There are a lot of common misconceptions in the health and fitness world. Some are quite believable and I thought these were the truth for some time. Here are the top five biggest fitness and nutrition myths out there.
I’m guilty of believing ALL of these. But after trying them out, wondering what the heck I did wrong when they didn’t work, and doing some research, I learned that you shouldn’t always believe everything your hear.
That’s when someone says “Look at my belly roll y’all, time to do some crunches to get rid of it.” No.
Sorry, but it doesn’t work like that.
You can’t just choose a spot where you want to lose fat and only exercise that body part.
I used to hate my jiggly thighs (they still jiggle, but I’m cool with it!) so I would do the dumbest ish. Like, leg lifts on the floor. I’d lie on my side and lift my leg up, completely sure that I was smoothing my cellulite. Um, what?
Look, I wish it were true, I wish we could choose where we lose fat, and gain it too. Because, uh hello? The boobies are usually the first to go. 🙁 Well for me anyway.
Y’all don’t need to waste your time doing something that’s not going to give you the results you want. But, these exercises aren’t a total loss. You actually should be doing them, but for a different reason… strength and muscle gain!
What you need to understand is what you’re doing when you’re performing these isolation movements (working on one part of the body).
You’re working the muscle under the fat. So, what’s going to happen is, that muscle is going to get stronger (and grow if your diet is on point). Unfortunately, you’re not going to see it if there is a layer of fat over it.
So how do you get the fat off?
It’s about calories in vs. calories out.
Burn more calories than you eat, and you’ll lose fat. Cardio is the way to go, and throw in some strength training exercises too. The two combined in addition to a healthy diet will make you a fat burning machine!
Check out my post on the best cardio for fat loss.
Have you seen some of these posts or infographics floating around on the internet about negative calories? It’s totally magical right? If it were true..
The myth says that various fruits and vegetables such as celery, berries, cucumbers, broccoli, and even apples will burn more calories during digestion then they actually contain. Not really sure who came up with the apple one, they average around 20g of sugar each.
Why doesn’t it work?
Lemme explain the thermic effect for you.
The thermic effect is how much energy is used to digest food. Yes, you use energy and burn calories during digestion, but only a small fraction of your daily calories are assigned to this task. Around 10% of your daily caloric intake are used in digestion.
So unfortunately, you can’t eat 7 cucumbers to offset that loaded FroYo. In a perfect world right? Wait.. I don’t think I would want to eat 7 cucumbers anyway.
Yes you should definitely eat these “negative calorie foods” because they’re super nutritious and packed with fiber. The fiber in these foods will make you feel fuller faster, so I don’t think you could eat tons of celery sticks without feeling like you wanna puke.
Don’t Eat After 8PM
Or is it 6PM?
I don’t know, what time people say. All I do know is that it’s a bunch of bull. If you want a snack at 11PM then eat it!
I’m all about freedom when it comes to food, and I fully believe that if you restrict yourself in any way, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Your metabolism doesn’t stop just because of the time on the clock.
You’re still gonna be burning calories allll through the night. Your metabolism won’t be as high as it is during the day when you’re active, but that nighttime snack won’t turn into fat just because it’s nighttime. As long as you’re staying within your daily caloric range, you’re good to go!
This myth is likely believable because of the choices people make when snacking at night. I was totally guilty of this too, choosing a high sugar snack to help me relax in the evening.
If you want a snack, make it a healthy one. Don’t worry about the time. It’s not about when you eat, it’s about what you eat. Choose wisely.
Fat Makes You Fat
If you eat too many calories, you will gain fat. It doesn’t matter where those calories come from, carbohydrates, protein, or fat.
With the rise in popularity of the Keto Diet, it’s starting to become more common to believe that fat can help you lose weight. When done properly of course.
You shouldn’t be afraid to eat fat, as long as it’s the right kind.
Good fats are great for brain health, they help your body absorb vitamins and minerals, promote healthy hair and skin, can make you feel fuller longer, and give you energy.
Olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, nuts, seeds, and some animals contain monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. These are the good kind of fat! They lower your risk of heart disease, reduce inflammation, raise HDL (good cholesterol), and are good for your bones, joints, and skin.
Saturated fats are typically found in dairy and animal products. While they’re fine to consume, they’re not as beneficial as polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats. Just limit them!
Stay away from transaturated fats, they’re not natural. They increase inflammation, LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol), and other diseases. Always read your food labels.
The only way fat can make you fat is if you eat more than your body can burn. Calories in vs calories out!
Carbs Make You Fat
This myth speaks to my heart y’all. I am living proof that this myth is total BS.
I ate low carb diets, such as Keto, to lose weight. They didn’t work for me. In fact, I GAINED fat. Yes, fat. Yes, I had my body fat percentage checked before and after. Maybe I went about it the wrong way and ate the wrong kinds of fat. I tracked my food daily, but maybe I somehow misjudged how much I was actually eating. There’s no way to say for sure, why I gained fat. But I do know what DID NOT cause that fat gain, and that is carbs. Because I wasn’t eating them.
It was not until I resumed eating carbs that I lost the fat I had gained.
Everyone’s body is different. We’re not all going to react to the same diets the same way. What doesn’t work for me may be the best thing you’ve ever tried. But hey, you never know until you try it!
Now let’s talk about carbs again..
Many people believe that carbs make you gain fat because of insulin. When you eat carbs, your body produces insulin. It’s believed that insulin causes our bodies to store fat.
And this is true if you eat an excessive amount of carbs. I believe that carbs are the easiest macronutrient to overeat! Who really has that much self control that they can just eat a few cheese fries and call it a day? Not me!
Slow digesting complex carbs, such as sweet potatoes, brown rice, or oatmeal are the best choices when it comes to carbs. These will cause your insulin levels to rise slowly and won’t cause an energy crash.
Simple carbs, like candy and sugar, can cause a spike in blood sugar followed by an energy crash. Not too fun.
It all comes down to calories again. If you take in too many calories than you’re burning, you’re going to pack on some fat.
There are so many fitness and nutrition myths out there. Don’t always believe the hype! Do your own research, and find out what’s best for you. If you prefer not to eat in the evenings, then don’t! If your body functions best without carbs, don’t eat them!
We’re all different! You just have to experiment and learn your body.
Is there a common myth that I didn’t cover? What do you think about it?