The reason people fall for this stuff is because people are always looking for an easy way out. There is a common saying that there is a sucker is born every minute, and that’s how supplement companies stay in business. There are 5 common myths surrounding fat loss that I come across pretty often. Unless you have a legitimate medical issue preventing you from losing weight, you just have to wrap your mind around the concept of calories in vs calories out. Ask yourself how any product you come across helps you burn more calories or consume less calories. Of course beware of any big claims as they can be false or can lead to potential health problems.
I can see how some of these myths are perpetuated and never seem to die out because of the media and the good old word of mouth. The world revolves around commerce and the fitness industry is big business. The fitness industry will continue feeding myths and selling you miracle products. Some of their claims flat out make me cringe. Companies will bank on people’s laziness till the end of time.
5 Common Myths
Myth #1: Spot fat removal
Many people believe that doing sit-ups and other stomach exercise will make them lose belly fat and give them six pack abs. Well, only half of that is partially true, but not really. You can do all the ab exercises in the world for as long as you want and you will never get a flat stomach. Spot fat removal doesn’t exist! The only thing you’ll accomplish is building a strong core, which is at least important for everyday activity. You can have the best looking abs in the world but you’ll never see them by doing more crunches, the layer of fat will always cover them up.
The only way you can see your abs is by burning fat the old fashioned way, diet and cardio. You can apply this to every body part- the chest, butt, legs, arms, etc. Weight loss can not be targeted (unless you get liposuction), your body burns fat off of your entire body, typically the face goes down first and the mid-section last.
Myth #2: Sweat equals fat loss
Well if it were that easy I’d just sit in a sauna and wrap myself up in towels (don’t do that). This one is tied to myth #1, there are companies that claim their product will burn your fat away by wrapping it around your mid-section. What a pile of crap.
Sure, you can throw on one of those plastic suits they sell for you to sweat in and you’ll be a few pounds lighter, but do you really lose the weight? No, not really.. Sweat is mostly water that’s meant to cool you down. After hydrating your weight will bounce right back. The only people that should want to sweat purposely are athletes trying to make a “weight cut”, like boxers. What these athletes do is severely dehydrate themselves and immediately after weigh-ins they have to be hydrated intravenously. If you sweat as a byproduct of intense exercise, awesome!
Sweat = water loss. Water ≠ fat. 🙂
Myth #3: Corsets make you skinny
The only thing corsets manage to do is restrict your breathing and make you feel uncomfortable. Some women swear by this and they are convinced that it makes them skinny. So I decided to look around the internet to see what the claims are and what I found was not surprising. Here’s what I found on particular website:
“you don’t have to go on a strict diet and harsh exercise regime to do it. The Corset Diet plan is undoubtedly one of the easiest ways to lose weight. With our specially made waist training corsets that are Approved by doctors and nutritionists it is so simple and healthy that you will wish you had tried it years ago. Unbelievably you can lose up to 6 lbs per week with the average being between four and six and you won’t feel hungry doing it.”
“you will lose weight by simply wearing the specially designed corset. It really is this simple!”
“whatever you eat, you won’t be able to eat that much of it. Almost like a non-surgical gastric band. As long as you eat a varied diet you will be able to eat healthily, eat the correct amount of food and not feel deprived in any way, the corset will just not allow it!”
“by wearing these specially designed waist training corsets that they have lost inches off their waists and stomach, giving them a beautiful hourglass shape”
First of all 4-6 pounds of fat loss in a week is extreme! To give you some perspective the average weight for a female is 166 pounds. This example female that is 5’5 and 166 pounds will need about 1800 calories to maintain her weight. If she’d want to lose 6 pounds in one week she’d need to be at a 3000 calorie deficit per day, her net calories would need to be -1200. That sounds dangerous and unsustainable. For an average person anything over 2 pounds per week is cause for concern. The only way anyone can afford to lose 4-6 pounds is if they are extremely obese in which case they wouldn’t be using a corset anyway.
Besides promoting potentially dangerous weight loss they claim that you don’t have to go on a strict diet or “harsh exercise regime”. For some more perspective, to lose 6 pounds I’d need to jog at a 6 mph pace for over 4 hours to burn 3000 calories everyday for 7 days (while eating no more than 1800 calories)! An average female would need to jog more than that.. Let that sink in.
They offer you a diet plan. In other words, it’s not the corset that’ll make you lose weight, it’s the calorie restriction. If you have to rely on a corset to manage or lose weight then you need a better solution. Corsets are impractical and uncomfortable, you’re better off just learning how to manage your weight through diet and exercise. You don’t have to have to rely on something constricting you to keep you from eating.
Approved by doctors, nutritionists and dietitians huh?
Myth #4: Weight loss supplements make you lose weight
OK, everyone should know that no claims made by any supplement company is backed by the Food and Drug Administration.
“Dietary Supplements can be beneficial to your health — but taking supplements can also involve health risks. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not have the authority to review dietary supplement products for safety and effectiveness before they are marketed.” – FDA
Weight loss pills and detox teas are everywhere nowadays. Models that promote these products probably don’t even take them and the products aren’t responsible for their physiques, they do it for the money.
Here’s a claim by one of the big guys selling weight loss pills:
“Average weight loss with key ingredient was 10.95 lbs. in a 60-day study with a low-calorie diet, and 3.7 lbs. in a separate 8-week study with a calorie-reduced diet and moderate exercise.”
Yes, that does seem like a reasonable claim, but you definitely don’t need a supplement to achieve that same goal. Here’s how you can lose 4 pounds in 8 weeks- cut out that bottle of soda and go walk for an hour while eating no more than the calories you need to maintain your weight. No extremely restrictive diet and no “harsh” exercise program there either…
Just like the great people selling the corsets, they mention that you need to be on a diet and exercise program. Have you noticed the common denominator here?
See how many calories you need to consume by using my calorie calculator.
For more on this topic check out this video from one of my favorite YouTube channels, SciShow: Weight Loss Pills: Fact Or Fiction?
Myth #5: Carbs and fats makes you fat
Carbs and fats aren’t the enemy, in fact our bodies need them to function properly. The only way to gain weight is to consume more calories than your body needs, the excess calories are then stored as fat. What you should know is that not a calories are created equally. There are sources of carbs and fats that are better than others, for example olive oil vs corn oil and an orange vs orange juice. Another thing to note is that some sources of food are more filling than others as well. When trying to lose weight you’ll want to eat as much as possible while consuming less calories, and that’s where fats become less favorable. Generally foods high in fiber and protein are more filling. Regardless of any food source you eat there are 4 calories in each gram of carbohydrates and 9 calories in each gram of fat.
Track your calories on the Lose it app.
If all you had to do to get in shape was buy a product everyone would look like a cover model. Don’t let advertisements sell you on things because there’s a celebrity tied to it or because they say “doctors approve”. Be skeptical and do your research. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is, and that applies to anything. Fat loss takes a conscious effort and there’s no miracle product out there. The old school method of diet and exercise is the best and safest way.
Did I debunk any myths surrounding fat loss that you thought were real? What are some of the myths you tend to hear?
Let me know what else you’d like me to write about.
Please subscribe to my newsletter below so that you won’t miss a future post, leave a comment and share!
See resource page for list of tools that’ll assist you on your fitness journey
I am not a healthcare professional. You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new diet or exercise program. This is for educational purposes only, I am speaking from my own experience and from what I have learned through my own research.
If you make a purchase through one of my links I get a small commission out of it. I only recommend products that I believe will bring you value. There are no additional costs for any transactions done through my links. If you would like to support me this is the way to do it.