Every year the 1st of January rolls around and so do dozens of old and outdated fitness myths. Having goals is great, but relying on popup ads selling waist trainers is not.
Keep reading to find out the truth about some of this New Year's most popular fitness myths and trends!
1. "The more I sweat, the more weight I'm losing!"
This myth has been around forever and while I love a good sweat as much as the next girl and sweating is good for it's own reasons, sweating does not equate to weight loss. Sweating happens as a natural response in order to cool the body down. Weight or fat loss happens when the body is in a calorie deficit and therefore needs to burn fat cells for fuel.
2. "Fruit has too much sugar! Avoid it!"
I might hate this myth most of all. Fruit is a nutrient dense, vitamin filled, naturally-derived food. It has plenty of fiber and is satiating to help avoid overconsumption. The sugar in fruit is natural and easily digested for fast energy. I've never met someone who said their biggest problem losing weight was eating too much fruit... In conclusion: eat fruit.
3. "No pain no gain, if you don't feel sore you didn't get a good workout."
Being sore for multiple days post workout actually hinders your body's ability to make gains! Soreness means that significant stress was applied to your muscles. A little soreness for 24-48 hours is okay, but soreness that lasts for longer than two days or feels painful to sit or walk is too much. Your body needs to be able to recover in order to progress and build muscle. So light soreness is okay and just means you pushed yourself, but don't overdo it or you risk minimizing your gains!
4. "Exercising on an empty stomach is best for fat-loss"
It makes sense and while it's partially true, it may not be worth it or might just need to be strategized to be effective. Without glucose from calories readily available in the bloodstream, the body might turn to burning fat, but it also might burn muscle for fuel since that's actually easier to break down. If you're someone who likes to workout fasted, you can prevent this my making sure you have a good size dinner and potentially eating later in the evening. You could also just have a cup or orange juice or a banana at least 30-60 minutes before working out in the morning.
5. "A detox will reset your system and help you lose weight"
There are a few problems with this one. First, while you will likely see a drop in weight when you forgo solid foods, it will be mostly water weight and will just jump right back on the minute you start eating again. Second, the body has a method of "detoxing" itself. It's called your liver, kidneys, lymphatic system, skin, and more. Our bodies are pretty good at ridding themselves of toxins, and they usually don't need help doing it.
6. "Exercising a few times a week will counteract the effects of sitting at my desk all day"
Exercising a few times a week is great! But it won't negate the negative effects that your body experiences from sitting all day. For that you'll need to do a bit more. Try being intentional about getting up every half hour or taking daily walks while you make your phone calls. Moving more throughout the day will increase your neat (non exercise activity thermogenesis), which is a fancy term that basically means daily calorie burn from activities other than exercise. Not to mention that moving more (or I should say sitting less) will improve your posture, digestion, and energy levels as well.
7. "I'll just burn off my burger and fries with some extra cardio tomorrow"
Again - kind of true and kind of not. Basically, calories are processed differently depending on what they're composed of, how much you eat, and who's body is eating it. For example, 200 calories of chicken is processed a lot differently than 200 calories of French fries. And my body processes certain foods differently than yours does. So in theory, this myth works. But in reality, there are many more factors involved. Instead of having this "all or nothing" type mindset, it's better to just enjoy the occasional treat meal and then move on. You don't need to work it off or do extra cardio. Just eat the meal and then go back to your routine of consistently eating well and exercising. In the grand scheme of things one meal won't make a huge difference, but your daily actions will change everything.
There are a lot of myths about how to live healthy and fit out there, but hopefully now you know more than when you started reading. My best advice for busting myths is to be a skeptic about anything your read or hear online (even this blog post - I dare you to fact check me!).
And if this blog made you feel like you don't know anything about fitness and have no idea where to begin - don't worry. You're at a great spot to get real advice from a real fitness professional. Start training with me online or in-person and you'll be on track to reach your goals in no time!
Also, check out this years Don't Sweat the New Year fitness challenge HERE and use the code DONTSWEAT for 50% off (only five discounts available!!). This challenge is 28 days of daily tasks to help you get and STAY consistent with exercise! We'll assess your fitness, track your progress, and get you on a routine that you'll want to stay on.