8 calorie-burning myths debunked

1. Celery, cucumbers and iceberg lettuce have negative calories.

The calories you need for digestion won’t ever exceed the number of calories any type of food contains. These non-starchy, low-calorie veggies can still help you lose weight since their fiber and water content will keep you feeling full for longer. So go ahead and pile them on generously when you hit the salad bar for lunch.

2. Doing cardio on an empty stomach burns more total fat for the day.

While you do burn more calories from fat if you exercise sans snack, ultimately it doesn’t matter because if you burn more fat during a workout, your body physiologically adjusts to burn less fat post-exercise – and vice versa. So it all evens out. Most experts advocate pre-gym noshing because it provides the fuel you need to exercise longer and harder and therefore burn more calories. Opting for a filling, nutrient-rich snack, such as a piece of fruit, applesauce or a slice of whole wheat toast with peanut butter.

3. All calories are created equal.

Your body burns nearly 50% more calories after eating a meal packed with whole foods versus an equivalent meal made of processed fare. During manufacturing, processed foods are broken down and stripped of many nutrients, making it easier for the body to digest them. On the other hand, whole foods, such as multigrain bread, apples or zucchini, contain good-for-you nutrients like fiber that the body has to work overtime to break down, temporarily boosting metabolism. Eating smarter calories via foods packed with filling fiber or satisfying protein, like a chicken breast instead of potato chips, will help you naturally eat less over time.

4. Always work out in the fat burning zone.

Fat burning zone on cardio machines keeps you working out at a slow, steady pace – around 60% to 70% of your maximum heart rate – and this low-intensity form of exercise is thought to help your body burn a higher percentage of calories from fat. The total number of calories burned is the only thing that matters – not what type of calories – and working out at a low intensity ultimately burns fewer calories. In order to maximize calorie burn in less time, do high intensity interval training. To try it,

  • alternate one or two minutes of easy running (or pedaling) with a quick one-minute burst of speed (you should be breathing heavily at the end of the interval),
  • repeat intervals for a total of 20 minutes,
  • do two to three interval workouts per week for the best results.

Bonus: Studies show intense workout sessions stoke metabolism for up to 24 hours after you’ve left the gym, burning at least 100 extra calories throughout the day.

5. To lose weight, you should only focus on cardio.

Strength training actually has more of an effect on helping you lose weight than cardio. Building lean muscle raises your metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories when you’re doing anything, whether that’s running or just sitting at your desk. Cardio workouts keep your heart-health in check and burn lots of calories in little time – just keep in mind that a routine that mixes cardio and one or two strength workouts a week is the best way to maximize results.

6. Eating six small meals a day boosts your metabolism.

Settle on an eating plan that keeps you satisfied and full so you’re less likely to binge due to hunger.

7. Working out in cold weather burns more calories.

When the mercury plummets, be smart and bundle up – the miniscule bump in calorie burn isn’t worth increasing your risk of frostbite or hypothermia.

8. You have to burn 250 calories every time you work out in order to lose weight.

Losing weight isn’t about what you burn day-to-day, but rather what you do over the course of a week – or even a month – allowing you the flexibility to make up for days when your diet gets derailed. As long as you’re burning more calories in the long term, you’ll lose weight.

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read article on Yahoo! Health by Jessica Girdwain from Woman’s Day: 8 Calorie-Burning Myths Debunked

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