There’s a lot of chatter out there about what actually works when it comes to weight loss, which is why it’s so hard to separate fact from fiction. In fact, accidentally falling for these popular diet myths can ultimately prevent weight loss altogether and even pose possible health risks. So, in order to set the record straight, we tapped five fitness trainers for the most popular weight-loss myths they hear from their clients. Read on!
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Andrea Rogers, Xtend Barre Founder:
Myth #1: The more you do the better.
“Our clients love to exercise, but it’s better to give 100 percent to a full class than take multiple classes with half the energy and poor form.”
Myth #2: Heavy weights make you bulky.
“Muscle weighs more than fat and this will show on a scale, but you will fit in your clothes better and look better with more muscle. Your metabolism also elevates with more muscle so lift away! Unless you are training for hours a day with heavy weights, a women’s physique will not get bulky. Instead, you will get increased bone density and a toned body.”
Alberto Ortiz, Founder of Work Train Fight:
Myth #3: Eat multiple small meals throughout out the day.
“Having five to six smaller meals throughout the day works in theory, but here’s the problem: In order for you to be successful with this procedure, you need to do it at 85 to 100 percent perfection. I’ve been in this industry for a long time and the only people I have seen eat five to six well-prepped, low-calorie meals effectively have been trainers, body builders, fighters, fitness models, and one to two extremely motivated clients with time on their hands. A successful diet revolves around your schedule, includes a bit of fasting, and stays under your daily caloric requirements.”
Myth #4: You can exercise the food away.
“Some people think, ‘I can eat whatever I want if I work out really hard.’ You cannot outrun a bad diet, no matter how fast you run. You can run, box and lift for hours, but it takes two rich cupcakes and approximately two minutes to break even with the work you just did. Instead, stop using working out as an excuse to eat poorly and start learning now how to have a balanced workout schedule that incorporates passive strength training days, smoother cardio sessions and recovery days.”
Myth #5: I’m sweating, so it must be working.
“Just because you’re on a stationary bike, in a room with no A/C and candles does not mean you are burning fat. Too often clients confuse sweating with fat loss, but sweating just means you’re hot and your body is releasing water so you don’t die. An effective strength session won’t always leave you dripping. Fat loss comes from the culmination of balanced caloric intake and consistent, balanced workouts that you can stick to in the long-run.”
Joe Ferraro, founding trainer at Rumble Boxing in NYC
Myth 6: Eating fats are bad, and cause you to gain weight.
“This is false—high-fat diets are super effective when trying to achieve weight loss. Eating good fats such as avocados, coconut oil and others make you feel full and you wind up eating less. The fats also help to boost your metabolism—cut out the sugar though!”
Myth 7: I eat a ton of fruit, so I’m healthy.
“I love orange juice just as much as the next guy, but eating too much sugar in any form is no good. Having a whole carton of strawberries is delicious, but it’s also sugar overload for your body. While the sugar in fruit is not as damaging as refined sugar found in candy, it should still be consumed in moderation.”
Erika Hammond, founding trainer at Rumble Boxing in NYC
Myth #8: It’s bad to cheat on your diet.
“Deprivation is a big no-no in my book. If you are depriving yourself from your all time favorite food (truffle fries, for me), it leads to a high possibility of binging. Build a ‘cheat meal’ into your weekly meal plan. A side of truffle fries, a slice of pizza, a scoop of your fav ice cream. Don’t overindulge, but keep in mind that you’ll be more than likely to stay on track if you allow yourself a little cheat.”
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