We live in an interesting era of information. Between the internet—where anybody can post anything and say it’s true—and the health and nutrition insights our parents passed down to us (spoiler alert: they may be as reliable as the internet), it’s hard to put a finger on what health, fitness, and nutrition information is true and what is false. We’re here to help. Let us debunk 4 of the biggest myths that you’ve been hanging onto for far too long.
How many times have you gotten excited to start hitting the gym or begin dieting, only to find that with each piece of research you did, the more confused you got?
Every bit of information in the health and fitness universe seems to conflict with another resource, making it hard to know what’s really true out there. All you wanted was some clarity on what to do at the gym or what to make in the kitchen, but you just found yourself more stuck than ever.
One friend will tell you that fat is bad for you and your cholesterol, and the next will tell you that it’s all they eat.
Your parents will tell you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and then you’ll read an article about intermittent fasting and how skipping breakfast could be the best thing you’ve ever done for your body.
Your sister once said that lifting heavy weights makes you bulky, but some YouTuber showed you how wrong your sister was.
Is your head spinning yet?
It’s time that we clear the air about a few of the biggest myths that get passed around, whether they were spread by word of mouth, the furthest corners of the internet, or generational misinformation.
The following are the 4 biggest myths that you may have believed about health and fitness. Once these myths have been busted, you’ll be able to move forward with less confusion and more intention as you look to create the body you love.
“To Lose Weight, I Need to Do Cardio”
If you want to drop a few pounds to fit into your favorite dress, you might envision long runs outside or stints on the Stairmaster as you think about what it will take to get the job done.
I’m happy to tell you that you don’t need to do any of that. Cardio has nothing to do with shedding weight, and don’t let any guru or girlfriend tell you otherwise. It can certainly help you lose some weight, but it is not mandatory.
Weight loss, at its simplest level, is just a numbers game. If you burn more calories than you take in, your body will take care of the difference, leaving a few pounds lighter. So, in order to lose weight, you just need to take in less calories or burn more of them. Cardio can help burn them, but it’s not the only way to get the job done.
Don’t imprison yourself to hour after hour on the treadmill when there are plenty of other ways to reach your weight loss goal. Weight training, HIIT, or even Zumba class can be just as good at shedding the calories you’ve stored up in your body.
“Isn’t it true that if I eat less, I’ll get thinner?”
A number of bad things will happen if you stop eating. Your blood sugar level will plummet, and that triggers your appetite. You’ll get cravings. If you don’t eat for a long enough time, your survival mechanism kicks in, and your metabolism will slow to conserve energy. You’ll turn into a machine with one mission: find the next meal. People make this mistake all the time when they say: “I don’t understand. I’m exercising, I’m not eating, and I’m still fat.” They’re missing the point. You want to eat, but you’ll want to carefully balance the composition of those meals, so that you set your metabolism up to burn fat and build muscle.
“ I’m Fat Because I Was Born with a Slow Metabolism”
Research shows that the majority of people have an average metabolism. But people assume they have awful metabolisms because they see themselves gaining weight with ease. The truth is, if they were to start eating right and exercising, they’d see dramatic changes in their bodies.
Sure, there’s a bell curve: there are some extremely skinny people who seem to be able to eat anything that’s not nailed down and not gain an ounce. There are also morbidly obese people whose metabolisms work much slower than normal. But no matter what, your situation can be improved. A clinically obese person may never be a waiflike model, but she can mitigate it—instead of weighing 300 pounds, she might be able to use diet and exercise to work her way down to 150 pounds—and keep it off.
That’s because metabolisms—yours, mine, Hugh Jackman’s, Charlize Theron’s—can be sped up. (Or slowed down, if you make the wrong choices.)
“Lifting Weights Will Make Me Bulky”
I still have the sense that whoever started this gem of a rumor just didn’t want women to come into the weight room and take over the benches and squat racks.
Lifting heavy weights will not make you look like the Hulk.
It WILL make your butt look amazing, your arms look lean, and your overall body look strong.
Lifting weights stimulates muscle tissue and your metabolism for hours after you are done exercising. Muscle tissue burns a lot of calories and can help you get leaner.
So don’t be afraid of using weight training to improve your look and health.
If you’ve let these four myths stop you from taking action on your health goals, I hope that this information set you free to chase down your fitness dreams. Don’t let misinformation keep you feeling stuck and without hope of transforming that beautiful body of yours. You got this!
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Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and is not meant as medical advice, nor is it to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Please consult your physician before starting or changing your diet or exercise program. Any use of this information is at the sole discretion and responsibility of the user.