In our previous editions about the widely accepted myths in the world of fitness we spoke about 3 specific issues which exist in the mainstream. There was a lot of information to digest and each ‘myth’ needed to be broken down sufficiently in order for it to be understood. However, in this edition we will be speaking about a number of misunderstood fitness concepts, why they are incorrect and how they can be rectified. While each of these myths will have a varying degree of ‘popularity’ it does not diminish from their status as ideas that many people throughout the years have believed or continue to believe.
1. The superfood diet
Firstly, natural/gluten-free/organic foods should make up most of a person’s diet because it is the best way to lose weight. While these types of food might improve a person’s health and aid in bodily function because of all the vitamins and minerals they contain- simply it does not diminish from the fact that they contain calories. So, if a person believes there is no limit to the amount of ‘organic’ food they can eat because the body will use it to burn fat, that may be one of the reasons the weight is not coming off. Over-eating is over-eating when it comes to weight loss, whether that be in the case of fruits and veggies or chips and donuts, the body will lose weight if it uses more calories than your intake of food.
2. The magic pill
Secondly, the idea that there is a magic pill or fat burner that will actively shed weight off your body is incorrect. Along the lines of the previous myth, weight loss is determined by energy expenditure in the form of calories. The widely marketed fat burners or any supplement for that matter (unless it is an illegal steroid) simply cannot shed weight off your body unless you are in a caloric deficit. So what do these fat burners do you ask and why are they so popular? These burners usually increase heart rate and have very high levels of caffeine which may aid your training performances. So if they do help you lose weight, it is indirectly, by elevating your energy for the training sessions.
3. Spot-reducing fat
Thirdly, a myth which may be one of the most popular among people, is the idea that you can ‘spot-reduce’ fat. Meaning, if you simply go to the gym and work on your abs every single day, doing thousands of sit ups and various forms of core workouts- you’ll shed fat around that region. The fact is, when you exercise and eat correctly, you will begin to shed weight throughout your entire body. Where you lose that weight boils down to a matter of genetics, women tend to lose fat around their hips and thighs last, while men tend to lose their fat around the stomachs last.
4. Weightlifting women develop a masculine physique
Lastly, a popular myth which exists in the world of female fitness is that weightlifting will result in a ‘masculine’ physique. This myth largely popularised the term ‘tone’ which is relatively without tangible meaning according to studies. This is because ‘toning’ and ‘building’ are just different words which mean hypertrophy (muscle gain). In the words of Pauline Nordin, women use the word tone because they’re afraid of getting big, when in reality weightlifting for women will help define their physiques and achieve a degree of lean muscle that most women aim for. While the stereotype of having a ‘male’ physique, which supposedly exists in female bodybuilding circles, are largely achieved unnaturally through a number of supplements. The same occurs in the male bodybuilding circles.