By: Bob Amic
There’s so much information on exercise, nutrition, and fat loss thrown at us on a daily basis that it’s overwhelming. Social media has post after post of the newest and greatest products on the market. The commercials and infomercials continue to hit us with yet another miracle product or scientific breakthrough to absolutely, positively get us the results we want. And of course, there’s the meal plans that claim “I lost 50 pounds by simply eating the food…..”. Most of this only contributes to the myths and misconceptions about our physical health and fitness. When we try these fads and gimmicks, we end up extremely frustrated and on the short end of yet another failed diet or exercise program.
Let’s look at a few fitness myths guaranteed to lead us directly to failure:
Weight training will bulk you up. -- This is my personal favorite, so I’ll start here. Although mostly women are concerned with this one, the simple truth is that muscle size is greatly affected by genetics and hormone production. Women generally don’t have the potential to build very large muscles. However, there are specific training techniques to build muscle, and any weightlifter will tell you that it’s a lot harder than you can imagine adding some quality size.
Carbohydrates are fattening. -- The truth is that anything you eat can be fattening. All foods and drinks that contain calories can be stored as fat it causes your blood sugar levels to exceed what your body needs for energy. Carbohydrates are needed for energy and it’s far more important as to how much you eat and when you eat it.
More exercise is better. -- Most of us fall victim to the idea that more is always better, but this is certainly not the case with fitness. It’s not how many sets you do or how long you do it, it’s quality, not quantity. It is not the work, but the intensity at which you do the work that gets the desired results.
If you exercise, you don’t have to watch your diet. -- If it were only that easy! The unfortunate truth is that a healthy diet is essential to becoming and staying fit. Many people try to compensate for lousy eating habits by training longer or harder, but that leads to a greater opportunity for frustration because you won’t see the results you are looking for.
You can lose fat in specific spots. -- Spot reduction only happens in the laundry cycle. Exercise equipment on the market today claiming to reduce fat in a specific part of your body is nothing more than misleading. There is no such thing as spot reduction as overall body fat must be reduced to lose fat in a certain area.
Muscle weighs more than fat. -- This one is easy. A pound of muscle and a pound of fat both weigh a pound. I’m being a bit cynical, but I hear this often. The truth is that a pound of muscle takes up less room in your body than would a pound of fat.
There is a “Best Workout Program”. There is no best and/or only way to workout. I’ve heard a multitude of questions concerning the best thing to do in they gym. In reality, it’s good for you if it works for you, but don’t stay with the same program for too long. The body will adapt to any exercise routine in approximately 4 to 6 weeks. Change your routine every four weeks or so and view change as your key to efficiency and results. \
By no means is this a complete list. There are far too many to discuss at one time. The bottom line is that we need to continue to question what we see, hear, and read. Every one of us are different and what works for one, may not work for you. Dig a little deeper, do some research, and keep working on what makes good sense to you.