You won’t get thinner this way! We’re busting myths

Check most popular slimming myths!

You won’t get thinner this way! We’re busting myths
Written by Our: Morning Runner
Medical Fact Checked by: Dr. Bryan Havoc
Last updated:

Physical exercises which should help you get thinner are surrounded by a lot of myths. Here are the most important of them. Check if you had succumbed to them and stop wasting your time for the things which aren’t working at all.

Myth 1.
If you want to have slimmer thighs, do exercises for thighs, if you want to have slimmer belly, do sit-ups.

Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that. Your organism decides from which body parts it will burn fat and it’s not possible to program it for burning fat from that parts that we want. The only one exception of that is interval training (you exercise in turns with high and low intensity) which helps to reduce belly fat.

Myth 2.
Strength training is not suitable for weight loss.

Indeed it is! It’s obvious that if you’ll catch 1 kg dumbbells and flap them while chasing after rainbows and during a break - you’ll sit on a bench, in fact the result will be poor. But if exercises are a challenge for you, if you chug and sweat, you’ll achieve the slimming effect.

Nowadays it’s believed that the best slimming effects are given by a combination of cardio training and strength exercises, and there’s no need to separate them.

A wisely planned training, which at the same time will strengthen muscles and speed up your heart rate will be enough. Such training is based on exercises, which use the work of various muscles groups at the same time, performed one after the other, without any breaks, and it’s called a circuit training.

Beginners even don’t have to reach for dumbbells which are useful when body mass is not enough. Strength training has also one more advantage: it’s able to speed up your metabolism for even 48 h after you finished working out!

Myth 3.
While exercising keep your heart rate in so called ‘fat burning zone’, so in the level between 60-70% of maximum heart rate.

It’s assumed that such physical exertion requires even 50-85% of energy provided by fat. On the other hand exertion with higher heart rate uses only 40% energy from the fat. At first sight less intensive physical exertion is more valuable because it seems to burn more fat.

This exact comparison was the reason for creating this myth. How it’s in reality?Let’s take an optimistic version - during less intense exertion up to 85% of burned calories come from fat. In that case a person who weighs 60 kilograms, walking for an hour at the speed of 5km/h will burn 200 kcal. That means that person has burned 170 kcal coming from fat.

When that person will spend the same time running 10 km/h (that speed for lots of people will rise their heart rate above ‘fat burning zone’) the calculation will be as follows: total number of burned calories - 620, amount of calories coming from fat - 40% from that number = 248 kcal. Is 170 more than 248?

It’s not only that during less intense exertion we can burn less fat, but also a total number of burned calories is much smaller.

Cardio training with a heart rate in ‘fat burning zone’ has one more disadvantage: it raises metabolic rate for the time of training, but after that the rate is coming back to the level from before the training. More intense training has a higher rate of burned calories per minute of exertion, and additionally it speeds up metabolism for many hours after finishing it.

It means that such training will help you burn more calories than its amount shown by a cardio machine or heart rate monitor, because your body after training will be using bigger amounts of energy for a longer time.

Myth 4.
Your cardio training should take not less than 20 minutes because only after that time your organism starts to burn fat.

If someone believes in that myth and in myth no. 1, what is the number of calories burned from fat in their opinion? Let’s take an example mentioned above: one hour walk burnes 200 kcal (in case of a person who weighs 60 kg and walks at the speed of 5km/h). If the myth no. 2 is real, first 20 minutes of such exertion won’t burn fat. So what will be the number of burned fat calories? Even smaller than 170? If so, such exertion must be very frustrating for the person who wants to lose weight.

And what will happen if someone exercises for only 15 or 19 minutes? Their won’t burn fat? This is an absurd. They will burn it, but the amount depends on intensity of this exertion - the higher intensity the more burned calories in general, including fat calories. The fact that not time is of the essence but exertion put in exercises is proved by scientists from the University of Copenhagen*.

For 13 weeks they were examining 60 healthy men with medium overweight. For 3 months half of them were supposed to exercise 60 minutes a day with the heart rate monitor and calories calculator. Second half was supposed to exercise every day for 30 minutes with the intensity which causes sweating. Results: loss of fat mass in the group exercising 30 minutes averaged 3,6 kg and in other group (60 minutes) only 2,7 kg. Total body mass loss in both groups was the same - 4 kg.


A slimming training can take little time. The more intense exertion is the better. Strength training can also help in reducing the amount of fat tissue!

*The studies of scientists from the University of Copenhagen were published in American Journal of Physiology.

*This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.