Myth Busting

“I reject your reality and substitute my own.” Adam Savage (Mythbusters)

Recently (well, always), I've seen too many posts on facebook and too much discussion on day time t.v. (thank you, Spring Break) about diet and exercise related myths. We have a whole world of information at our finger tips-- I just can't believe that so many people still believe so many myths! So, read on, people and be informed!
1. Lifting heavy weights will make me (a woman) look like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. False. Lifting heavy weights and taking male hormones (aka steroids) will make you look like him. Read this article for some good info on heavy lifting.

2. Running is bad for my knees. False. While some old research indicated that it could be bad for your joints, new research shows that's not the case. The benefits of running far outweigh the risks.

3. Doing more crunches (or other ab exercise) will give me a flat stomach. False. We have flabby abs because we are carrying excess body fat. Eating a clean diet with an appropriate amount of calories and exercising will cause your body to get leaner, which means bye bye flab. See this article for some research on the dangers of belly fat and solutions.

4. Help! I can't stand my _____ (insert love handles, saddle bags, or other flabby body part here)! What exercise can I do to get rid of it? See my comments on #3. And this.

5. If 30 minutes in the gym is good for me, then 3 hours is even better. False. There is a ton of research out there. First, it depends on your level of fitness. However, I know lots of people who I would consider serious athletes, but who spend way too much time in the weight room at one time. The body releases cortisol, a stress hormone, when... stressed. After 45 minutes of training, cortisol begins to be released and your body starts to use muscle as fuel. That's bad news and detrimental to gains in strength and loss of fat.

6. If I just buy ____ (insert latest magic pill or fad exercise product here), I would lose weight/have a bikini body. False. Hard work, people. The miracle cure/secret product is hard work. 

7. Caffeine is bad for me. False. Giant coffee drinks with all that fluffy junk in them are full of unnecessary calories and sugar, and therefore, bad for you. Red Bull and Monster are packed with caffeine and sugar and are not good for you. Caffeine is not evil or bad. But like anything else, you don't want to overdo it. I found a great, informative article that summarizes some of caffeine's pros and cons.  

8. A great way to lose weight is by replacing junk food with low fat, sugar free, all natural (etc.) snack foods. False. The best foods are whole foods and eating clean. Basically-- eat real foods that aren't wrapped in plastic and sealed in a box. Food labels can be deceptive-- even if the front of the box says all natural, it can still be full of sugar and calories that you don't need.

9. Skipping meals (or severely restricting calories) will help me lose weight. False. Losing weight is pretty simple math-- if you burn more calories than you take in, you will lose weight. If you are reading this blog, I'm assuming that you train regularly, so you need to make sure that you are getting enough calories to fuel your workouts. However, we often underestimate the amount of food we eat, so keeping a log of what you eat is a good way to assess the amount of calories you take in. Also remember that the number of calories burned as listed on fitness equipment (treadmill, elliptical, etc.) are not always accurate. There are many apps that help you track your calorie intake and output. 

10. Gluten, bread, white potatoes, carbs, dairy and red meat are bad for you. False. Some people are allergic or sensitive to gluten-- if that's you, then cut it out. If you gorge yourself on any of those things, it's bad for you. Eat clean and eat sensibly. I really do believe that moderation is the key. I wrote a blog about the "diet" I follow here.

Well, those are what I find to be the most egregious myths. Follow the links. Most importantly, don't believe everything you hear... or read... even in this blog. Do your research. Your health depends on it.

What myths would you like to see busted?


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