My Top 10 Myths in Fitness and Nutrition

There are so many myths about fitness and nutrition flying around out there. Eat this, but don't eat that! Work out at this time of day for the best results! Want to know what I think are the top myths in fitness and nutrition? Read on...

Myth #1: No Pain No Gain!

Totally not true! While you should feel challenged during a workout, you should not be feeling any pain during a workout. That is a sign you are doing it wrong, or you have injured yourself. Stop and take a break, or stop entirely if you feel pain while working out.

Myth #2: Lifting Weights Will Cause You to Bulk Up

Building muscle bulk requires testosterone, and women naturally don't have as much testosterone as men do. Lifting weights offers so many benefits, from maintaining muscle mass, which decreases as we age, to improving your metabolism. So, don't shun the weights. LIFT them!

Myth #3: Doing Crunches and Ab Exercises Will Get Rid of Belly Fat

Wrong! Only losing fat will get rid of belly fat. However, once you have lost the belly fat, all those crunches and planks you've been doing to get a flat tummy will pay off, so keep at it!

Myth #4: Eating Late at Night Will Pack on the Pounds

It's not that you're eating late at night that's sabotaging you. It's eating too much at night that is sabotaging you! If you find yourself snacking excessively after dinner, then try setting a rule that no eating may occur after a certain time.

Myth #5: If You're Craving a Food, It Must Mean Your Body Needs the Nutrients It Provides

Um, no. If this were true, we should all be craving fruits and veggies all the time for the vitamins and minerals they provide, and not the candy and sweets like we normally crave. Before you reach for that candy bar, ask yourself what may be causing you to crave it. Stress and hormonal fluctuations have been known to cause an overabundance of cravings for carbs. Also try eating something healthy first, and then see if you still want to eat it.

Myth #6: Skipping Meals Can make your body go into Starvation mode!

Wrong! When you skip a meal, your body does not  think it has gone into starvation mode and skipping a meal does not slow down your metabolism. It takes over 72 hours of not eating for your body to start to conserve energy by slowing it down.  Eating several small meals a day does help keep your blood sugar levels from fluctuating too much. Plus small frequent meals, can help  you avoid overeating at your next meal. 

Myth #7: You Can Target Areas for Fat Loss

While you may be prone to losing fat in different areas of your body first (say, your belly is the first to shrink), you are not actually losing fat faster in that area. Fat loss happens all over the body, all at once. So if you're trying to target certain areas of the body for fat loss with certain exercises, you are wasting your time.

Myth #8: Muscle Weighs More than Fat

This is a common misconception, because they weigh the same. One pound of muscle and one pound of fat are the same. However, muscle is much more dense than fat, and therefore, 1 pound of muscle looks like a lot less than a pound of fat.

Myth #9: Zero Grams of Fat = No Trans Fat

Did you know that if a food contains 0.5 grams or less of trans fat, that food labels are allowed to say that they have no trans fat? That's one reason why it's so important to read your labels. If there are any partially hydrogenated ingredients on it, it contains trans fat. If it contains trans fat, don't buy it!

Myth #10: Your Weight Loss Is the Be All, End All Measure of Fitness

There is so much more to fitness and health than what your scale says! While your scale may be at a plateau, remember that you are improving your cardiovascular system, building muscle, making your bones stronger, staving off chronic diseases such as diabetes, and also helping your mood!

How about you? Do you have any fitness and nutrition myths that you'd like to see added to the list? Comment below!

Image credit: "Sunset Runner" image courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/nathaninsandiego/