Exercising to lose weight or maintain healthy weight is something we should all do, but so much misinformation is spread by the fitness industry to sell products or market personal training sessions. Some common misconceptions:

  • Running burns more calories than walking: It doesn’t. Moving the same mass over the same distance takes the same amount of energy. When you run you have a higher work rate, but finish in a proportionally shorter time. Running does increase your cardiovascular function more, but also increases load on joints.
  • Exercising at 60% intensity is best for fat burning: Actually, studies show interval training where you do short (30sec) burst of maximum intensity, followed by 3 minutes of more gentle (50%) intensity is more effective for fat loss.
  • If you do weights you need protein powder to boost your muscle mass: The average western diet is so protein rich that even body builders struggle to use up all dietary amino-acids. Protein is excreted when not used, it can’t be stored, therefore protein powder makes you have expensive wee!
  • Doing weights will make you bigger: while muscle tissue weights more than fat, and doing weights increases muscle size, it is essential to do weights in a fat loss program. Muscle tissue uses up energy, therefore increasing muscle mass means you burn more fat when you’re doing nothing at all.