9 Fitness Myths Debunked

There are several questions that my clients often ask or are confused about when they start their health and fitness journey.

You have heard these fitness myths over and over again and you want to understand why exactly they are myths and should be ignored.

By the end of the blog you will have a clear understanding of fitness fact and fitness myths…

1. Will weight training make me bulky?

In short, the answer is no.

The toned look that most women strive for is actually the building of muscle and the stripping of fat.

You will not get big bulging muscles and look like a body builder unless you eat, train and sleep like a body builder.

A woman doesn’t have anywhere near enough testosterone in her body to build muscle like men easily.

You may have seen women like Dana Linn Bailey but these are extremes, body building is part of their life and she will be lifting the heaviest of weights whilst following an intense and advance workout & nutrition protocol.

Having a strength-training programme to build muscle overall (to give you this toned look) will not make you bulky.

I would be more worried about cupcakes making you bulky rather than strength training!

2. Fat Targeting Workouts

We have all seen them. Belly Busting workouts, Thigh Trimming Exercises, the lot. The truth is you cannot tell your body where to lose fat from first.

To lose fat you need to be in a calorie deficit, it takes a deficit of around 3500kcals to lose 1lb. You cannot choose where this fat loss will take place.

If you do all lower body workouts you will get better bang for your buck (as the muscles are larger and require more energy) however there is no guarantee that’s where the fat will go from.

Actually, it is more than likely to come from the place you LEAST want it to, like maybe your boobs. (just going by what clients say!)

If you want to reduce fat around your stomach the best way to do this is to consistently be in a calorie deficit and complete workouts that have many compound movements (Deadlifts, Bench Press, Squat Presses) which use lots of major muscle groups.

Using your body as a tool is also a great way to burn fat; burpees, mountain climbers and squat jumps will get your heart rate up quick and torch calories fast.

3. Exercise more if fat loss stalls

This is not actually always the case. As your body loses body fat your calorie requirements also change.

It is important to re-evaluate your calories and training schedule as your body changes.

Exercise isn’t always the answer either; if your fat loss is stalling there are several factors, which can be contributing to this.

Nutrition would be your first port of call, is your protein intake sufficient? Are you tracking accurately?

Other questions to think about are; are you getting plenty of rest and sleep? Are you getting enough water? Are your stress levels high? Could your menstrual cycle be a factor?

So instead of pushing yourself even harder in the gym, get smart and evaluate your previous week (s). It may be something really simple or you might need to have a closer look.

Fat loss plateaus can always be explained, you just have to work out exactly what it is.

The answer is not to order in a Domino’s and feel sorry for yourself or skip your workouts as you don’t think they matter.

4. Fat turning to Muscle and visa versa

If I could ring a big buzzer now I would do! It is physically impossible for fat to turn to muscle and muscle to turn to fat.

Through exercise your body will start to burn fat (providing you’re in a calorie deficit) and will also start to build muscle gradually.

When you reduce your training or you are in a calorie surplus your muscle mass doesn’t then turn to fat.

For approximately every 3500 calories you over eat you will gain 1lb of fat, if you are not using your muscles they will begin to reduce and that also means that the extra 50 calories you required to fuel your muscle mass is now taking you over your maintenance calories.

The more lean body mass you have the more calories you burn when doing nothing, so even though you may be losing weight you can have more calories due to the extra muscle.

Please note that building muscle for the average woman is between 0.12 – 0.25 pounds of muscle per week (or about 0.5-1 pound of muscle gained per month).

So if each week you are gaining a lb and you think its muscle I would take a closer look at your diet and your measurements as its actually fat you’re gaining.

5. Sweating more means you will lose more weight

I wish it did, but sadly it doesn’t.

Sweating is the natural way for your body to help cool itself during exercise or in hot temperatures.

How much you sweat doesn’t mean you will lose more weight. It just means you sweat more are lose more water weight at that time. Once you rehydrate that water weight will be regained and will not affect your real weight. Any real weight loss will come from what you are doing to make yourself sweat and being in a calorie deficit.

