Health and fitness is always changing, always evolving, and what was popular then, isn’t always popular now.
As years go by, what everyone once thought was “the best way” has been proven now to not be the most effective way to lose weight, get stronger, or gain muscle.
But this is a good thing. This means that people are out there researching, testing things out, and relying on science to determine fact or fiction.
Here are just a few things that have been proven to NOT be true over the years:
Spot Reducing Fat
You can't spot reduce a certain area, like the midsection for example. You have to lose overall body fat, to start seeing definition from your midsection. Also, where people lose body fat more quickly can be very different from person to person. For example, one person might lean out quickly in their upper body, while their lower body is a little slower and vice versa. So be patient, stay consistent and enjoy the process!
Muscle definition comes from lifting low weight, high rep
Research has shown that training in a variety of rep ranges is optimal for building muscle. Also, it takes years and years to build a good amount of muscle. If you don't have much muscle, you won't see much definition, even when you lose weight. The best advice is to follow a training program that is designed with progressive overload, meaning your intensity and load slowly increases and you are working on setting PRs. You will plateau if you are always lifting the same weights. For muscle growth to occur, you have to be progressing.
You have to cut out carbs to lose weight
This is an old myth, yet so many people still fall into it. Carbs are NOT the enemy. Especially if you are an active individual, following a training regimen, carbs are going to help you. They provide your body with energy and will make a huge difference in your training intensity. It really just comes down to your total energy balance and how many carbs you need for your specific goals. Track your macros and don't be afraid of carbs! 😉
Just Eat Clean to be healthy
If by clean you mean whole and unprocessed food, that's great and many people could benefit from this. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that only eating these foods is more satisfactory than eating these foods plus some processed foods and treats thrown in there, like the 80/20 rule. That's the beauty of flexible dieting. We say this because the more restrictive you are with your diet (aka nutrition), the harder it is to stay compliant with your plan. Be strict, not restrictive. Focus on consuming nutrient dense, high quality foods, and also foods that you enjoy but may not really have any nutritional benefit. A late research study took two groups: One ate only "clean" foods and the others ate unrestricted with a balance of both whole and processed foods. Both groups caloric intake were identical and because of that, there was no difference in fat/weight loss or change in health status.
The more you sweat, the more fat you burn
Sweat is just a way the body releases heat, and really doesn't have anything to do with exercise intensity. That's why you can just be sitting in the hot sun and start sweating. But, wouldn't it be nice if this were true?! 😉
Avocados, peanut butter, and coconut oil are healthy fats that help you lose weight
Yes, these are all great sources of fats and your body does need enough fat to carry out it's functions and support your hormones. However, the key word is "enough." This is an instance where more is not better. Just with the carbs, you need to find out how much fat your body needs according to your goals. Fat is a lot more calorically dense than carbs and fat. Fat contains 9 calories per gram (whereas carbs and protein contain 4 calories per gram). This means, the more fat you have in your diet, the quicker the calories are going to add up, and we all know now, that if you are consuming more calories than you are expending, you will not lose weight.
Fasted cardio burns more fat than fed cardio
This is another myth that people still believe today. The latest research has shown that when performing cardio in a fasted state, your body will pull energy from your fat stores. When performing cardio in a fed state, your body pulls energy from glycogen. The key thing to note is that even though you may not be utilizing fat during the fed cardio session, your body utilizes fat for energy later in the day. When fed, you will most likely be able to exert more energy and perform your cardio at a higher intensity than in a fasted state. When performing HIIT cardio, research shows that your body continues to burn calories after the session is over, whereas steady state cardio does not. The most important thing to note is that no cardio will result in weight loss if your body is not in a caloric deficit. So again, make sure you are eating less calories than you expend if your goal is weight loss and just use cardio as a tool to help create that deficit.
High protein diets are bad for your kidneys
If you have healthy kidneys, a high protein diet is not going to hurt or damages your kidneys in any way. Your kidneys do their job to process it. Unless you have a pre-existing kidney condition, research shows that high protein diets are highly satisfactory for fat loss and building muscle.
A detox/cleanse will help me lose weight
Don't waste your money on pricy cleanses and detoxes. You have a liver, so let it do it's job! Our bodies are very smart and have their own natural ways of detoxifying. Whenever someone comes to us saying they feel like they need a detox, this is what we recommend: Cut out alcohol (for at least a couple weeks), eat lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, drink lots of water, take your vitamins, and balance out your macros while making sure your calories are in line with your individual goals and needs. It's amazing how great they will feel and they won't have wasted money on unnecessary things.
Lifting heavy makes women bulky
It's good to know women are starting to realize this is SO not true and are venturing into the weight room. However, there are still women who still worry about this and are afraid of stepping off the treadmill and picking up the weights. I understand if you feel uncomfortable because you don't know what you are doing and running on a treadmill is easy and "safe," but let me assure you, lifting will not make you look like a man. Women don't have enough testosterone (most men don't either 😉 ) to get huge. The pictures of bodybuilders and crossfit girls that are jacked are taking drugs....and usually not just one, but several different ones. Also, if a women is lifting weights, but consuming too many calories, then she might feel like she is getting "bulky" but that is because of the extra fat on her body, not the muscle. In that instance she would just need to adjust her nutrition to help her lean out. But trust us on this one, the best thing you can do for your body is to lift weights, get stronger, and take the time to build some muscle. It will give you the definition you want, that cardio alone will not. If you've never lifted weights before, hire a trainer (or reach out to us) to coach you and get you started. A solid strength training regimen, paired with the right nutrition plan can totally transform your physique resulting in a stronger, leaner, you...with all the right curves, in all the right places. 🙂
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