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The Myths of Fat Busting and Flat Abs

The Myths of Fat Busting and Flat Abs

There are a lot of myths floating around about how to get rid of fat and get flat abs fast. You've seen the advertisements. Some are for miracle diets, or miracle diet pills or drinks. Some are for a new exercise machine or a piece of equipment that’s guaranteed to get you a ripped six-pack in a week or two.


Some myths say that if you eat this food or that food, or don't eat this or that, your abs will flatten and the fat will melt off your body. Or that certain foods actually burn fat.


The thing about these myths is that while some may have elements of truth to them, all are full of hype and none of them are going to be able to produce the incredible results they are promising simply because they are either incomplete answers to the question of how to lose weight and tone your abs, or they are flat-out rip-offs that are built to get you to pay for a miracle.


Yes, I know this sounds harsh, but the truth is that there are a lot of myths and half-truths that you need to be aware of and beware of. I wouldn't want to put myself through spending the time, energy and possibly money for something that isn't going to work, and I don't want you to have to go through that either. It's just too disappointing.


I think it's better to have a truthful and comprehensive plan laid out for you that you know will work if you follow it, then relying on eating only cabbage and using some sort of ab exercise machine that may or may not help at all.


Let’s look at some of the myths of fat busting and flat abs that you might run into:


Myth #1: Everything labeled a health food is really healthy.


Beware of foods that seem healthy, and even tout themselves as being healthy, but hide a nasty secret such as sugar, fat, or sodium in unhealthy levels. Some “healthy” foods are even full of chemical additives.


An example would be some of the “healthy” granola bars we see on the store shelves. Granola is healthy, right? Well, yes and no. Check the label and remember, the fewer ingredients the better. Some are packed with sugar and sodium. Sorry, but lots of sugar isn't healthy and it's not going to help you lose weight.


Another example could be diet sodas. They have no sugar in them. That's great, but the sugar substitute they use can be dangerous to your health. Stick with water and pure juices, teas and other unadulterated drinks.


Myth #2: Fad diets can help you lose weight permanently.


If it promises miracle results in a matter of days and you're eating in a very unbalanced way, it's a fad diet. You might actually lose weight on it, but you will have a very difficult time maintaining that weight loss unless you plan to eat in the same unbalanced way for the rest of your life! That wouldn't be healthy and if you aren't healthy, it really doesn't matter how trim you are.


Fad diets are made for quick, yet unsustainable weight loss and they are simply unhealthy enough that they may actually harm you. It's smarter to learn the right way to eat for steady and maintainable weight loss.


Myth #3: There are certain foods that will make you lose weight.


As nice as that would be, this isn't true. The truth is that there aren't any foods that can burn fat or make you lose weight. Some foods might boost your metabolism a bit for a little while (such as green tea), but they really won't cause you to lose weight.


Myth #4: Fat burning pills work.


There isn’t pill that you can take that will burn fat away. And diet supplements that decrease your appetite come with risks.


Myth #5: If it says it's natural, it will work and it's okay to use.


Not necessarily. There are many diet supplements on the market that contain “natural” or “herbal” ingredients that don't necessarily work well and may not be safe. Remember ephedra?


It’s an herbal ingredient that did seem to help with weight loss, but had the potential for causing very serious side effects and health problems, up to and including death. Even if a product says it doesn't have ephedra, it doesn't mean it's not potentially dangerous. Nor does it mean that it will help burn fat and build abs.


Myth #6: Doing lots of crunches and sit-ups, or using an “ab machine” is the best way to get ripped abs.


It's not that you shouldn't do ab exercises - it's just that you can't rely only on crunches or your ab machine to help you trim your waist and tone your belly. You have to use a combination of the right types of exercise along with proper nutrition. There's no other way.


Ab machines are generally a waste of money because you can do all the same moves without the machine that you can with it. They’re gimmicks to get you all excited and make you think that you're going to get a six-pack just by doing that machine for a short time every day. It's going to take more than a gimmick to achieve that perfect body. Don't waste your money.


Myth #7: You shouldn't lift weights because they will cause you to become bulky.


Strength training and weight lifting does build muscle, but muscle burns more calories than fat. So building muscle actually will help you lose weight. Doing weight lifting 2 to 3 times per week is ideal and won't build up bulky muscles. It will help you lose weight and give definition to all of your muscle groups, giving you a more attractive look.


And the good news is that you don't have to do a bunch of heavy-duty weight lifting to get the      benefit. If you use some lightweight dumbbells or a medicine ball, you'll gain extra muscle.


Myth #8: You have to do tons of cardio exercise to burn fat.


It's true that you do need cardio exercise for health and for helping to lose weight and burn fat, but cardio does not need to be your only source of exercise for burning fat and getting your abs in shape, nor do you have to do cardio until you drop! Instead, you need to combine cardio workouts with strength training and stretching so that you get a complete fat burning and muscle building plan.


