Healthy fats can be a girl's best friend when it comes to weight loss, according to Women's Health Magazine. Foods like avocados, Greek yogurt, and almond butter help prevent blood-sugar spikes and keep you full for hours. Plus, they taste phenomenal. So there’s that.
But despite our devotion to avocado toast, many women still get plenty of things wrong about the fat on their plates and around their waists. And those misconceptions can end in weight gain. These are the top five myths about fat that might be screwing with your slimdown plans.
1. You can "spot train" fat away. Womp, womp. Contrary to what you’ve seen on the interwebs, you can’t focus your fat-loss efforts on certain areas of your bod. When we lose fat, we lose it all over, says Holly F. Lofton, M.D., director of the medical weight management program at New York University Langone Medical Center. So all of that time you spend doing butt clenches and crunches? These little bitty isolation moves won’t target the fat in your booty and abs, and they don't burn much fat in general, either.
A better way to torch fat is to perform big, compound moves like squats, lunges, and bench presses. By tapping way more muscle fibers, these exercises burn calories in and out of the gym (thanks to the after-burn effect). And by increasing your body’s lean muscle, they crank up your metabolism for 24/7 fat burning.
2. You can eat all of the healthy fat you want. There’s no mistaking the weight-loss bennies of omega-3s (found in foods like salmon, walnuts, and olive oil), but don't assume that you can't overdo it, says Lofton. We’re looking at you, nut butter lovers!
Remember, a gram of fat—no matter how good for you it is—contains nine calories. That means that a two-tablespoon serving of almond butter packs about 200 calories, while that avocado has about 320. Don’t get us wrong; these are totally healthy foods that should be a part of your weight-loss plan. But measuring out your portions will help you stay on track with your weight-loss goals.
3. Exercising in the "fat-burning zone" burns the most fat. By lowering your workout intensity to stay in the fat-burning zone, as indicated by most cardio machines, you’re kinda just wasting your time, says Michael W. Smith, M.D., medical director and chief medical editor for WebMD. “When you exercise with less intensity, you burn a higher proportion of calories from fat than carbs," he says, "However, you’re still only burning three to five calories a minute,” he says. By working a little harder, you start to burn more calories from carbs than fat, but you’re also burning 10 to 12 calories a minute or more. "That means you're still burning more fat than you would by working out in the fat-burning zone,” says Smith.
To see the rest of the weight loss myths Women's Health Magazine, click here!