MYTH 1. The more you sweat during exercise, the more fat you lose
The harder you work out, the more calories you’ll burn within a given period and thus the more fat you stand to lose. But how much you sweat does not necessarily reflect how hard you’re working. Some people tend to sweat profusely due to heavy body weight, poor conditioning, or heredity. And everyone sweats more in hot, dry weather or dense clothing than in cool, humid weather or porous clothing. (You may feel as if you’re sweating more in humid weather; but that’s because moist air slows the evaporation of sweat.) Exercising in extremely hot weather or in a plastic “weight loss” suit will indeed make you sweat heavily and lose weight immediately. But that lost weight is almost entirely water; the pounds will return when you replenish your fluids by drinking after the workout. Further, you could develop heat exhaustion if you push yourself too hard in extreme heat or in plastic clothes. Which prevents sweat from evaporating and, in turn, cooling you off.
MYTH 2. Women shouldn’t lift heavy or they’ll get bulky
Due to the fact that women do not, and cannot, naturally produce as much testosterone (one of the main hormones responsible for increasing muscle size) as males do, it is impossible for a woman to gain huge amounts of muscle mass by merely touching some weights. When you pick up heavy things, your muscles get STRONGER (but not necessarily bigger). If you pump yourself full of testosterone and eat way more calories than you are burning every day, you will get bigger.
If you pick up heavy things, and eat a caloric deficit (and eat the right kinds of food – actual healthy foods), your muscles will get stronger and denser; you will burn the fat on top of your muscle, and you will get that “toned” look that you’re after.
MYTH 3. Exercise is the best way to lose weight, diet doesn’t matter
While there is plenty of evidence showing people can lose weight just by being physically active, it is also one of the hardest ways to go about it.
Our energy balance is mostly determined by what we eat and our metabolic rate (the energy you burn when you do nothing). Our energy balance is determined only to a small extent by how active we are. That means losing weight just by being active is very hard work.
The best way to lose weight is through combining a nutritious, low-calorie diet with regular physical activity.
MYTH 4. The scale is the best predictor of progress
If you are working out and following a healthy diet, then part of the number on the scale reflects the new “good” weight (muscle), while pounds dropped won’t be a full representation of the amount of fat you’ve actually lost. This is why it can sometimes look as if despite your hard work you aren’t losing as much weight as you’d like. Fluid levels rise and fall through the day, as well, showing up as pounds lost or gained. Far better to judge progress by body composition changes, so look at inches lost, how your clothes fit and how much better you look and feel, rather than relying on scale weight alone.
MYTH 5. A friend’s workout plan will get me the same results
Everyone is different. One size does not fit all. Individual variables that affect exercise include age, weight, dieting history, genetics, medical conditions, injuries, and of course, gender – to name a few. A custom workout plan is essential to help you make consistent, measurable improvements in your body composition and strength.