You have heard these fitness myths over and over again and you want to understand why exactly they are myths and should be ignored.
By the end of the blog you will have a clear understanding of fitness fact and fitness myths.
In short, the answer is no.
The toned look that most women strive for is actually the building of muscle and the stripping of fat.
You will not get big bulging muscles and look like a body builder unless you eat, train and sleep like a body builder.
A woman doesn’t have anywhere near enough testosterone in her body to build muscle like men easily.
You may have seen women like Dana Linn Bailey but these are extremes, body building is part of their life and she will be lifting the heaviest of weights whilst following an intense and advance workout.
Having a strength-training programme to build muscle overall (to give you this toned look) will not make you bulky.
I would be more worried about cupcakes making you bulky rather than strength training!
We have all seen them. Belly Busting workouts, Thigh Trimming Exercises, the lot. The truth is you cannot tell your body where to lose fat from first.
To lose fat you need to be in a calorie deficit, it takes a deficit of around 3500 to lose 1lb, though this isn’t an exact science as how much you burn each day fluctuates, so just cutting calories adding up to this deficit each week isn’t the only answer. You cannot choose where this fat loss will take place.
If you do all lower body workouts you will get better bang for your buck (as the muscles are larger and require more energy) however there is no guarantee that’s where the fat will go from.
Actually, it is more than likely to come from the place you LEAST want it to, like maybe your breasts. (just going by what clients say!)
If you want to reduce fat around your stomach the best way to do this is to consistently be in a calorie deficit and complete workouts that have many full body movements and use all the major muscles in your body.
Using your body as a tool is also a great way to burn fat; burpees, mountain climbers and squat jumps will get your heart rate up quick and torch calories fast.
You can, however, enhance your shape, though strength and resistance training. For example having strong shoulders and a pert bottom gives you an hourglass shape and makes your tummy look slimmer by comparison. Toned shoulders and upper arms also gets rid of ‘bingo wings!’
This is not actually always the case. As your body loses body fat your calorie requirements also change.
It is important to re-evaluate your calories and training schedule as your body changes.
Exercise isn’t always the answer either; if your fat loss is stalling there are several factors, which can be contributing to this.
Nutrition would be your first port of call, is your protein intake sufficient? Are you tracking accurately?
Other questions to think about are; are you getting plenty of rest and sleep? Are you getting enough water? Are your stress levels high? Could your menstrual cycle be a factor?
So instead of pushing yourself even harder in the gym, get smart and evaluate your previous week (s). It may be something really simple or you might need to have a closer look.
Fat loss plateaus can always be explained, you just have to workout exactly what it is.
The answer is not to order in a dominoes and feel sorry for yourself or skip your workouts as you don’t think they matter.
On the other hand if you’re under a lot of stress and comfort eating as a result, doing something that’s more gentle and reduces stress may help you feel better and get your eating back on track, though don’t underestimate the power of a good hard workout for getting all the stress and adrenaline out too – those exercise ‘endorphins’ are natures natural feel-good chemicals!
If I could ring a big buzzer now I would do! It is physically impossible for fat to turn to muscle and muscle to turn to fat.
Through exercise your body will start to burn fat (providing you’re in a calorie deficit) and will also start to build muscle gradually.
When you reduce your training or you are in a calorie surplus your muscle mass doesn’t then turn to fat.
For approximately every 3500 calories you over eat you will gain 1lb of fat, if you are not using your muscles they will begin to reduce and that also means that the extra 50 calories you required to fuel your muscle mass is now taking you over your maintenance calories.
The more lean body mass you have the more calories you burn when doing nothing so even though you may be losing weight you can have more calories due to the extra muscle.
Please note that building muscle for the average woman is between 0.12 – 0.25 pounds of muscle per week (or about 0.5-1 pound of muscle gained per month).
So if each week you are gaining a lb and you think its muscle I would take a closer look at your diet and your measurements as it’s actually fat you’re gaining.
I wish it did, but sadly it doesn’t.
Sweating is the natural way for your body to help cool itself during exercise or in hot temperatures.
How much you sweat doesn’t mean you will lose more weight. It just means you sweat more are lose more water weight at that time. Once you rehydrate that water weight will be regained and will not affect your real weight. Any real weight loss will come from what you are doing to make yourself sweat and being in a calorie deficit.
