The Truth Behind the Burn: Breaking Fat Burning Myths

Young fit man burning fat doing battle rope exercises

Fat Burning. Two simple words… and a lifetime of confusion. Any quick internet search for ‘fat burning tips’ will yield an all-powerful tsunami of (mostly nonsensical) information, coming at you from all angles, from all experts, and saying all manner of contradictory things. The terms ‘misinformation’ or ‘disinformation’ don’t even begin to describe the weight loss/healthy eating/food science industries (the term ‘racket’ might be a bit more accurate). And it’s made even worse by the impact of ever-exciting click-bait studies that seem to come out every week. 

‘Did ya hear??? Chocolate is now healthy!’
‘Guess what??? Pouring lard in your coffee is now a good idea!’
‘Have you read that new study??? Bacon is the only superfood you need!’
‘Did you know that broccoli is bad for you?’

…Wait, what?!

So where can you turn to get some real, truthful, honest-to-goodness info to help you actually burn that fat and keep it off? Us! Because in this blog, your fit-friendly-family at Studio SWEAT onDemand is separating fat-fact-from-fast-fiction to give you the truth behind the burn. Keep reading for the most common fat burning myths… debunked!

Myth #1: All Calories Are Created Equal

A calorie is a calorie is a calorie, right? Well kind of yes… but mostly no. Although the quantity of calories we consume is one key metric for weight loss, the quality of our calories plays a big role, too. When you get much of your caloric intake through refined sugars, you’ll tend to be a mess of hunger pangs, which will eventually lead you to eat more than you need. When you replace those empty calories with some protein-rich foods, you’ll stay fuller and more satiated for longer, which will help you burn more fat down the road. 

Myth #2: Steady, Regular Weight Loss is the Best

Well, yes and no. Although you most certainly want to stay away from fad diets that make you yo-yo on the scale, that doesn’t mean that healthy weight loss is always a linear process. You’ll likely find that even if you’re eating healthy and exercising regularly, your body weight will fluctuate from day to day, week to week, and month to month. This is to do with a number of factors, from retaining excess water, to food caught in your digestive system, to simple fluctuations in your metabolism. The point is to make progress over the long term, so don’t judge yourself too heavily in the interim, and avoid getting on the scale every day. Doing so can really mess with your mind unnecessarily.

Man opening the refrigerator at home at night

Myth #3: Eating at Night Makes You Gain Weight

A common misconception that’s been making rounds recently is that if you eat before you go to bed, all that food will be turned into pesky fat. But this ignores one eternal truth — your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Your BMR is your baseline caloric need just to perform basic daily functions. Your BMR will tell you at what point what you’re eating is unnecessary and will therefore be turned into fat. If you’re going at your midnight snack with abandon, but still staying below your base rate, you’ll likely still lose weight. 

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Myth #4: You Can Replace Fat with Muscle

This one has existed for ages. The thought that fat can turn into muscle or muscle into fat are simply untrue. Fat cells and muscle cells are completely different types of tissue, and can’t be converted into one another. Rather, the way it actually works is that you can lose fat in one process, and build muscle in another. Burning fat requires going into a caloric deficit of some kind, or burning calories through physical activity. Muscle building requires work, continuously breaking down and challenging the muscles in order to see growth. That process is called hypertrophy, and hypertrophy needs to be supported with a proper diet that includes protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. 

Wooden Board with foods high in healthy fats- salmon, avocado, olives, nuts

Myth #5: Eating Fat Makes You Fat

Remember that food pyramid we all were spoon-fed in the 70s, 80s, and 90s? The one that put precious few fats at the very top, and that wonderful phrase ‘6-11 servings of cereal, rice and pasta’? Uh, yeah, complete and utter bologna. Let’s dispel this myth right here and now — there is nothing wrong with fat! Sure, it has around 9 calories per gram, which is more than double that of carbs or protein, but if you’ve got the space in your daily intake, enjoy! In fact, healthy fats that come from avocados, olive oil, fish, chia seeds, and nuts are an essential part of a balanced diet.

Myth #6: You CAN Spot Reduce! 

No, no you cannot. No matter what you’ve heard, spot reduction of fat does not work. For this one, we’ll turn to Studio SWEAT onDemand founder Cat Kom for some wisdom, “Those trainers that tell you they can help you lose belly fat are full of it. Our bodies are miraculous, but when it comes to fat loss it’s your body that decides where it’s going to come off, not your trainer. But what we can do is help you tone your midsection so that when you’re at your goal body fat level your abs can look and feel nice and firm.” Remember, if you want to burn fat, you’ll have to do it all around, and hope your body decides to take a little off that problem area in due time. 

Woman rubbing neck and feeling sore after a workout

Myth #7: Serious Pain, Serious Gain

You want to be making real progress at the gym? You had better be feeling it in the morning! Uh, slow down there Tex. Although some soreness is to be expected from time to time, and never ever feeling sore might mean you’re taking it a bit too easy on yourself, the truth is that you DO NOT want to be dealing with serious soreness on the regular. A better way to burn fat, build muscle, and reach healthy fitness is by pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, but at the same time, not overdoing it. That’s one of the quickest recipes for hurting yourself, which is guaranteed to derail your fitness journey.

Fit, toned woman holding two dumbbells

Myth #8: Weight Lifting Will Make You Big & Bulky

This is an important one for the ladies to hear. Strength training is an essential part of a life-long commitment to health and fitness — not a one-way ticket to becoming big and beefy. Do not be afraid that all the changes your body will experience when you start lifting weights will turn you into a muscle-bound monster. Do you know what weight lifting will actually do for you? Build muscle, which will help you burn fat much more quickly, even when you’re at rest! So hit those weights ladies, it’ll do you some good.

Myth #9: Fat Burning Starts with an Expensive Gym Membership or Trainer

You don’t need a $300/month membership at some fancy-schmancy gym owned by so-and-so’s personal trainer to burn fat. You don’t need one-on-one attention from a celebrity trainer 7 days a week, either. Wanna inexpensive way to get fit, burn fat, and feel great? Check out a 7-Day Free Trial with Studio SWEAT onDemand! We’ve got tons of at-home workouts that you can do on your mobile device, computer, or smart TV, and with an endless library of workouts to choose from, you’ll never get bored. We also offer world-class trainers who are experts at pushing you to be your best, plus a worldwide community of support from members across the globe. Sounds good? Sign up now and let’s get burning!

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