We’ve all heard at least one. You know those little tidbits of information that have circled around for years – claims of what you should and shouldn’t do to lose weight, claims of when you should and shouldn’t exercise, claims of which foods you should and shouldn’t eat (i.e. NO Fat, NO Carbs, NO Protein…) – Who even comes up with that stuff anyways? Well this week we’ve decided to open up this can of worms and pick a few of these common fitness/nutrition myths to debunk and set the record straight…
Myth #1: Spot Training
One of the most common fitness myths is spot training, sometimes called spot reduction. Spot training is the idea that you can cause weight loss or muscle definition in one area without affecting other parts of the body. This myth is particularly persistent because everyone wants it to be true. Everything would be so much easier if only the infomercials promising “rock hard abs” and “buns of steel” — after just a few minutes with a specific product — were telling the truth! (Source: Livestrong) THE TRUTH: Spot Reduction/Training is more wishful thinking than anything! The only way to sculpt those tummies, booties, inner thighs and triceps is to lose body fat while at the same time building lean muscle! Not to toot our own horn or anything, but circuit training and high intensity interval training are two awesome ways to do this. By losing body fat and gaining muscle you will turn your body into a lean, healthy, powerful thing that can work for you and accomplish more than you could ever imagine!
Myth #2: You can eat whatever you want, As long as you
This is craziness. I hope that people still don’t hold to this as being true. THE TRUTH: you will NEVER be able to out-train a bad diet. No matter what you are physically able to force your body to do, if you are filling it with processed foods, sugars, twinkies and bon-bons you will NEVER get that lean and healthy shape that you are dreaming of.
Myth #3: Traditional Ab Work (Crunches/Sit Ups etc) will Get you A Flat Tummy
Crunches, sit-ups, abdominal rollers and the like are great for toning your stomach, right? Yes and no. The TRUTH: Your abdominal muscles are covered with body fat, and the only way to get the six-pack you want is to get rid of the fat first. Since you can't target areas on your body for fat removal, replacing abdominal workouts with cardio exercises (specifically Circuits and HIIT) as well as weight lifting training will help you burn fat, not only in your stomach, but other areas of the body as well. Cardio by itself will burn belly fat, but at a much slower rate than combining it with weight training. (Source: Healthline)
Myth #4: Lifting Weights Makes you Bulky
Women tend to be especially apprehensive about using weights for fear they'll end up looking like bodybuilders, but they don't have to worry. THE TRUTH: Muscle takes up less space than fat, so using weights will actually cause your measurements to shrink instead of increase. Strength training helps you lose weight faster and keep it off longer, according to Jeffrey Janot, PhD, an assistant professor of exercise physiology at South Dakota State University. Also keep in mind that testosterone plays a huge role in increasing muscle size. Since men have 20 to 30 times more testosterone than women, it's more noticeable when they bulk up. So GO AHEAD LADIES AND LIFT THOSE WEIGHTS! (Source: Healthline)
Myth #5: Men & Women Need Different Exercises
Despite what the relationship books say, when it comes to fitness, men and women are from the same planet, says Wiedenbach. THE TRUTH: Both sexes have the same body structure but different hormonal make-ups, he says, which may mean a difference in muscle strength but does not mean they should work out any differently. “Men tend to focus on abs, chest and arms, and women tend to focus on glutes and legs,” he notes. “They’re each forgetting one half of their bodies.” (Source: Forbes).
Myth #6: You should Avoid Carbs if You Want to Lose Weight
THE TRUTH: Cutting carbohydrates (carbs) might help you lose weight in the short term, but it’s mostly because you are eating less food and fewer calories. Drastically cutting carbs means you’ll miss out on the nutritional benefits of healthy choices like whole grains, fruit, starchy vegetables, and legumes. Because so many foods are off-limits, it can be tough to stick with low-carb diets for very long (Not to mention you will probably be INCREDIBLY grouchy and on edge!). The best weight-loss plan is one you can stick with, and consistency is the most important thing! (Source: A Little Nutrition)
Myth #7: Eating Fat Makes you Fat
The theory behind this myth usually goes something like this: Fat has nine calories per gram, whereas carbs and protein have only four per gram, so to lose weight you have to avoid fat. THE TRUTH: Fat is not the enemy. Although fat-laden products can be full of calories, a modest amount of fat may help you feel full (so you eat less overall) and make healthy foods, like vegetables, taste better (so you may eat more of them). Fat also helps with the absorption of certain vitamins and phytonutrients, which are compounds in plants that are thought to promote health. (Source: Real Simple)
To find out more on the whole “Fat Debate” check out this video when Johanna will tell you all about why you NEED Fats in your Diet! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXkc2caDo0w
Myth #8: Diet Foods Help You Lose Weight
The theory behind this one basically holds that Low-fat, low-carb, and artificially sweetened packaged foods make losing weight painless. THE TRUTH: Low-fat and low-carb don't always mean low-cal, and if you're trying to lose weight, stocking up on these treats could undermine your efforts. In a series of recent studies, for instance, participants ate up to 50 percent more of foods that the researchers falsely labeled "low-fat" than they did of the same exact foods with real labels. Some experts also believe that consuming artificial sweeteners might backfire. It is possible that artificial sweeteners can have a negative effect on blood sugar and their long-term effects on the body are still relatively unknown. Two long-term studies looking at the drinking habits of thousands of people have found a correlation between drinking diet soda and being overweight. Basically… You should steer CLEAR of these foods and stick with REAL, WHOLE, HEALTHY and NATURAL FOODS. If it was made in a plant, you probably need a plant to digest it…
(Source: Real Simple).
Myth #9: To Lose Weight You Need to Drastically Cut Calories
People think that if they only eat 1,200 calories a day that they will lose all of this weight and feel amazing. While you will most definitely lose weight from restrictive eating you are setting yourself up for failure in the long run. Your body cannot function for long period of times on such restrictive calorie diets, it could put itself in starvation mode and you could even stop losing weight at all... In addition to this, you are setting up a situation in which you are bound to give in to the things that you are constantly denying yourself, and guilt is one of the reasons that so many people simply abandon their plan for healthy living altogether. THE TRUTH: The best thing thing you can do to lose weight is to eat a diet rich in vegetables and fruits, lean meats, and luved carbs, with variety and space for a cheat meal every once in a while! Consistency is key and nothing will be able to transform your body the way that clean eating and consistent physical activity will be able to!
Those are just some of the fitness/nutrition myths that we thought would be great to address! But there are so many others out there! If you can think of a fitness myth tweet us @jqfitness #FitnessMyths or Facebook us and let us know about it!
Thanks for reading and we hope you learned something new!