Myth #9: Eating carbohydrates is bad for you.


This simply isn't true. You need carbs in your diet, but you also need to make sure you're eating the right kind of carbs. Simple carbohydrates such as those found in white bread aren't good for you. Complex carbs like those found in whole grain breads are actually helpful when you're trying to burn fat.


Myth #10: You should eliminate fat from your diet for good.


Also not true. A certain amount of fat (the right kind) is necessary for your health and will not keep you from losing weight, fat and your belly.


Myth #11: Losing weight quickly is the best way to do it.


No. It's unhealthy to drop weight too quickly and it's nearly impossible to maintain a quick weight loss. It's much, much better to do it at a steady and reasonable pace. No matter how badly you think you want to slim down in a matter of days or weeks, it's not realistic to expect good results that way.


Another reason that you don't want to lose weight too quickly is that your skin needs time to tighten up as you lose. Especially for those who are planning to drop quite a bit of weight, the danger of being left with hanging skin is present.


In order to keep that from happening, a reasonable rate of weight loss (1 – 2 pounds per week), gives your skin a much better chance of firming up along with the rest of your body as you lose weight and tone up.


Myth #12: You can get flat abs in “5 Easy Moves” (or 3 or 7 or whatever).


Flat abs take work and a combination of exercise types and a healthy, low-fat diet. Doing “5 easy moves” won't get you flat abs and certainly not a six-pack. I don't want you to become discouraged, because you can get a great belly with plenty of muscle definition. But it takes more than a few certain exercises.


Myth #13: Spot toning works!


If you try to lose fat in one spot by exercising that one spot, it won't work. The key to flattening your belly, or to toning any other part of your body is to increase your body's metabolism so it can get rid of excess fat around your waistline and all over your body. Once the fat is gone, the toned muscles can show through. That's just how it works.


Myth #14: Quantity is better than quality when it comes to exercises.


The crunches, which as I said before are fine for helping to tone your abs, won't do the whole job. Some people think it's better to do hundreds of crunches, even in a sort of half-hearted way.


Wrong. It's better to do fewer crunches, or any type of strengthening exercise in excellent form and at the right pace, even if that means doing fewer of them. They will be more effective in the long run.


If you spend some time searching the Internet or reading magazines, you'll find all of these myths and probably more. And when you head to the grocery store or the pharmacy, you'll find all sorts of foods and weight loss products in packaging that declare them healthy and helpful when it comes to losing weight.


The infomercials on TV will tell you to get the latest ab exercising machine and promise that you'll have a flat, sexy belly in the blink of an eye, while another infomercial will try to sell you a diet drink that consists of cabbage juice and yogurt, promising that the pounds will melt away and you'll look just like a model.


We all want to believe the hype. We all want to believe that if we do 200 crunches a day, all the fat around our waistline will disappear leaving behind an abdominal region that will be the envy of all.


The truth is that the myths are just that – myths.


It's time for a reality check and the reality is that burning fat, losing weight and getting a sexy, flat belly is going to take a combination of things – call it a multi-pronged attack. And it's going to take some dedication and commitment on your part.


Don't let this scare you. You can do this. Whether you have twenty pounds to lose and a bit of a beer belly, or you have 100 pounds to lose and you know for sure it's going to take a lot to get those abs to the point where you're ready to show them off – you can do this.


The myths and the hype are made to do one thing – sell something. Instead of buying into them, use your time, energy and hard earned cash for something else that is more worthwhile – developing super-healthy eating habits, learning the right way to exercise for fat burning and boosting your metabolism, and moving your body in ways that will encourage the strengthening, toning and definition of not only those abs, but of all of your muscle groups.


Will this happen overnight? In a week? In two weeks? No. It will take some time. You might have to wait a few weeks before you start to see results and then it might a little longer to reach your final goal.


It all depends on what kind of shape you're in when you start out. But, if you focus on proper nutrition and devote 30 minutes every day to working on those abs, you’ll find that it does happen!


Just know that the best way, and really the only way that works, is to do it the right way. That means learning about nutrition and exercise.


The remainder of this book is going to be devoted to developing healthy eating habits, promoting weight loss at a sane pace, burning fat, and developing a tight, flat belly. You're going to learn a lot and when you're through, you'll be equipped with all the ammunition you need to win the war against excess weight and that flabby, fat belly.


You might be wondering if you can try any of the diet supplements or tricks, or exercise machines while you're working with the plan outlined in this book. The answer is yes, if you insist on it, but I would strongly advise you to use a lot of caution with any pill or supplement and seriously to not bother to waste your money – either on the supplements and pills or the abdominal exercise equipment.


They probably aren't going to help, and could actually hurt. If you want to spend money, you can go out and purchase some dumbbells or a lightweight medicine ball. They will actually come in handy and they'll be effective, too.

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