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4 Aug

Major fitness myths debunked

Written by Imane Dodo

Image by @skims

There are so many fitness related myths that get in the way of reaching your goals. Let’s put these myths to bed once and for all, so we can obtain the fitness blessings that we are destined for.

Strength training bulks you up

Ok – this is a major one. There is a widely communicated idea that strength training and lifting weights bulks you up (and is therefore the enemy). This myth leads a lot of people to only perform cardio, missing THE biggest and most efficient way to a toned and strong physique. So no, strength training does not bulk you up if you do it right. Prioritize bodyweight exercises and/or exercises with medium weights and high repetitions.

“Carbs are the enemy”

Repeat after me: carbs are not the energy. A car cannot function without fuel, the same way that your body will not function properly without carbs. Carbs often get a bad reputation, especially as it relates to weight loss. Carbs are not bad, but some are healthier than others. Wholefoods (think fibre rich fruit and veggies, wholegrain, etc) give you energy, protect you against disease and help your weight loss by making you feel full longer with fewer calories. So truly, when leveraged correctly, carbs can be your best ally.

“I can get away with a poor diet as long as I am working out”

Girls, that is a big one too. This myth can work if your goal is to maintain your current weight, because the calories you consume are burned at the gym, so they technically cancel out. However, this myth is completely false if weight loss is the objective here. To lose weight, you have to consume less calories than you burn. Poor diets tend to be high in calories OR fail to fuel your body in the way that enables you to work out or go about your day. Very low calorie diets may result in short term weight loss, but rest assured that you are likely to regain that weight as quickly as you lost it because such diets cannot be sustained for a long period of time. Anchor your weight loss in the long term to avoid any extreme measures that frankly do not work.

Also Read: 4 Tips to Build Healthy Snacking Habits

“Sweating means direct weight loss”

Sorry to break it to you, but sweating does not necessarily mean direct weight loss. Sweating is your body’s own cooling system (think AC during the heatwave) during workouts. Sweat evaporates through your pores to stop your body temperature from getting too high, which can sometimes appear as weight loss on the scale as you lose a lot of water. However, this “weight loss” is only temporary and is neither an indicator of fat loss nor an indication of how effective your workouts are. In fact, sweat has a genetic factor to it and some people sweat more than others although they may be working harder than some that get drenched at the gym very easily.

“The scale is the source of truth”

In my opinion, the scale is actually the enemy and I sometimes wish it was never created. Ok I am being a bit extreme here but truly, the scale isn’t the holy grail and actually can do more harm than good. The scales just shows a snapshot of where your body is at, at the exact point in time and depends on so many factors (water retention, salt, actual weight, bone structure). Instead of obsessing over that specific number, focus on how your body changes, looks and feels over time. The scale shows just that, a number, which is not necessarily an indication of how healthy, or good looking you are, so let’s refocus on things that matter here. Ditch the scales, you will feel happier, lighter and more focused on the long term goal.