Wearing a sweat suit or going to a sauna will help you lose weight fast, but its water weight as we have mentioned. It will also severely dehydrate you so it is not a safe way to lose weight. Plus as soon as you drink water you will replenish that loss!
The fundamentals of fat loss in basic terms means you need to be in a calorie deficit. What you eat within your calories for fat loss is irrelevant. Now I am not saying eat cookies to lose weight, however you get results as long as you are in a deficit.
Carbs have been the scapegoat for a long while, they have been blamed for people gaining weight and miraculously when people have omitted them from their diet they have lost weight.
This is not due to the avoidance of a vital macronutrient, it is in fact due to the fact that it’s much easier to feel full on a diet of lots of protein and low calorie vegetables, so you’re less likely to be hungry and overeat. In addition, too many carbohydrates without sufficient protein or fat will make your blood sugar fluctuate more, which leads to more hunger, and more cravings.
Giving up carbs is not necessary to make progress, in fact you find carbs in vegetables, fruit, dairy products and beans and legumes too. However controlling portions will make sure you’re eating to feel as full as possible, while minimising cravings and energy dips, which in turn helps you lose weight and makes you feel great.
The after 6pm rule is a joke, and this applies to all foods. Your body doesn’t know what time it is. Your body will not process food any differently whether it be 6pm or before!
On my BodyBack programme I teach people how to find out what about of carbs works best for your body to get you the best results possible.
Every Sunday Facebook is full of statuses of people talking about getting back on track on Monday. Whereas more often than not they knew on Friday or Saturday they had over done it.
However instead of taking action straight away they feel Monday is the only day to start a fitness and health plan.
The best time to start is right away.
If you are unhappy with your weight or fitness levels – why delay your happiness?
You can start working out any day of the week.
You can start your healthy eating at your very next meal.
No going mad beforehand to get it in whilst you can. Any progress you would have made the following week will probably not happen.
Monday may be the start of the week but if you keep putting things off or seeing the week as a time to be ‘good’ and the weekends allow for less than ideal choices you will always be stuck in the viscous circle of gaining and losing the same weight over and over again.
If you are truly ready to lose weight and get healthier and fitter you wouldn’t want to wait another second longer than you had to.
This is due to incorrect government advice, which has been given out for years that made us, scared to eat things like eggs and butter.
As with carbs, fat is not the enemy. It is another vital macronutrient (they’re all vital) and helps your body in many ways and has several benefits.
Fat however is 9 calories per gram whereas protein and carbs are just 4, meaning you cannot get away with eating as much of it! Or if you prefer a higher fat diet and like to eat full-fat options and lots of nuts and avocados (which is fine), you’ll need to reduce calories elsewhere, or you’ll gain (or not lose) weight.
There are several companies that have used the low fat fad to cash in on your health concerns. They labelled food as low fat, reduced fat and half fat in a bid to get you to buy it because you have been led to believe it is healthier. When in fact in order to make the low fat alternative food taste palatable they have pumped it full of sugar, sweeteners and other artificial flavourings.
There are certain fats you should avoid eating – trans fats which are found in some processed foods and treats like pastry and biscuits, though they are being slowly removed from UK made products. They are highly processed and offer no benefits nutritionally. Unsaturated fats, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are the ones you need to include in your diet, and saturated fat found naturally in animal products like meat and dairy is fine too.
So there is a rumour that if you don’t eat protein in the 30-60 minutes after a workout that you will not get results!
It is said that eating within an hour of training will aid your muscle recovery and synthesis. These recommendations are geared towards athletes and advanced training people that really need to speed up their recovery due to an intense training session.
The average gym goer does not need to race home to eat or guzzle down a protein shake for fear that their workout will be a waste of time. If you feel better eating right after a workout try scheduling workouts before a meal or snack time anyway, so that way you can just eat whatever healthy food you were planning on having.
What is more important is ensuring you have an overall balanced diet, which is in line with your training. It is your consistent daily intake that makes the most difference with your results, not protein timing post workout or eating before a certain time.
There will always be wild claims and faddy diets, which will make up rules to fit their needs and make you feel that without their product or special diet you cannot get results.
Try and do a little research or ask a qualified expert for their opinion to sift through the diet and fitness myths and the facts for you.