10 Popular Diet, Exercise Myths
This month, millions of us resolved to lose weight,
but many also will get frustrated and give up before meeting their
Contributing to this problem is the host of bad
information regarding diet and exercise circulating through gyms,
workplaces and on the Internet. Two university exercise and nutrition
experts seek to clear up the confusion by stating the 10
most popular diet and exercise myths:.
1. Crunches will get rid of your belly
You can't pick and choose areas
where you'd like to burn fat. In order to burn fat, you should
create a workout that includes both cardiovascular and strength
training elements. This will decrease your overall body fat content.
2. Stretching before exercise is crucial.
Some studies have suggested that stretching actually
increases muscles susceptibility to injury. They claim that by
stretching, our muscle fibers are lengthened, making them less
prepared for the strain placed upon them by exercise.
You might want to warm-up and stretch before
a run, but if you are lifting weights, wait until after the workout
to stretch the muscles.
3. You should never eat before a workout.
"Fuel" coming from food and fluids
provides energy for your muscles to work efficiently even if you
are doing an early-morning workout. Consider eating a small meal
or snack one to three hours prior to exercise.
Load up your tank with premium fuel
and choose some fruit, yogurt or whole wheat toast.
4. Lifting weights will make women bulky.
Most women's bodies do not produce nearly enough
testosterone to become bulky like those body builders you see
on TV. If you do find yourself getting bigger then you would like,
simply use less weight and higher repetitions.
5. Fat is bad for you, no matter what
Contrary to popular belief, plenty of good fats
exist out there that are essential to promoting good health and
aid in disease prevention.
They are the ones that occur naturally in foods
like avocados, nuts, and fish, as opposed to those that are manufactured.
Including small amounts of these foods at meal times can help
you to feel full longer and therefore eat less.
6. Restricting calories is the best way
to lose weight. False.
Both cutting back on calories and moving more
will help you lose weight and maintain lean muscle mass needed
to boost metabolism.
However, often individuals think
they must take drastic measures to lose weight, such as eating
less than 1,200 calories, but this does not usually provide adequate
fuel for the body and may slow metabolism.
Drastic measures rarely equal lasting results,
so start small and eliminate 100-300 calories consistently from
your daily diet and you will reap the reward.
7. As long as you eat healthy foods,
you can eat as much as you want. False.
A calorie is a calorie is a calorie, regardless
from where you get it. Although oatmeal is healthy, four cups
of oatmeal make the calories add up and stick to your ribs.
Healthy or otherwise, you still must be aware
of portion sizes.
"You must limit your caloric
intake in order to lose weight," she said. "However,
understanding how to balance calorie intake throughout your day
can help you avoid feelings of deprivation, hunger and despair."
8. Exercise turns fat into muscle.
Fat and muscle tissue are composed of two entirely
different types of cells. While you can lose one and replace it
with another, the two never convert into different forms, so fat
will never turn into muscle.
9. Eating late at night will make you
gain weight. False.
There are no magic hours. We associate late-night
eating with weight gain because we usually consume more calories
at night. We do this because we usually deprive our bodies of
adequate calories the first half of the day.
Start the day out with breakfast
and eat every three to four hours. Keep lunch the same size as
dinner, and you will be less likely to overindulge at night, yet
you can enjoy a small late night snack without the fear of it
sticking to your middle.
10. You have to sweat to have a good
Sweating is not necessarily an indicator of exertion;
sweating is your body's way of cooling itself. It is possible
to burn a significant number of calories without breaking a sweat:
try taking a walk, or doing some light-weight training or working
out in a swimming pool.