You go to the gym every day, complete workouts specialized for your problem areas and only eat raw foods, yet you still haven’t reached your goal. What gives? Unfortunately, just as some of our famous legends teach us, looks can be deceiving. Information available to us about health and fitness can sometimes be full of mythical facts. So now you are probably thinking, “well great, what’s real and what isn’t?” Well, my time watching Mythbusters has paid off. Here are 10 of the trickiest nutrition and exercise myths to watch out for before starting on your healthy lifestyle journey.
Myths About Eating Healthy
1. Protein bars are a good meal replacement
False, false and false. A protein bar is a highly processed food, meaning it takes fewer calories to digest. If food requires less energy for your body to get rid of it, your chances of continuously burning calories throughout the day are diminished. I suggest a protein bar as a snack replacement. If you are craving chocolate or something sweet one day, pick up a peanut butter and chocolate protein bar. It will give you the sweetness you need without sending you over your calorie count for the day.
2. Calcium is only from dairy products
For all the lactose intolerant people out there, despite what you learned growing up, you can get calcium from other foods besides dairy. Food sources like broccoli and sesame seeds contain a good amount of calcium.
3. Fruits are not fattening
Sadly this is a fruity myth. Fruits are naturally sweet and full of accessible carbs that can actually make you gain weight. Accessible carbs provide your body with enough fuel that stop it from burning fat. Eating fruit in moderation is key to staying healthy.
4. All vegetables are the same
Not all vegetables are created equal, especially in terms of calories and nutrition. If your diet plan calls for a particular type of vegetable, chances are there is a reason for it. Make sure you check before switching your broccoli with brussel sprouts, you might be surprised by the difference.
5. Cutting carbs is the only way to lose weight
Diets promote that their solution is the only one that works. These plans have you cut carbs or make other single changes, claiming that it is the one sure way you can reach your goal. However, as long as you are following a healthy, myth-free food and exercise regiment, you will see results. Don’t just focus on one change to your health plan. A healthy body requires an equal balance of diet, weight-lifting and cardio.
Myths About all Things Fitness
1. Run Forest, Run!
Many people believe that the best way to get into shape is to run for at least an hour a day. Myth! Your fitness success is dependent on you and your personal goal. If your goal is to improve your running, then yes running is the right exercise plan for you. However, if your goal is to lose weight, running for an extended period might not produce the results you want. The more you do of one particular exercise, like running, the more resistant your body becomes, burning fewer and fewer calories each time.
2. Get Ripped From Yoga
The fundamental purpose of yoga is to calm your mind and restore your body’s natural healing ability. It wasn’t until the Western world started practicing the technique that people began to use yoga for exercise. However, yoga will not get your ripped! Your body does not burn many calories during a yoga session because it does not require much oxygen. Those toned yogis that you see in class are most likely adding weight training to their exercise agenda. This doesn’t mean that you should stop yoga, though. It is an excellent way to heal and restore your body after a tough day at work or the gym.
3. More Sweat, More Fat Loss
If only fat could be vaporized, but sadly this one’s a myth. Despite how sweaty you get, you aren’t burning or losing more weight. Sweat is just your body’s way of releasing heat.
4. Repetition Builds Muscles
Several factors come into play when you are trying to build muscle and tone your body. How lean and defined your body becomes is due to having enough muscle mass and lower body fat. If you are only using light weights, you will not build enough muscle. Without enough muscle mass, you can’t reduce enough fat. To end this vicious cycle, up your weight lifting amount and concentrate on building and becoming stronger. Ditch the repetitions with smaller weights!
5. Spot Reducing Problem Areas
I saved the best myth for last: the belief that you can spot-reduce your problem area. For years, I have tried to slim my thighs but other areas of my body always seemed to go first. It didn’t matter what exercise I used, it was always the same results; my thighs were the last ones to tone up. As my experience as evidence, spot reducing is simply not possible. Your body’s genetic make-up determines how and where you lose weight. Working out, eating healthy and giving yourself time is the only way to see problem areas fade. Trust me, if spot reduction were possible, I would have thighs like Carrie Underwood.
Don’t let these blurry Bigfoot pictures of the health world trick you! Let HealingRadius help you with all your fitness and wellness questions and needs!
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Allyson Miller is a bookworm, history nerd and outdoor enthusiast who loves writing creative and informational content for SBT in Rock Hill, SC. Depending on the day, you can find her with her nose in historical documents, shopping for trendy exercise outfits or trying new cooking recipes. Allyson dreams that one day, engineers will figure out a way to build roller coasters sans the incline, ridding her of coasterphobia.