5 Social Media Myths Debunked

You can find plenty of fitness gurus on Instagram and Facebook eager to tell you how to get skinny thighs or six-pack abs. However, their impressive photos and celebrity testimonials may be misleading.

How can you distinguish between fitness myths and reliable facts? Start with discovering the truth about these 5 common claims.

Myth #1 - You Can Eat Anything You Want As Long As You Exercise

You may be overestimating how many calories you burn at the gym. You will gain weight if you think you have a license to consume endless donuts.

Smart Eating That Doesn't Require Calorie Counting

1. Eat whole foods: Studies show that ultra-processed foods cause weight gain. Fill your plate with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and other real food.

2. Calculate portions: You still need to monitor how much you eat. Learn to estimate an ounce of cheese and 4 ounces of fish.

3. Increase protein: If you’re trying to lose weight and gain muscle, consuming slightly more protein may help. It boosts your metabolism and makes you feel full.

Myth #2 - Lifting Weights Will Make You Bulky

You’re unlikely to wind up resembling Arnold Schwarzenegger by accident. The truth is lifting weights is a great way to build and retain muscle mass, especially as you get older.

Smart Weightlifting Tips

1. Train safely: To avoid injuries, gradually increase the amount of weight you use. It’s also important to use the correct form.

2. Mix it up: Free weights are highly effective, but you may enjoy variety. Experiment with weight machines and exercises that use your body weight.

Myth #3 - You Need to Work Out 7 Days a Week to Get Results

Excessive exercise can weaken your muscles and organs and leave you feeling burned out. Most adults need at least one recovery day a week.

Smart Programming Tips for Workouts

1. Try active rest: In addition to taking a day off to relax, you may benefit from alternating between high impact/intensity and lower impact/intensity workouts. For example, if you bench press on Monday, spend your Tuesday workout taking a walk or light stretching.

2. Manage stress: Figure out why you’re overdoing it. Talk with a friend or a counselor if you’re struggling with personal issues.

Myth #4 - You Can Pick Certain Spots Where You Want to Lose Fat

You gain weight from head to toe and you lose it the same way. Sit-ups will tone your core, but doing 500 a day won’t remove fat from just your waist.

Smart Fat Loss Tips

1. Eat less: If you want to lose weight, start by determining your average daily calorie intake. Then focus on healthy eating habits that you practice consistently.

2. Move more: Exercise will burn some calories. Plus, as you shed fat and gain muscle, you’re likely to look thinner.

3. Find a Coach: Doing more doesn't necessarily equal results. You may need to lean into the expertise of a fitness professional. Finding a program specific to your goals can be a game changer!

Myth #5 - Your Bathroom Scale is the End All Be All Measure of Progress

Your scale weight is only one of many ways to measure progress on your fitness journey. Zoom out and take a broader view.

Wiser Evaluation of Progress

1. Measure your waist: The size of your waist says a lot about your health. That’s because it’s closely associated with your level of body fat.

2. Talk with your doctor: Maybe you’re working out for health reasons like coping with the symptoms of a chronic condition. Your physician can advise you on activities that would be safe and effective for your goals.

3. Celebrate non-scale victories: A healthy lifestyle is a marathon, not a sprint. Give yourself credit for achievements that are not weight related. 3 workouts per week for a month is huge. Pay attention to how your clothes fit, your energy, better sleep. Improvements in any of these areas indicate progress more than the scale.

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A CHAMPION trains their body and thought processes to achieve desired results.

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A CHAMPION actively pursues balance, moderation and simplicity to improve their life.

A CHAMPION views every obstacle as an opportunity to improve.

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