How fitness gurus and gym-bunnies are lying to you about fat-burning exercises
How many times have you scrolled your social media feed to find it over-run by fat-burning exercises?
They are everywhere and are growing in volume, as people try to push the few pounds they gained during COVID isolation. We all want to be healthier, fitter and generally happier with our bodies. So when COVID hit it ruined lots of people exercise routines leading to an increase in pounds as we generally became less active. Though there’s nothing wrong with wanting to focus on becoming physically healthier, the fat-burning exercise trend is actually anti-health focused. Why? Because every single exercise or form of movement you do is fat-burning. Waking up is fat-burning, walking the dog is fat-burning, even sleeping is fat-burning.
At its core. fat is stored energy that is essential for our bodies to work. Not just for movement, but also for nerve cells that need fats to send electrical messages around the body. Sure an excess of fat is harmful but that’s not what these fat-burning exercises are telling us. They are telling us that all fat is bad and you must get rid of it — through their publicised exercises.
We have been conditioned into thinking any wobble on our body is bad and must be removed through starvation or over-exercising. The fat-burning exercise trend rides off our internalised shame that we have learnt over years from other people and media outlets telling us that the only socially acceptable, healthy and beautiful body is a thin one. Not only is this untrue but it’s also extremely damaging. We feel ashamed telling others we have gained weight or if we have eaten something ‘bad’ — high in fat or sugar. We feel ashamed because gaining weight means more fat and eating something bad increases the chances of putting on fat.
It’s a fat-focused world. Not once do we think that fat is actually good and essential for us to be healthy. We need fat:
- To store the energy we use through the day
- For growth development and cell functions
- For our brains and nerves to work, the brain is actually full of essential fats
- To maintain the health of cell membranes for our skin and muscles
- Form transporting vitamins A, D, E and K through the bloodstream
- To build steroid hormones that regulate bodily processes
Fat is essential. Fat isn’t a sin and depending on your ethnicity and activity level, how much fat you need throughout the day varies from person to person. Understanding more about how our bodies work and what they need to be healthy, not just thin, will help end weight discrimination and prejudice.