When it comes to fitness and weight loss goals, it can be difficult to tell fact from fiction. There is a lot of conflicting information, and a great deal of it is not as accurate as it might be.
Here are Bowflex Fitness Advisor Tom Holland’s top 7 fitness myths exposed:
Myth #1: You need to spend at least an hour in the gym to see results.
Research shows you can actually achieve better results doing 15 minutes of interval training three times a week than by jogging on a treadmill for an hour.
Myth #2: As long as you exercise, you can eat whatever you want.
Whether you want to maintain, gain, or lose weight, you need to make sure your caloric intake matches your goals. To lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories than you burn. For example, if you burn 500 calories during your workout and then eat two or more slices of pizza (topping 500 calories), you’ll end up gaining weight. You can determine how much to eat by testing your metabolic rate, since your metabolic rate is the energy you use in order to be alive plus the energy needed for daily activities. You can use this measurement to accurately identify how many calories your body needs.
Myth #3: Organic or gluten-free foods are best for weight loss.
There are many benefits of eating organic or gluten-free foods. For example, they have more antioxidants, less pesticides, and less food additives. However, overeating is still overeating. Make sure to evaluate your overall caloric intake and expenditures to stay within the bounds of your goal.
Myth #4: Fitness shakes are just for people who want to bulk up.
Many people confuse fitness shakes with “mass gainers”—products used to aid in bulking up. Protein shakes, however, can actually be a great way to achieve the healthy diet necessary to reach fitness goals.
Myth #5: Do cardio on an empty stomach to burn the most fat.
Many people believe if you work out on an empty stomach, your body will use its stored fat supply to fuel the exercise. However, research shows fat burn is consistent whether you eat before a workout or not.
Myth #6: Crunches are best for getting great abs.
No matter how many crunches you do, you won’t see six-pack abs until you lose the layers of fat covering your abdominal wall. The best way to lose fat is to stick to a strict diet and scorch major calories with interval training and compound weight-lifting exercises —which use more than one major muscle group.
Myth #7: I can’t reach my fitness goals, because I can’t afford a trainer.
Personal trainers are a great resource to help motivate and take you to the next level. But if you can’t afford a personal trainer, don’t be discouraged. There are many great (free!) resources online you can use to aid your fitness regime, including the Bowflex Insider blog at www.bowflexinsider.com.
Don’t let yourself be fooled by these common fitness myths. The tips above can help you reach your fitness resolutions.