fat.  If your goal is fat loss, this IS NOT THE WAY TO DO IT.  When we break down fat for long term athletic performance such as hiking, running a marathon, or running a 10k race, it’s because we force our body into sucking anything it can get its hands on for every, even muscle. However, when it comes to breaking down fat throughout the rest of the day, studies show that it does the OPPOSITE. A person actually is more likely to put on MORE fat after the exercise finishes!  Another study done on HIIT vs LISS training recently showed that when an athlete performed Wingate interval training (All out exertion with hardly any oxygen), it increased the athlete’s metabolism by 50% and kept it extremely high for hours on afterwards!  This is due to a heavily increased EPOC, which is known as Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption, which is directly related to exercise intensity.  The higher the EPOC, the more calories you burn throughout the rest of the day.  30 minutes of extremely high intensity training will burn WAY more fat than 3 hours of steady state cardio. Not only that, but the same study confirmed that doing long term cardio will actually LOWER your metabolism and calories burned throughout the day by removing our unconscious or involuntary movements such as tapping our feet, moving our fingers, arms, getting up to walk to the kitchen, going to the bathroom etc. One of the most important things observed is that people who train longer and longer tend to move less throughout the rest of the day, due to the mental and physical fatigue.  This lack of movement costs people up to 1500 calories that aren not burned PER DAY. And as you now know, this would completely throw off your metabolic rate calculations.

Next, prolonged cardiovascular training almost entirely stops production of your Thyroid T3 hormone, Testosterone AND Growth Hormone, causing a catabolic effect that severely inhibits muscle growth, which inhibits fat loss. Another hormone thrown into the mix is cortisol. Cardio increases cortisol levels, which is your stress hormone. Also, during high stress situations, when serotonin is lower and cortisol is high, you crave high sugar foods.

It is important to realize that quite often in the long term, it actually leads to muscle loss (The scale shows your losing weight, but you’re not losing fat, mostly muscle!). Remember, the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn while you are at rest in order to keep the tissue alive (An extra 10lbs of muscle = 500 extra calories burned per day!). So if you begin to lose muscle, but you don’t change your diet accordingly, you will gain fat (Caloric intake stays the same, but caloric need goes down = Fat gain)

This being said, for overweight individuals or beginners, the first 15 weeks of higher cardiovascular activity DOES hold better fat loss results! BUT your body adapts VERY quickly to cardio because it looks for the easiest way to use the least amount of oxygen and energy, even while working at your greatest capacity. And this doesn’t promote fat loss!

To sum this up, a massive analysis of nearly 500 studies compiled revealed: A positive change in diet is far more effective in fat loss than introducing cardio into your workout regime. From time to time you might find me at the track doing sprints, but you will NEVER catch me doing steady state cardio. But most of all, stick to high intensity interval weight training at the gym.

 

  1. “ALWAYS MAKE YOU TRAIN/ MAKE IT TO YOUR FAT BURNING ZONE BRO”

Question: If the treadmill says that I have a “fat burning zone”, do I always need to train in it?

Answer: As you can probably expect “bro”, this is also completely bullshit. In fact, there is no such thing as a “fat burning zone”, as you will have already learned in the first myth.  The most important thing is oxygen consumption to oxidize fat post training and throughout the day. Many cardio machines have little signs that say the fat burning zone exists after 20 minutes of exercise, which is purely laughable, as your level of exercise in 20 minutes is completely relative to yourself. It completely changes from person to person, routine to routine, goal to goal, and changes from your level of intensity to another. In fact, if you want to get even more precise, one could actually calculate your target heart rate zone to know EXACTLY how much work you are putting in based on your heart rate and lack of oxygen. And as we have learned, training intensity is so much more important than training length.

Low: 60-70%. (Warm up speed.  Can hold a conversation no problem)

Moderate: 70-80% (Can hold a conversation of a few sentencesd)

High: 80-90% (Difficulty talking, short of breath)

Maximal Effort: 90-100%.  (Sprints and full out blasts of effort.  Ideal zone when doing interval training! Impossible to speak)

To calculate your approximate maximal heart rate, for men subtract your age from 220.  For women, subtract your age from about 220-226.  For instance, a 25 year old male (220 – 25 (age) = 195) would have an approximate maximal heart rate of 195 bpm (beats per minute).  To calculate when you are in your high zone, take 195 and multiply it by 90% (195 X .90 = 175).

 

  1. “I want to lose fat, so Im following this new IIFYM diet bro”

Question: Is IIFYM “If it fits your macro’s” diets good for fat loss?

Answer: No, and here is why.  Sorry to Nick Cheadle and all of the instagram stars that enjoy selling people overpriced and useless fat loss information, but the “science” that you so often speak about, pretty well sucks. I have never truly believed in a diet comprised on taking out anything from our daily eating regime, but do not believe in IIFYM for a fat loss diet. Cutting out carbs entirely for lengthy amounts of time will wreak havoc on our brain and body functions.  We can’t cut out fats for even a short amount of time or we won’t absorb any vitamins, and our hormones would be ruined, along with many other bodily functions.  We need to be consuming ALL nutrients…but not at the same time!  Timing them optimally throughout the day is the key to unlocking your fat burning potential.

We all want to eat chocolate cake or have a drink a casual brew with our friends here and then (In moderation, but if you are serious about getting lean, its best to nearly completely remove it), but the key is understanding WHEN to eat things. Fat has become villainized and demonize fat in our society, and fitness professionals and nutritionists are baffled as to why. Since all these “low fat diet” fads have hit the market, what has happened to the population?  Obesity has CONTINUED TO INCREASE DRAMATICALY! Clearly, fat is more important that people think!

So what is the best combination?

A genius by the name of Robert R. Wolf conducted a study where they actually infused fat and protein into a fasted body, without carbs, just to see what would happen.  What happened? Protein was stored in the body, and the fats were used as fuel!  This shows us that fats by themselves are neutral, and alone with protein they become used for fuel.  Next, they repeated the exact same test and followed the exact same procedure, but instead infused fats AND carbs together into the bloodstream.  This produced a much different combination. The body immediately stopped using fats as energy and reverted to using carbs for energy. Not only did the body stop using fats for fuel, but the person actually started to become insulin resistant (bad sensitivity!) as the fats were interfering with the body’s ability to shuttle carbs into the muscles!  What does this tell us? If we eat high carbs and high fats within the same meal, you are going to store one of them as FAT!  This makes it very clear that the majority of the population should NOT be eating carbs and fats in the same meal together! As you can see, this is why “If It Fits Your Macros” (IIFYM) dieting is NOT optimal for fat loss, as nutrient timing is not a key concern to this diet!

If you are looking for an optimal way to lose body fat in time of summer, please contact me at: elevatedperformanceonline@gmail.com

Denon Maximchuk

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