Myths about weight loss are not only the root of a big deal of stress and frustration – they can also be counterproductive or downright dangerous. Untested, unproven, sensationalistic theories about the best ways to burn fat seem to be mental junk food for the masses and the crazier they sound, the more the people buy into them, only to find an even greater sense of failure and desperation.
However, unhelpful weight loss myths are not found only in claims of miraculous properties of certain products or ultra-hyped articles about the latest illogical diet. In fact, myths are sometimes a part of the basic fabrics of our general, unquestionable knowledge about fitness and exercise programs.
And they are most probably the exact thing that prevents you from making any real progress, because you can’t get very far by relying upon a bunch of lies coated with some wishful thinking.
So let’s just dig them up right now and end all dilemmas -Here are the 5 common weight loss myths in the world of fitness you need to forget about in order to speed up your fat loss:
Exercise alone will make you lose weight
This is a common misconception in people who are beginners in any type of physical activity. They muster the needed courage and walk into the gym, expecting their 30-minute sessions of cardio twice a week to magically melt all their fat while they stick to their old eating habits. This usually ends with countless hours spent exercising with no significant results, especially if you have a lot of body fat.
It’s true that exercise helps you lose weight, but this totally depends on the context – your nutrition, your workout regime, the frequency of working out. The most important factor is nutrition, of course, and in order to burn stored fat, you have to pair your physical activity of choice with a reduced calorie intake.
No matter how much you exercise, if you keep eating the wrong food, you can only hope to strengthen the muscles trapped under your pockets of fat. Substantial weight loss means taking a holistic approach and changing your whole lifestyle.
Crunches will help you lose belly fat
Crunches are far from the best way to lose fat in the abdominal area. First of all, you cannot use any exercise to lose fat locally – you need to perform exercises that stimulate a greater energy expenditure and restrict your calorie intake in order to lower your overall percentage of body fat, and this will eventually help you reveal your abs, depending on your genetics.
For some people the belly fat is the first to melt away, while for others it can be the most stubborn area. And crunches simply don’t burn a lot of calories. However, they can help you strengthen and tone your abs, although not as effectively as plank and bridges.
Sweating is equal to burning calories
Not really. The amount of sweat your body produces is not a measure of the calories burned. Sweat is produced in order to cool down your skin and regulate internal body temperature, so it should be understood as an indicator of how hot your body is. So the more you sweat, the hotter your body is, and hotter temperature doesn’t equal more calories burned.
Different people will produce different amounts of sweat depending on their personal physiology, the weather, nutrition and many other factors.
Post-workout stretching speeds up recovery
Here is what a number of studies have to say about this: performing static stretches after a workout won’t help you prevent injury, increase muscle growth, reduce soreness or speed up recovery. Contrary to popular belief, stretching after a workout is counter-productive for recovery because it actually decreases blood flow.
At best, it can increase your flexibility. However, dynamic stretching that involves movements that put muscles through the expected ranges of motion such as leg kicks, side lunges and arm circles, has been found to improve strength, endurance and anaerobic capacity.
The longer you work out, the better
Training for too long can lead to diminished results and even increase your risk of injury. Your body has its limits and you should adjust your workout according to them if you want optimal results. When you overtrain, your body has a harder time recovering, and most of your gains happen during recovery.
This is why you need to be cautious with the time you spend in the gym, or the number of sets and exercises you do during your workout session. And even 15-20 minute workouts every day can help you boost the metabolism and cardiovascular health (if they have the right intensity). Don’t forget – the type of exercises you perform and the frequency of workouts are most often more important than the duration of the workout.