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7 Myths About Burning Calories

How much of what we hear about calorie burning is true? Does exercise cause us to gain weight instead of lose it? Do different genders burn calories differently? How reliable are calorie-tracking apps? We'll separate the facts from the fiction and get to the bottom of these and other questions concerning calorie-burning myths.

Many of us have gone through a dieting experience, and we know that there are plenty of misconceptions about this topic, such as the link between burning calories and age, sex, and physical activity. Some of these have a basis in fact, while others are completely fabricated. In this article, we'll explore seven popular beliefs about calorie burning and determine which are true and which are false.

1. Apps and fitness gadgets are not accurate calorie-burning counters

Although the info we provide, such as age, height, and weight can be helpful, it's simply not enough. Recent studies have revealed the involvement of genes in burning fewer calories, meaning that two people with the same body measurements may have very different caloric burning rates. So, even though these technologies can be useful, it's good to keep in mind that genetics plays a part too!

2. Low-fat diets contribute to an effective loss of weight

We've tried a lot of different diets in the past - like crash diets and severely low-calorie ones - and these can cause our body to go into starvation mode and slow down our calorie burning as a protective mechanism. Consequently, even if two people are the same age, weight, and height, they may still burn a different number of calories based on the number of diets they have done. Those that have gone through cycles of weight loss and weight gain will burn fewer calories. Moreover, the more muscles in our body, the more calories we burn, even when we're just sitting or sleeping. So, two people of the same weight and age, with the same height, may still differ in terms of the calories they burn if one of them has a higher muscle percentage and a lower fat percentage.

low fat

In summary, apps can give off inaccurate and deceiving information. Good news if you're a fan of snacking - peanuts, almonds, walnuts, sugar-free halva and even ice cream can help with feeling full. While it was once thought that low-fat diets were the best way to lose weight, recent studies suggest that low-carb diets are more beneficial.

Research has revealed that cutting down on carbs helps regulate cravings for snacks, and fat aids in feeling full for longer. Furthermore, indulging in peanuts, almonds, nuts, sugar-free halva, and even light ice cream contributes to feelings of satiety, maintains stable blood sugar and insulin levels, keeps gluttony in check, and ultimately is beneficial for long-term health and weight loss. Thus, the popular trend today is not "Low Fat", but "Low Carb". Exciting, isn't it?

3. You can lose weight without exercise

Exercise is essential for our health, but don't let that be the reason for turning down a diet. That would be a mistake! Start a diet and add to physical activity when you're ready. In the end, most of the weight loss and calorie reduction will be due to diet.

4. The number of calories you burn depends on your age

Generally, this is accurate. As we age, our muscles naturally lessen in quantity and that leads to abatement in the calories we burn daily. Moreover, various physical issues like back pain and knee pain can appear, causing us to move and act more slowly, which decreases the number of calories burned. Likewise, hormonal changes like menopause in women and lower testosterone levels in men also result in a decrease in calorie burn. This can be partly counteracted with plenty of exercise.

different ages for women silhouettes

5. The body strives to return to its previous weight and to rise again after a decrease

When you start to put on weight, the existing fat cells become filled up and if you keep gaining, new fat cells will be created. They will stay with you forever and ever!

Imagine if you managed to get back to the weight you were in your youth: even then you would have more fat cells than before. To stay underweight, these cells have to be smaller than normal, which is not easy for your body to do. That is why it's so critical to watch your calorie intake, so the fat cells don't expand again.

6. There's a difference in calorie burning between women and men

Generally, this holds. Men usually use more energy than women, and this occurs from birth itself. The main cause is that men tend to have a greater muscle mass and a higher amount of testosterone, which helps to maintain and form new muscles more readily. On the other hand, women generally have a higher fat percentage which is important for bearing children.

If the same food is given to both sexes, men will likely slim down more quickly. In the beginning, the man may even put on a bit of weight, but eventually, the pattern will switch.

running senior man with woman running in background

7. Sports activity increases weight instead of losing it

A person taking my diet program began going to the gym and surprisingly put on half a kilo in two weeks even while sticking to the diet. How come? I'll tell you! Exercises like strength training help to build muscles in different parts of the body, which then adds a slight weight increase. It's the muscles that use up much of the energy in our bodies, and the more muscle we have, the more calories are burned without any extra motion. Exciting, isn't it?

You can't expect to sprout half a kilogram of muscle in an instant and start shedding the pounds right away. It often takes a few months before you start to see the results. This progress will halt if you keep using the same weights and challenge yourself with the same exercises. So don't worry if the number on the scale doesn't budge in the first couple of weeks of strength training. Keep up your healthy eating and you'll soon reap the rewards: the extra muscle will make a big difference in how many calories you burn each day.

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