There is a lot of information about health and fitness that sometimes it feels like everytime you think you’ve figured it out, something comes along to contradict it. It’s not just you! There is a lot of information out there. And just like anything else, myths about fitness somehow seem to make their way into the information, making it more confusing than it has to be.
So we wanted to debunk some of the biggest fitness myths that seem to be floating around. These can be the most damaging when you are trying to lose weight or get healthy, and we want to make sure you have all the information to be successful.
Myth #1: Carbs are bad
Carbs are not bad. In fact, carbohydrates have a role in a healthy nutrition plan. It’s how you use them that effects your goals in a good or a bad way. If you understand how carbs work, then you can use them to your advantage when trying to hit your fitness goals.
Some examples are include knowing what is a quality carbohydrate for your fitness goals, when to eat them, and how much of them you should eat. Knowing things like this can amplify your fitness goals and help make carbs work for you!
Carbs are not bad. Misunderstanding how carbs affect your goal CAN be bad.
Myth #2: Fat is bad
Fat is not bad. Fat plays a major role in any healthy nutrition plan. It is actually critical for many structures and functions in the body to keep you healthy.
But, just like most things in life, too much of a good thing can be bad. Monitoring fat intake is important for people trying to lose weight. It’s also important to understand that there are different types of fat that affect your body in good and bad ways.
Balancing one’s fat intake is a major contributing factor to maximizing body composition.
Myth #3: You have to do aerobic cardio to lose weight
Let’s start by just stating a very important fact; in order to lose weight we must operate at a caloric deficit. Long, aerobic cardio sessions are one way to burn more calories in the day than are consumed. But it is not the only way to burn calories and go into a deficit and it’s not necessarily the best way for everyone.
Studies have shown short, anaerobic exercise bouts can be just as effective and can potentially burn just as many calories during the workout in a fraction of the time. We say the best type of exercise is the one that you like to do and will actually do!
In order to have lasting effects from an exercise routine, you must have consistency above all else. If long, aerobic exercise is your cup of tea then have at it, but it is not the only way to lose weight, and arguably not the best either, unless that’s what you enjoy.
Myth #4: Snacking is bad
It’s not the snacking that is bad. It’s the mindless calories that you might be consuming by constantly snacking. If all the snacking you are doing puts your body in a calorie surplus, you won’t be losing weight, instead you’ll be gaining it. If you are very active, your body will find use for calories.
Many argue that snacking can actually maintain metabolism and blood sugars, rather than allowing it to roller coaster up and down throughout the day. That is due to the constant stream of calories and keeping your system constantly burning.
We like 5-6 small meals throughout the day rather than 2-3 big meals, but we have realized fantastic results using both styles.
Myth #5: Certain foods burn fat
It has been said that certain foods, such as celery and grapefruit, burn fat. This myth comes from the fact that it is believed that these foods take more calories to burn than are actually in them. While this may be true for celery, using that theory is not only crazy due to the fact that you’d have to eat it all day, but also dangerous because it’s not healthy to eat foods in that volume.
There are also some foods that can speed up your metabolism for a very short time, but these food items do not cause weight loss.
Foods do not inherently burn fat, and these should not be used in such a way.
Myth #6: Lifting weights will make you “bulky”
This is one of the top concerns for beginner female lifters. It is a bit naïve to think that while there are millions of people that try very hard to get ‘bulky’, you are going to do it by accident!
Lifting weights will not necessarily add substantial size. Depending on the amount of sets, repetitions and weight you use, you may not gain any size whatsoever. Many weight-conscious athletes lift very heavy weight strategically to NOT add any bodyweight at all.
Getting “bulky” is hard work, you will not accomplish this by accident.
Myth #7: If you do a lot of exercise you can eat whatever you want
The reason why people can go through training for a marathon, yet not lose any weight is because they believe this myth.
Unfortunately we cannot eat whatever we want just because we exercise a lot. It is easier to consume calories than to burn them. Especially if you are fueling the exercise during the bout, you may be surprised how quickly you can make up those calories when mashing through pizza slices.
And just as your life style changes as you age, so does your activity levels. In college when you were playing a sport and walking to class you might be able to eat a whole pizza and not gaining weight. That changes a lot when you start driving to work and sitting at a desk job and no longer workout to make the team.
Eating calories is easier than burning them. We tend to overestimate how many calories we burn each day and underestimate how many we eat.
We hope dispelling some of these fitness myths floating around makes starting a workout and eating plan easier. Don’t fear the carbs, the fat, the weight rack, or the mid afternoon healthy snack. Learn to make these things work for you. Meal plans that carb cycle utilize carbs to help you lose weight and hit your fitness goals. If you’re not sure what carbs to eat, or how much to eat, then you can read more here. Got any other fitness myths that you need us to bust? Leave them in the comments below!
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