Myth Busting: Exercise for Weight Loss

Updated: Mar 12

Contents of Article:

  1. Introduction

  2. 'Exercising alone will help you lose weight'

  3. 'The more you sweat, the more fat you burn'

  4. 'The more muscle soreness, the better'

  5. 'Make up for cheat meals with a workout'

  6. 'Cardio is the best way to burn fat'

  7. 'You can target specific areas to lose fat'


Weight Loss is one of the most common reasons for people to begin an exercise regime. Yet there are so many misconceptions on how to specifically work out for weight loss. Trying to find a weight loss strategy that is best for you can be a very confusing aspect of health and wellness. This isn't surprising given the amount of misinformation that is out there on the internet and social media.

Ahead you'll find some of the most common weight loss 'myths'. Using our knowledge and background in the fitness industry we'll help shine a light on these 'myths'.

Exercise has so many health benefits! So, regardless of just wanting to lose weight, this is something you should actively be doing. Often people think that just by beginning a new exercise regime this will lead to the number on the scales dropping. However, there are other factors that come in to play when you're looking to lose weight.

The main factor being a Calorie Deficit! If you aren't in a calorie deficit then no amount of exercise will result in you losing weight. Following the laws of thermodynamics you must take in less energy (food) than the energy you expend through daily activities. Exercise can help tip this balance, but it is not the most effective way. Exercising for 1 hour a day, 7 days a week accounts for less than 5% of the total time in a given week. What you do in the other 95% of your time is important too.

Sometimes people are more concerned about leaving a workout dripping, otherwise they feel like they've wasted their time and the workout wasn't good enough. Sweating is merely your body's cooling mechanism and it's way to control core body temperature, which has nothing to do with how many calories you've burned in the subsequent workout.

Similar to above people believe that if they aren't sore following a workout they haven't made any improvements and that session is wasted. People are quick to subscribe to the idea of 'no pain, no gain'. Most importantly soreness after a session is linked to your muscles and how they adapt to the stimulus of that session. Anytime you progress the load, sets or reps during your session its likely you'll experience muscle soreness.

As your body adapts to your training routine you'll find yourself becoming sore much less. This is a sign that your muscles can manage a greater workload and are getting stronger. The best way to get stronger and keep improving is by following the principles of progressive overload. By focusing on being sore all the time will make your workouts less appealing and can lead to a lack of motivation for your future workout schedules.

If you’ve ever been tempted to “work off” a big meal, you’re not alone. This strategy is both unhelpful and ineffective. Typically, a 1-hour intense workout could burn between 300-500 calories. Its very easy to consume well over 500 calories in an indulgence of some sort. More importantly it will become very exhausting to repeatedly try to offset an indulgence with a workout. The best way is to just enjoy your indulgences then move on - this will help maintain a healthy relationship with exercise.

People think that because you burn more calories during a standard 1-hour cardio session compared to a 1-hour resistance training session, they should just be doing cardio to burn the maximum calories. What you need to factor in is the effects of EPOC (Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption). This is the concept of burning calories after you've finished exercise.

Not only does resistance training build muscle and help retain muscle mass during a calorie deficit, but it helps you to burn calories after you've finished your workouts.

No matter how many crunches you do this will not rid you of that stubborn belly fat. The hard truth is you can't target areas to specifically lose body fat. The more active the whole body is during exercise the more calories you'll burn in that session. That's why it's important to train your whole body and not any specific body part when training for weight loss.

Need help getting rid of stubborn body fat, or do you want to just generally improve your health and fitness?

Team up with one of our online coaches and they'll help you smash your training goals!

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