The fitness industry gets noisy sometimes with fitness myths and out of this world fitness advice. There’s someone with a diet that works and they push it in your face to try it. If you are female, someone will say to you that lifting weights will make you look bulky if you are a woman. Jen Selter says you must do a 30-day squat challenge if you want a butt like hers (This one is not just noisy, it is also just hilarious). Your co-worker says she wants to do a detox program before she embarks on her healthy journey. It is noisy out there yes and most times you have to swim through a lot of impossible to grasp information to get to something that yields results and is sustainable.
Let’s look at a few of these fitness myths that usually attracts the loudest noise, shall we?
Fitness Myths Debunked
Fitness Myth #1 You do not need to go on a diet to lose weight
You need to go on a diet to lose weight. This is not true. Not true at all. You do not need to go on a diet in order to lose weight. Diets fail and most of them are built on short-term goals. If your goal is to lose weight and permanently keep it, you need to change your lifestyle not go on a 6 weeks diet.
You need a caloric deficit in order to lose weight. That means your calories intake must be less that your calories expenditure. It is simple Mathematics when it comes to losing weight.
Yes, it is possible that you will lose weight when you get on a diet but the question how long will you stay on it and keep the lost weight off? A healthy lifestyle route, it becomes part of you and chances of binging are very low compared to when you go on a diet.
Make healthy choices have cheat (reward) meals or days once in a while. Just stay away from diets if you do not want to fail over and over again.
Fitness Myth #2 Lifting weights will not make a woman bulky
I can’t count how many times I have heard this said to me. The latest was when a dude in the gym decided to give unsolicited advice by telling me to stop lifting weights because I was going to look like a man. I wanted to throw the dumbbell at him! But then I didn’t wish to get arrested for assault so I had to restrain myself.
Lifting weights will not huge and gross a woman make. Women who are ‘bulky’, look that way because they have particularly trained for that kind of physique. Lifting a 10kg dumbbell to train your arms will not make a woman look like a man, nor will squatting a 100kg barbell. Building noticeable muscle takes a very long time, significant effort and specific nutrition.
Studies have been conducted to prove the benefits of women lifting weights and debunk the fitness myths that surround it.
“To quote the study by Staron et al., significant increases in maximal isotonic strength (1RM) were observed over a 20-week weight training program for the lower extremity with no change in thigh girth. So, if women train naturally without steroid hormones, it is highly unlikely they will turn into Ms Olympia. In a groundbreaking paper published in the NSCA Journal, multiple studies have cited that weight training in women causes “a reduction in fat weight, an increase in lean weight and either no change or only a slight increase in total body weight.” This is elaborated in the article that Rochelle Louw, a Biokenist at the University of Pretoria, wrote for Fitness Chat. Click here to read the article on why women should lift weights.
Fitness Myth #3 You cannot reduce fat in a specific area
This is one of the common fitness myths. People want flat tummies and so they are always asking for ways to lose belly fat. Well, the fact is you cannot spot-reduce fat. Training a specific area will not reduce fat in that place. Your body is by no means wired that way. You will have to lose overall body fat and your body decides where you lose the fat first, not you.
You can do all the crunches you like for abs, triceps dips for the bat wings and so on, but the fat in those areas will not budge until you start working all your muscles in full and sort your nutrition out.
Fitness Myth #4 There is no such thing as toning
A number of women and sometimes men are guilty of this. They just want to tone, they say. But here is the thing. Muscles do not ‘tone’. They are either strong or are weak and they do not go from saggy to firm and vice versa.
The toning that people speak of is just the increase of muscle tissue while at the same time, having low enough body fat such that the muscles become quite visible.
An increase in muscle tissue results from strength training. Performing a million reps with light weights day in and day out will really not get you that ‘toned’ look. Lift heavy weights effectively and again get your nutrition in order.
Fitness Myths #5 You do not need to detox to lose weight
Can people stop already spreading this health and fitness myth? If your body had the amount of toxins that would warrant a detox, you probably would be dead before you said the word detox. Detoxing is as real as a unicorn.
You do not need to cleanse your system with smoothies, juices or detox teas. A healthy pair of kidneys is in charge of that function. Desi Horsman, a nutritionist, speaker and wellness expert, wrote an article for Fitness Chat explaining why you don’t need to detox to lose weight. Read how your system works to detoxify and what you need to do instead.
Some of the fitness myths that need to be quashed include the use of waist trainers, fear of fat making you fat, the more you sweat the more fat you lose and so much more that I will soon write about.