Wearing a sweat suit or going to a sauna will help you lose weight fast, but its water weight as we have mentioned. It will also severely dehydrate you so it is not a safe way to lose weight. Plus as soon as you drink water you will replenish that loss!

6. Carbs make you fat (especially after 6pm!)

The fundamentals of fat loss in basic terms means you need to be in a calorie deficit. What you eat within your calories for fat loss is irrelevant. Now I am not saying eat cookies to lose weight, however you get results as long as you are in a deficit.

Carbs have been the scapegoat for a long while, they have been blamed for people gaining weight and miraculously when people have omitted them from their diet they have lost weight.

This is not due to the avoidance of a vital macronutrient, it is in fact due to the severe calorie deficit giving up carbs gave them.

It is an easy way to reduce calories in your diet, giving up carbs is not necessary to make progress. If you portion control your carbs and ensure you are not eating a plateful you will feel great and lose weight.

Carbs are a vital energy source and have other helpful benefits which you will be in deficit should you avoid them all together.

The after 6pm rule is a joke. Your body doesn’t know what time it is. Your body will not process food any differently whether it be 6pm or before!

So give carbs a break just don’t go mad on them! Everything in moderation is fine.

7. You can only start on a Monday

Every Sunday Facebook is full of statuses of people talking about getting back on track on Monday. Whereas more often than not they knew on Friday or Saturday they had over done it.

However instead of taking action straight away they feel they Monday is the only day to start a fitness and health plan.

The best time to start is right away.

If you are unhappy with your weight or fitness levels – why delay your happiness?

You can start working out any day of the week.

You can start your healthy eating at your very next meal.

No going mad before hand to get it in whilst you can. Any progress you would have made the following week will probably not happen.

Monday may be the start of the week but if you keep putting things off or seeing the week as a time to be ‘good’ and the weekends allow for less than ideal choices you will always be stuck in the viscous circle of gaining and losing the same weight over and over again.

If you are truly ready to lose weight and get healthier and fitter you wouldn’t want to wait another second longer than you had to.

8. Eating Fat makes you Fat

This is due to incorrect government advice, which has been given out for years that made us, scared to eat things like eggs and butter.

As with carbs, fat is not the enemy. It is another vital macronutrient (they’re all vital) and helps your body in many ways and has several benefits.

Fat however, is 9 calories per gram whereas protein and carbs are just 4, meaning you cannot get away with eating as much of it!

There are several companies that have used the low fat fad to cash in on your health concerns. They labelled food as low fat, reduced fat and half fat in a bid to get you to buy it because you have been led to believe it is healthier. When in fact in order to make the low fat alternative food taste palatable they have pumped it full of sugar, sweeteners and other artificial flavourings.

There are certain fats you should avoid eating a lot of these are trans and saturated fats; they highly processed and offer no benefits nutritionally. Unsaturated fats, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are the ones you need to include in your diet.

9. Do I have to eat protein within 30-60 minutes of training?

So there is a rumour that if you don’t eat protein in the 30-60 minutes after a workout that you will not get results!
It is said that eating within an hour of training will aid your muscle recovery and synthesis. These recommendations are geared towards athletes and advanced training people that really need to speed up their recovery due to an intense training session.

The average gym goer does not need to race home to eat or guzzle down a protein shake for fear that their workout will be a waste of time.

What is more important is ensuring you have an overall balanced diet, which is inline with your training. It is your consistent daily intake that makes the most difference with your results, not protein timing post workout or eating before a certain time.

Summarising

There will always be wild claims and faddy diets, which will make up rules to fit their needs and make you feel that without their product or special diet you cannot get results.

Try and do a little research or ask a qualified expert for their opinion to sift through the myths and the facts for you.

If you have any other questions or concerns you would like me to cover please email me at rachael@walkthetalkfitness.co.uk or if you prefer to find out a bit more about me and what I offer you can find out more here www.walkthetalkfitness.co.uk/21days

Join my free Facebook community here: www.facebook.com/groups/bodyconfidenceforbusymums

About the Author

“All in or all out”

Rachael is a vibrant, no-bullshit-talking Scottish nutrition geek and coach helping women to lose weight without giving up their confidence OR their favourite foods.

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