Whether at your local gym or just around the water cooler, where there are people there are pervasive myths about the best way to lose weight, get in shape and meet fitness goals. Some myths are persistent and so widely believed that they become “common sense,” and you might hold these beliefs yourself!
While usually harmless, it’s useful to devote your time and money to tried and true methods that genuinely work, so that you can get the most out of every trip to your local gym.
MYTH #1: Don’t eat late at night. One of the most common myths is that if you want to lose weight and get healthy, you shouldn’t eat at night – typically anywhere from 7 p.m. onward. But the truth is that your body doesn’t know or care what time it is; calories are calories. If you indulge at night, simply indulge less. And if you exercise at night, eating at night is not optional – you need to replenish yourself after a hard workout! Eat whenever you want, just keep an eye on portions like you do any other time of day (or night).
MYTH #2: Carbs are the enemy. Carbs do not cause weight gain, and the “weight loss” experienced in the initial phase of a low-carb diet is actually a shift in the body burning carbohydrates for fuel, which releases water. In other words: you’re losing water, not weight. Keep the carbs, just watch your overall calories and stick to complex carbohydrates (such as whole grain or whole wheat foods, which contain healthy levels of nutrients and fiber) over simple carbohydrates (like white rice or white bread).
MYTH #3: Cravings mean you have a nutritional deficiency. If this were true, you’d have a lot more cravings for fruits and veggies than a brownie! Cravings are triggered for all kinds of reasons, whether dictated by hunger, need, or environmental stimulation (like the smell when you walk by a bakery). Grab a healthy snack first, and if after you eat that you’re still jonesing for something sweet, have it and move on.
MYTH #4: All fats are bad. Not true! The body needs healthy fats to process vitamins and nutrients, aid in nerve transmission and maintain cell membranes. Instead of cutting fats entirely, just stick to the good ones: monounsaturated fats like olive oil, fish, avocados and nuts are necessary for a healthy lifestyle.
MYTH #5: Skipping meals can aid in weight loss. This one simply doesn’t work, for two reasons: first, your body reacts to a lack of food by slowing down your metabolism. Second, people who skip meals commonly overeat at the next one, negating any supposed benefits from cutting back on calorie intake. As with all things, moderation is key.
Have any questions? Come on in to any Fitness Connection gym and ask away. We’re always happy to be your Fitness Connection.