Photo by Shayla Girardin
True or false? Here are some popular fitness myths that are sure to surprise you.
Myth: All carbs are bad.
Eating the right carbs at the right time is actually good for you. There are different types of carbohydrates. Certain complex carbohydrates are great, while simple carbs and overly processed foods are the carbs to avoid. Try to steer clear of processed grains, pastas and commercially baked goods, but feel free to incorporate natural complex carbs into your diet. Foods like beans, sweet potatoes and rice are great complex carbs.
Gold’s Gym personal trainer and nutritionist Joshua Arvizu explained how carbohydrates are essential in moderation.
“Carbs, along with proteins and fats, are a macronutrient that you need. An easy rule of thumb in balancing the three is the 20g/30g/10g rule for every meal,” Arvizu said. “That means 20 grams of protein, 30 grams of carbs and 10 grams of fats.”
Arvizu also recommended staying away from eating carbs later in the day in order to make sure you have plenty of time to burn them off.
Myth: Weightlifting will make me bulky.
Weightlifting will not make you bulky. This is far from true. In fact, lifting weights will help you to maintain a lean and toned physique.
“Lighter weight and more repetitions, 12 to 15 per set, is ideal,” Arvizu said. “Weight resistance is essential for maximizing fat loss.”
While lifting weights does increase muscle mass, it also speeds up your metabolism. This combination allows you to burn more calories even when you’re not active.
Myth: I should eat less if I want to lose weight.
Incorrect! It’s all about what you eat. If your goal is to lose weight, you should be eating smaller meals more frequently.
“You should shoot for five to seven meals a day,” Arvizu said. “Your goal is to be hungry every two to three hours, ideally every two and a half hours.”
Going long periods of time without eating will slow down your metabolism and make your body hold on to fat. In contrast, eating more balanced meals frequently will speed up your metabolism allowing your body to release its excess fat storage.
Myth: Being vegan/vegetarian is healthiest.
While vegan and vegetarian diets are healthy, they’re not necessarily the solution for everyone. Greens are essential to any diet, but so are proteins. It can be challenging to obtain the right amount of protein in a vegan diet. Lean meats such as poultry and fish are great additions to any diet. Not only are they high in protein, they are also low in fat. Certain dairy products like Greek yogurt and cottage cheese are also great sources of protein.
If you want to avoid meats and dairy, Arvizu recommends eating seeds, black beans and high-quality whey protein shakes.
Myth: I should cut all junk food from my diet.
A cheat meal can actually be a good thing. Not only do you have a chance to indulge, but it’s good for your body as well.
“I like to call them ‘reward days’ because it sounds positive, and you should reward yourself for eating lean and clean all week long,” Arvizu explained. “A day of ‘reward’ eating will help you alleviate any stress from abstaining from bad eating habits all week.”
A day of reward eating can also make you feel sluggish, so you’ll want to get back on your lean diet the following day. This carb overload will give your body and metabolism a bit of a shock, which can aid in releasing fat stores. Be sure to keep it down to a day though — don’t get off track! Also, consider stepping up your cardio to combat the extra calorie intake.
Follow Shayla Girardin on Twitter @Shaylagthatsme