True or false: Losing fat is 90% diet and 10% training. False. That's actually the formula for losing weight-a very different goal.
I'll explain. Most trainers will tell you that your diet is the most important factor in your pursuit of a fatfree body. After all, you can eat 1,000 calories (think two Snickers and a Big Gulp) a lot faster than you can burn them. But that's still only half the equation. Simply cutting calories without exercising-or worse, doing the wrong type of exercise-doesn't just burn fat. It burns fat and muscle. So you'll weigh less, but your body will be weak and soft instead of lean and hard.
The fact is, the way you train is every bit as important for fat loss as the way you eat. Unfortunately, when most guys think of exercising to lose weight, they think of aerobic activities such as jogging or cycling. And while both burn lots of calories (which is important if you have trouble sticking to a diet), when it comes to burning pure fat, aerobic exercise is about as overrated as Lindsay Lohan's acting. Here's why:
Your body adapts to cardio. Meaning, the more you do it, the more efficient your body becomes at burning fat for fuel, causing you to burn fewer calories from your fat stores each time you exercise.
It takes longer. Because your body adapts to aerobic activity, your workouts have to last increasingly longer in order to provide the same calorie burn. This not only increases the amount of time you have to spend in the gym but also increases the odds that your body may start breaking down muscle instead of fat for fuel.
The benefits are temporary. Aerobic activity doesn't increase the amount of fat you burn after your workout. Your metabolism returns to normal shortly after stepping off the treadmill.