For years we have heard of the do’s and don’ts for a perfectly toned body. Sweating out at the gym, following crazy diets, drinking bitter juices – we’ve done it all, but little did we know that most of the tips and tricks we were following are just myths that cause more harm than good. So I'm here to save us all from the dreaded increasing side handles and shrinking clothes by busting some of these myths:
#Myth 1: The only way to lose weight is by cutting out all the carbs- The only way to achieve a fit body, is to follow a diet that is balanced and has a little bit of every nutrient. However, the quantity of the carbs can vary depending on the duration and intensity of your workout and your goals.
#Myth 2: I can spot-reduce my problem areas- Our bodies lose weight evenly or at least in proportions dictated by our genes. The only way of losing weight by targeting a particular area is through liposuction. If spot reduction were possible without liposuction, there would have been no thing as love handles.
#Myth 3: The more you sweat the more weight you lose -Sweat is just your body’s way of emitting heat. It has absolutely nothing to do with your fat burning. Our bodies heat up when we run or carry our any strenuous activity and sweat is our body’s way of releasing the heat. Fat oxidizes and it cannot evaporate with sweat. ‘Sweating it out’ is just a figurative phrase after all.
#Myth 4: Yoga will get you ripped- Unless you are doing hot yoga, it doesn’t help much in getting your body into shape. The lack of efficacy is perhaps due to the fact that the practice requires very little oxygen. Oxygen is essential for the burning of our food and thereby to release energy. The more the oxygen the faster the food is broken down. For example, all strenuous exercises leave us breathless since our body uses oxygen to burn fat. So all those of you out there who are tired of waiting for yoga to work its magic, it’s time to turn up things a little!
#Myth 5: Caffeine has negative effects only- Problems related to coffee arise only if it is consumed in excess. Coffee is not only an energizer, it is also an anti-oxidant that helps regulate bowel movements. This in turn makes you feel lighter and healthier.
#Myth 6: All vegetables are the same and can be consumed interchangeably –Different vegetables have different calorie contents. Hence, you should not make significant changes in your dietary habits without seeking professional help. For example, if you decide to trade turnip for tomatoes, I would advise you to recalculate your calorie intake. Remember the days when you were forced to eat all the vegetables. Well, there was a reason!
#Myth 7: Fruit is a healthy snack and doesn’t make you fat - All food contains calories and fruits are no different. In fact, fruits have easy carbs that can be broken down. Fruits, when consumed, makes these carbs available, telling the body to use it instead of burning body fat for fuel. However fruits are an important part of our diet, they just have to be consumed according to our body requirements. (http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/25-more-fitness-myths-crushed-by-pauline-nordin.html)
#Myth 8: Doing cardio before weights will help you get in shape faster – Doing a cardio workout before you do weights training will make you tired and prevent you from training as hard as you could. As a result, you will not be able to reap benefits of weight training up to the desired extent.
#Myth 9: Training abs reduces stomach – Training your abdominal muscles does not reduce your stomach size. In fact, too much of abdominal exercises can increase your stomach size. Doing abs 2-3 times a week is more than sufficient and should be accompanied with exercises like squats.
#Myth 10: Starvation diets are the best way to lose weight – Starvation may have instant effects but in the long run they actually lead to increase in weight. Most people put on the lost weight as soon as they resume normal diet. Your body adapts to your general diet. Therefore, if you drastically reduce your diet then your metabolism will also slow down since it doesn’t need to work fast. As soon as you revert back to your normal diet, the metabolic system – which was adjusted for low amounts of food – is unable to cope with sudden increase in food consumption. This shock to the system ultimately results into weight gain.
#Myth 11: Eating anything at night is bad for you – Despite what we have been told for ages, it’s necessary to eat before you sleep since your body will not be getting energy for the next few hours. Food consumed during dinner is burned to generate energy. Food with high fat content is obviously bad, but food containing complex carbs and with high protein content is recommended.
#Myth 12: Swimming is a great weight loss exercise – Swimming is really helpful in increasing your lung capacity, toning of muscles, etc. However unless you swim on a regular basis for hours, weight loss will not be significant. This is because water supports your body and does not let you put the level of strain you would put otherwise.
#Myth 13: Drinking water can help you lose weight – Some of the benefits we have grown up hearing about water aren’t true. Consuming water in excess does not help you to reduce your weight. In fact, you are either too busy rushing to the washroom or are temporarily full from the excess water in your system. Doctors at the University of Pennsylvania affirm this and also support that we should drink water only when required, as opposed to the recommended ‘8 glasses’ a day. We drink water just to replace the amount of water we lose every day — about four to six glasses.
#Myth 14: Stretching before working out is crucial to preventing injury - Stretching after a workout maybe beneficial, but stretching before a work out can do more harm than good. According to studies, stretching can lead to destabilization of muscles and thereby make them somewhat unfit to carry out demanding exercises.
#Myth 15: A hot bath will prevent body sores – A cold bath is considered good for dealing with soreness in muscles. Marty Jaramillo, CEO of the I.C.E. Sports Health Group says "immersing yourself in chilled water is like an ice pack for your entire body". Working out makes our blood vessels wider and they remain that way for at least an hour after the workout. Sores result from build-up of waste products like lactic acid in the vessels. Cold water helps shrink these vessels back to their normal size faster, reducing accumulation of waste.