By Amanda Gabriel
Elm Staff Writer
Myth: You have to push yourself as hard as possible to get results from your workout. Although pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is a significant accomplishment, this method is not always necessary to reach your goals. There are many fitness programs available that range in intensity levels here at Washington College, so if you believe yourself to be a more laid back person, try participating in a yoga class for example.
Myth: Carbs are the devil. Despite popular belief, carbohydrates are an essential part of any gym-goer’s diet. Our bodies primarily run off of glucose, so when you are expending energy on the treadmill or by the weight rack, a steady source of sugar is paramount. Without carbs, your tank will be running on empty and you will not be able to get the most out of your workout. Many people hold the belief that carbs make you fat. On some level this is true, because large amounts of any type of food will result in weight gain. However, if you consume them in moderation along with a steady workout regime, carbs will help instead of hurt you.
Myth: You need to diet to lose weight. In my opinion, only eating certain foods for a month or two is not practical. Once the diet is over, most people go right back to how they were eating before they started, which can lead to an unhealthy cycle of undereating and overeating. Instead of avoiding certain foods, try to consume them in smaller quantities. Additionally, when you find yourself reaching for a dessert, think of ways to replace it with a healthier option such as fruit.
Myth: Lifting heavy weights will cause you to bulk up. Contrary to popular belief, lifting weights is one of the best ways to lose weight. When you lift weights, your body will continue to burn off calories throughout the rest of the day. Weightlifting does cause you to gain muscle, but if you do it correctly you will lose the pounds while toning and firming your body.
Myth: Exercise alone will lead to rapid weight loss. Even though exercise does burn calories and therefore aids in shedding pounds, weight loss is about 80 percent healthy eating and only 20 percent exercising. The real challenge is cutting back on the sugar and fueling your body with foods that will not be stored as fat. If you plan to lose weight, make sure to alter both your diet and exercise by eating less and exercising more. I want to be clear that I am not contradicting number three. When I say alter your diet, I do not mean go on a diet. As I explained, try to develop healthier eating habits instead.
Myth: Foods that are labelled with no fat or no added sugars are healthier for you. Often times labels with one of these two phrases, among many others, is deceiving you. When a package claims to have “No Fat,” what that really translates is to “We may have no fat, but we replaced all of those calories with sugar” or some other harmful product. Make sure to read the actual nutrition labels of your food to see what is really going on and do not be fooled my misleading text.