There is a lot of silly misinformation out there when it comes to health and fitness. Over the years I have heard numerous myths that have ran through the fitness industry and eventually gathered enough steam that they became believable by the masses.
Here are my Top 5 Fitness Myths Exposed:
Myth 1: Spot Training Helps You Burn Fat in Specific Areas
This is one I get a lot. Some people believe that focusing exercise to certain muscle groups and parts of the body can help burn fat in those areas. Unfortunately, fat loss doesn’t work that way.
For example, doing any form of core (abdominal) exercise will certainly help strengthen and tone the abdominal muscles, however, it will not burn fat specific to that area.
Fat is distributed relative to the individuals unique body type, therefore, the pattern of fat gain or loss has more to do with each person’s unique body than it does with the type of aerobic exercise or spot training exercise they perform.
Does this mean that you should not perform these spot training exercise? Absolutely not.
Muscle will still tone and develop when hit with a certain stimulus from exercise. The key is to incorporate the correct type of diet for your body type in order to burn the fat around those problem areas.
Myth 2: Eating Carbs Makes You Fat
The latest thing in the fitness world is that fat no longer makes ‘Fat’, and that carbs do instead.
This is complete nonsense to a certain degree.
Here are the reasons why, in my opinion.
Some people are more fat dominant than others. What I mean by this is that they utilize fat more efficiently than carbs as an energy source. On the other hand, some people are more carb dominant than others. The problem arises when an excess of carbs, primarily the wrong carbs are consumed by someone who is fat dominant and vice versa.
Also, if an individual consumes a lot of fat and carbs in their diet, naturally they are going to put on weight.
For carbs to make one fat, they would need to work in concert with a poor diet and lack of exercise which makes those latter two more readily blamed.
Myth 3: Eating Fatty Food Makes You Fat
Even though it may seem obvious that eating fat makes you fat, this is not necessarily true. Fat in moderation is a necessary part of any healthy and balanced diet. Fats are essential for cellular function.
Putting on more weight in the form of fat is a result of energy imbalance. In other words, too many calories in relative to calories required. You will gain weight if you take in more calories than you burn. Fat is a concentrated source of calories, but it is not necessary to eliminate fat from your diet completely.
Fat can make you fat, but so can carbohydrates and (to a much lesser degree) protein; it just matters that you over-consume the source of calories. Granted some fats are seen as ‘better’ than others (such as coconut oil and fish oil relative to trans fats) which accounts for some variability in weight gain, but weight gain will occur when ‘excess’ is consumed (whatever that may be to your body).
So fat won’t make you fat, unless you eat too much of it.
Myth 4: The Scale Is a Good Way to Help You Manage Your Fat Loss Progress
When you diet and exercise, you want SOME proof that your efforts actually matter. Traditionally, we’ve stepped on the scale to see our weight decrease and considered that progress. For a variety of reasons, your weight will mislead you. You’re made of a lot more than just fat—water especially—so losing a pound can mean progress or it can mean nothing at all.
Using the scale is not the best way to track the progress of a healthy diet and exercise. The scale treats both fat and muscle the same way – a pound of fat is the same as a pound of muscle. If you’re strengthening your muscles during your exercise regimen, you might actually see a small amount of weight gain rather than weight loss, which is not a bad thing. A better way to track the progress of diet and exercise is to monitor how you feel and how you look.
Myth 5: Muscle can be turned to fat
Think about how ridiculous this statement is! There is no biological pathway for muscle to “turn into fat”. Like all myths, this one has a grain of truth. If you stop working out you lose strength and muscle mass, no mystery here. Exercise uses calories, if you stop working out and don’t decrease your food intake then you get fat. Put those two facts together and you see why this myth got started.
To your health and fitness,