It is so easy these days to find quick fixes to almost any problem, especially when it comes to weight loss and fitness. “10 tricks to losing 10 pounds in just 10 days… you won’t believe number 5!” Yes, we have all seen and probably fell for one of those clickbait ads more than we’d like to admit. With so many fad diets and untrustworthy people who have underlying motives, you can easily be led astray and can end up harming your body and developing unhealthy habits. This article will look at some of the most common fitness myths and help clear up any confusion when it comes to your fitness goals.
Myth – Focus Only on Protein
While you should prioritize protein, it does not need to be the only thing you focus on. Protein does aid in building and maintaining muscle mass, but many people are misled by the amount of protein they actually require and feel tempted to only use protein powders. A good amount of protein that you should consume per day is anywhere between 0.6-1g per pound of bodyweight.
Myth – Fasting Should Be Avoided
There is much debate surrounding whether fasting is bad for you, however there are actually quite a few benefits linked to intermittent fasting. Here are some benefits:
- Increases fat oxidation after 12- and 36-hour fasting sessions
- Growth hormones are increased which aid in losing fat and gaining muscle
- Metabolism speeds and increases
Of course, you are by no means to start fasting if you do not feel comfortable doing so, but if you have been put off by those telling you it is bad for you, you can now make a better informed decision.
Myth – Eating Smaller Meals More Often is Better for You
You will hear many people say that you should aim to eat five to six smaller meals a day to help promote weight loss, however, this theory does not hold a lot of ground. Regardless of whether you eat three large meals, or six smaller ones, it is your total calorie consumption that matters. Of course, if you are doing certain kinds of training, you may need to consider eating smaller meals to ensure you eat sufficient carbs and protein within your training window.
Myth – You Can Quickly Achieve Long-Lasting Results
You will see a multitude of fad diets and personal trainers advertising services that will give you long-lasting results in minimal amounts of time; the downside of this is while you may notice quick results, they will not be long-lasting and, more importantly, won’t be healthy for your body. Any diet that encourages you to eat in a massive calorie deficit will result in you losing a lot of weight quickly, but you are essentially starving your body. As a result of this, your body is more likely to hang onto fat during digestion, slowing your metabolism. After some time, you are likely to put a lot of the weight back on and can create an unhealthy lifestyle in the end. Instead, choose to invest in yourself, and rather than looking for quick fixes, opt for those that will take you on a journey that truly transforms you and helps you build a healthier lifestyle for good.
Myth – If You Don’t Sweat, You Don’t Burn Fat
Let’s be honest…any workout can make you sweat! Heck, just running up the stairs can make you sweat; but does that mean you are actually burning fat? Unfortunately, the answer to this is no. When you sweat, your internal temperature rises in which water is secreted. The way in which fat is burnt is an entirely different process and unfortunately the two are not linked!
Myth – You Can Out Train a Bad Diet
Your nutrition plays a major part in how your body responds to the exercise you do. This is not intended to mean you should never enjoy treats or things that do not align with your typical nutritional goals. Instead, it means you should focus on your nutrition for the majority of the time. Think of it like this: if you work out for 90 minutes per day, but eat poorly for 6 hours each day, what results will you see first? There is no point in putting in some hard work during a group class or solo session and then chomp down on some McDonald’s day after day! To be blunt, you will never see the results you want if this is what happens on a regular basis. Remember – everything in moderation!
Myth – You Can Spot Reduce Fat
If any personal trainer or anyone ever tells you they have a plan that can help reduce your stomach fat, they are being dishonest! Fat is stubborn and cannot be spot reduced; when you exercise, you will lose it across your whole body proportionally.
Myth – Cutting Carbs Helps with Fat Loss
Consuming too many carbs can be bad for you, but there is no reason to cut carbs – they are an essential part of your diet! While it is true that carbs raise insulin levels, which consequently blocks the release of fat in order to conserve energy and encourages storage of nutrients, this does not result in fat gain. Fat gain is a result of a calorie surplus, and too many of any food group can cause this.
Navigating the world of fitness and nutrition can be a tough one, but you should always do your research before buying into any plans! Remember, do everything in moderation. If it sounds too good to be true, albeit “lose x amount of pounds in x amount of days,” it most likely is. Focus on your strengths, fix your weaknesses and try the simple solution of eating well, exercising daily, and getting enough rest to do it all over again.