Americans put an enormous amount of time and effort into losing weight. Unfortunately, many of those efforts are misguided. Read on to make sure you're not following any of these three common beliefs.

1. You can localize fat loss
It's sad that so many people still fall victim to marketing that promises the localization of fat loss. It's physiologically impossible to spot reduce fat. You can do a million crunches, but it won't help you lose belly fat. Want toned arms? Sorry, curls won't melt your fat either.

According to coach Josh Kozak, founder of HASfit, "Your body doesn't discriminate from where it pulls fat from. It is constantly mobilizing and storing fat, from all over your body, at all times of the day. Fat storage locations are different from person to person so it is possible to have more fat on one part of your body than another, but you can't target that spot through exercise."

2. You can outwork a bad diet

Successful weight loss takes a two pronged attack of both exercise and proper nutrition. If you're
someone who justifies eating junk food with the excuse, “It’s OK. I worked out today,” then you may
want to reconsider. According to the Mayo Clinic, the average 30-minute aerobic or resistance training workout burns 182 calories.

When compared with the average calories of a fast food value meal at 1,000 calories, one margarita
at 500 calories, or a slice of cheesecake at 400 calories, you can see where this philosophy falls apart.

Enjoying a treat in moderation is totally acceptable, but starting an exercise program isn't a reason to eat whatever you want.

3. The best way to lose fat is with cardio
Research presented at the Integrative Biology of Exercise VI meeting ¹, demonstrated that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) burns more calories in less time than conventional cardio. The study found that you can burn up to 220 calories in just five minutes using a form of HIIT called Tabata Training. You’d have to use the treadmill for more than 30 minutes to get the same results.

Try this 10-Minute HIIT Routine to help you torch fat fast:

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