Myths serve a purpose. At least the “traditional” kind do. There were lessons to be learned from the classic Greek and Roman Myths and still are, despite the fact that today, we know they are nothing more than fanciful stories.
The problem with diet and fitness myths, however, is that they get passed around so much, and even appear in print and on the internet, that people start to accept them as truth. And nothing can get in the way of your weight loss and fitness goals more than not being able to separate fact from fiction – except maybe an angry Minotaur!
So, here in no particular order are our list of the 7 Worst Diet and Fitness Myths – BUSTED!
- Dieting and Working Out Turns Fat Into Muscle
Muscle and fat are two completely different kinds of tissues in your body. You can no more “turn” fat into muscle; then you can turn straw into gold! You can think of it this way, muscle is like your body’s engine and gears, and it takes energy to run the machine. Fat can be one source of that energy. So when you work out, you build muscle and reduce fat, by consuming that energy. Conversely, when you laze around and eat, and do not use your muscles, they degrade, and your body stores more fat. But in either case, one does not, and cannot “turn” into the other.
- All Carbs are Bad – PERIOD
A lot of dieters and even some trainers and nutritionists insist that “all carbs are bad.” But the truth is, your muscles crave carbs. In fact, carbohydrates are the main source of fuel used by the body to function properly, not only physically but mentally as well. Without carbs, you would not have the strength and stamina to work out, and even if you did, you would likely be disappointed in the results.
The point is there are “good carbs” and “bad carbs,” you need to learn to tell the difference. Fruits, veggies, whole grains are good carbs.
Anything “white” as in bread, rice and pasta are “bad” carbs. Of course, alcohol, soda, candy and other junk, are all bad carbs. However, even certain bad carbs can be “good” under certain circumstance because they can get absorbed by the body quickly, and burned slowly. This is why marathon runners will often load up on pasta.
- Crunches and “AB Machines” Will Give You a Six-Pack
You can pretty much dismiss any “ab machine” or device sold on late night TV that promises you to bust belly-fat and build “six-pack” abs, as a myth. But a lot of people also think doing this kind of workout on legitimate machines in a gym will turn that spare tire into a washboard! This goes back to myth Number One.
You can’t turn fat into muscle. Working out will help you burn fat. But you cannot pick and choose where it will do so. Crunches will help strengthen the muscles around your midsection and improve your posture, but you won’t be able to “see” your abdominal muscles until you reduce your overall percentage of body fat.
- Five Fruits A Day
This is one of my favorites. I constantly run into people that think “eating five fruits a day” is like an antidote to eating burgers, fries and other junk. It isn’t. Yes, it is a good idea to eat “five servings of fruits a day” but not on top of other junk! The recommendation is meant to be taken as a substitute for high fat and high starch foods!
- Fat Free is A-OK
And speaking of high fat foods, this is another one of my favorites! People think as long as a food is “fat-free” it’s a “diet food,” and will not make you put on weight. The food marketing industry loves to play on this and proudly emblazons bags of Marshmallows, Jelly Beans, and Twizzlers as “A FAT FREE FOOD.” Yeah, maybe, but they are loaded with sugar – and will wreak havoc with any diet!
- If You’re Not Sweating, You’re Not Working Out
I hear gym rats say all of the time, that if you’re are not working up a sweat you are not burning any calories. That is just not true. Sweating is the way your body cools itself, not how it burns calories. You can be active, and healthy and burn plenty of calories by doing simple exercises like walking, or light weight training – and never break a sweat!
- Woman Will Look Like Men If They Strength Train
This is a terrible myth that keeps many women from strength training. They’re afraid that if they strength train by weightlifting, they will “look like men.” No way! The truth is weightlifting and strength training is the surest way for men and women to burn fat, build lean muscle, and boost resting metabolism.
Keep reading these pages if you want to stay abreast of the truth about, diet, fitness and healthy weight loss.