There are all kinds of myths out there about health and fitness. What workouts are best? What foods spark weight loss? Exactly how many sit-ups do you need to do to get abs? We’re here to debunk some of those myths.
Here’s the truth behind six of the most common myths.
Myth 1: Crunches will give you a six-pack.
Truth: A flat belly comes from being lean. If you eat too much, your abs will remain trapped beneath a layer of body fat. Everybody is born with abdominal muscles. The best way to get a six-pack is to eat a diet that consists of whole, unprocessed foods.
Myth 2: Women tone, men build muscle.
Truth: Muscle is gained by stimulating muscle fibers to breakdown, repair, and ultimately grow. We stimulate muscles by overloading them with resistance training. Both men and women release growth hormone when they strength-train, but men have a higher percentage of testosterone and therefore, will gain more muscle overall.
Myth 3: Carbs are bad.
Truth: If you want to gain muscle, you’ll need to eat carbs. If you take them out completely, you'll burn more body fat, as well as muscle, during training. Your body can’t maintain this, bone loss, muscle loss, and a slowed metabolism can result. Focus on eating carbohydrates that are high-density – meaning complex carbohydrates like beans, vegetables, sweet potatoes, and brown rice. Also, try to eat carbs for breakfast so you body can burn them throughout the day rather than at night.
Myth 4: If you’re heavy, you’re fat.
Truth: When you start weight training, it's possible to gain a small amount of weight. After all, muscle is weight but building lean muscle will help to improve your metabolic rate. Improved metabolism helps the body burn more fat and keep muscle. Muscle also contains a large amount of water.
Myth 5: You can run off the weight.
Truth: Instead of spending hours on the treadmill, try focusing on doing more weight training instead. Building muscle boosts metabolism, which ultimately supports fat loss and muscle gain. Excessive running can actually lead to muscle and bone loss. A balance of proper nutrition, strength training, and cardio will support a healthy weight.
Myth 6: You can’t build muscle with vegetables.
Truth: To build muscle, you need three consistent elements: stimulus from exercise, calories, and nutrients to support recovery and muscle building. Vegetables are filled with vitamins, minerals, and carbs. Carbohydrates from vegetables support the body in shuttling protein into the muscle for repair and growth.
Now that you know the truth behind six of the most comment fitness myths, check out these 6 Nutrition Myths Debunked.