There are so many health and fitness myths out there. Some of them go and new ones come. Lately, I’ve noticed these 25 myths to be the biggest ones.
- Gain muscle by taking supplements only. You need to eat healthy and train smart, no supplement will ever replace this.
- Lose fat by taking fat burners only. Fat burners mostly contain caffeine, which increases your body temperature - metabolism and has even been known to cause death.
- To get results, you need to exercise more than 2-3 hours. It's enough with 30-60 minutes to see results. It's not how long you do, it is how you do it.
- Eating healthy means chicken, brown rice and broccoli. You can eat very delicious food and still look amazing.
- Fruits are not good for fat loss. Fruits are good for health, which will make you fit.
- Multivitamins are the best way to get vitamins. Fruits and vegetables are the best. Multivitamins are synthetic and cannot be absorbed same way as food does.
- You need to eat every 2 to 2.5 hours. Eating every 4 hours is very normal, but the most important thing is to eat when hungry if eating healthy. If you eat candy, you will be hungry all the time.
- To be healthy is expensive. Always look for good deals at supermarkets and local farmers markets for healthy food.
- Lift heavy to gain muscle. This is the biggest mistake made by beginners. Target your muscles by lifting with correct form to get the best results.
- To lose fat or gain muscle you must count calories. It's okay to try for a month or two, so you get the feeling and understanding what calories are, but later you should be eating according to how you feel.
- Deadlift is the best exercise to build your back. The best exercises for your back are all rowing and pulling exercises. Deadlift is good for building a thick back, but so many people don't do it correctly, so they don’t get the benefits and could easily injure themselves.
- Simple sugar is always bad. Sugar is very good for athletes, such as runners. After training or before a marathon it gives good energy, but it is not always good for those who focus on muscle gain and fat loss. It is true that it is best after training to replace glycogen by eating simple sugar, but these studies have been done on marathon runners, not on fitness enthusiasts.
- Carbohydrates in the evening are bad. If you are trying to lose body fat, try to avoid carbohydrates before bed. If you are trying to stay healthy, it is fine to have a bit of complex carbohydrates or a piece of fruit.
- To lose body fat, you need to be on a very strict diet. If you want quick results for two or three weeks it's fine, but if you want results for life, nothing can beat healthy eating. Eat healthy, train hard (smart), and you will never need to jump on any diet.
- Women need to train differently than men. Why? Aren't we all made from the same flesh? Obviously, women won't be able to lift the same weights (most of the time) and they may want to improve or build different body parts, but they definitely can lift or do the same training programs men do.
- Women will look bulky if lifting weights. Remember that men's main hormone is testosterone (responsible for muscle growth) and women have estrogen. Women who lift will look tight and will get the nice lines they have always dreamed of. If you don't lift, you will never get these.
- Cardio is best for losing fat. Yes, if you are very overweight and can't lift. Cardio is a good start, but eventually, you should be training (70%) and doing cardio (30%). You burn calories for 48 hours after lifting weights, because of increased metabolism to recover and build muscle. After a cardio, you burn hardly any calories.
- Lots of crunches will get you abs. Maybe, but you won’t be able to see them under layers of fat. Do more compound exercises to burn fat and 5-10 minutes of abs exercises at the end of the training.
- More sweating means more calories burnt. Really? I can make anyone sweat without moving a finger. How? I will put them in a sauna. Ha...
- Eating healthy won't make you fat. You still may ‘manage’ to get fat, even if you eat healthy, just by consuming lots of calories (more than you burn).
- No carbohydrates to lose body fat. Very wrong! A complete healthy diet should always contain protein, carbohydrates and fats. If you go with zero carbs, your body is smart enough to make some out of protein. Carbs are also the preferable source of energy for your body.
- Meal replacement or protein bars are good. They are okay to eat on the run from time to time, but you should never eat them as a meal on a daily basis. Make them more like a treat instead of regular chocolate.
- More reps mean better definition. Definition comes from having lean muscle (built muscle and little body fat). Build muscle by lifting weights 5-15 reps per set, ideally 10 reps for each set.
- It is hard to gain muscle for people over 40 years old. Everyone can gain muscle, no matter their age and gender. Just consult with a doctor to make sure your health condition is okay.
- A vegetarian diet is best for fat loss. We were created to eat meat. Why should we change it? It is very normal to eat meat and everything else we can find in nature. (p.s. I'm totally okay with vegetarians ;) )
I hope this cleared up some things for you. Just because it has worked for other people doesn't mean it will work for you. Try it for yourself...
What other fitness myths have you heard? Let me know in the comments section below...