All you need is an internet connection and you’ll quickly find yourself inundated with bad diet and exercise advice. It’s rampant and you can discover it in everything from articles to complete websites or even advertisements. You don’t even need to look for it. It will find you.
The problem with many of these kinds of bad diet and exercise advice is that they can look extremely believable. Among the challenges with weight loss is that many of its truths are actually counter-intuitive. Therefore, certain recommendations that can sound like they make complete sense may not only be false but they could actually hold you back, too. Many of us are treating some of these myths as gospel and are following them to the letter, despite the harm they’re doing us.
To help to cut back on the amount of bad diet and exercise advice you’re following, check out some of these very common ones:
1. You need to exercise more
We’ve all heard this one. It is true that exercise plays a vital role in the ability to lose weight more quickly and to keep it from coming back. However, it’s the “more” part of that recommendation that is problematic. It is more than possible to be overweight or obese and yet still exercise regularly. The key to weight management is to exercise appropriately. If you’re already getting the right amount of exercise, doing it more could place you at risk of injury or could even cause you to plateau. In fact, exercising too much could even cause your body to start burning muscle instead of fat. Consult with your doctor or with a physical trainer to better understand your fitness requirements, because more isn’t always better.
2. You need to eat less
If you are overeating and packing in way too many calories each day, then sure, reducing your caloric intake is very important to your weight loss. However, too few calories can slow down your metabolism, making it even harder to lose weight.
3. “No pain, no gain”
If you’re one of the people still following this terrible piece of advice that pretty much took off simply because it rhymes and is easy to remember, then give yourself a break and drop it. This phrase has caused countless injuries and has been a motivation reducer more than it has helped people by encouraging them. A workout shouldn’t be easy, but they also shouldn’t leave you in agony. Lifelong activity and fitness should be challenging and should get your heart and breathing going, but shouldn’t involve pain.
4. Work out on an empty stomach
There is a common myth that you should do your workout first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, forcing your body to burn fat. Unfortunately, while that does seem to make sense to your brain, your body doesn’t understand that lesson the same way. Instead, you are more likely to exercise with reduced performance, to feel terrible, to end up weak and possibly dizzy, or even to injure yourself. Burning fat doesn’t depend on the timing of your eating. It depends on the quantity of your caloric intake in combination with your nutrient and macronutrient balance.
5. Carbs are your enemy
Carbohydrates are not your enemy, just like fats aren’t. They just need to be consumed in the right proportions. Without carbs, weight loss slows down.