Monday, 14 August 2017

VavaViolet's Health & Fitness Editor reveals the truth behind the biggest gym myths

Carbs won’t kill you, weights won’t make you look like The Hulk, supplements are bullsh*t. VavaViolet’s Health and Fitness Editor reveals some home truths about getting fit.

1. Carbs are bad for you. If you want to lose weight, you have to cut out foods like bread, pasta and rice.
In order to lose weight, you must use more calories than you eat. Regardless of whether these calories come from carbohydrates, protein or fats, if you are in a calorie deficit you will lose weight. However, it is important to get a good balance from all sources in order to get the right nutrients for your body. If you were to get all your energy from sugary foods, you’ll only end up having a sugar crash.

2. You can eat as much fruit as you like because it’s healthy.
A lot of fruits are fairly high in carbs. If you’re trying to watch your carbohydrate intake, watch your consumption of fruits such as pineapple, mango, grapes and apples, and try opting for lower sugar fruits like berries, kiwis or tangerines. Checking labels and serving sizes might leave you surprised at the content of some foods you believe to be “good” for you.

3. Carbs (yes, our friend carbs... again) are only found in bread, rice, pasta and potatoes.
You can find carbs in many foods. Fruit, as stated above, dairy products such as ice cream, milk and yoghurt, grains such as bread, cereal and rice cakes, legumes such as chickpeas, beans and peas, and sugary products such as sweets and sauces.

4. You need to go to the gym to do exercise.
In all honesty, not having a gym membership is a pretty poor excuse for not exercising. You could go for runs, walks, bike rides or even do some gardening to get your cardio done. If you go on YouTube you can find endless home workout videos! They use equipment that is easily accessible to most, from dumbbells to towels, washing baskets to chairs, or even your pet dog! Check out @chessiekingg, @healthychefsteph and @gracefituk on both Instagram and YouTube for some killer home workout routines.

5. Weights will make you look “bulky” or “manly”.
If I had pound for every time I heard this I’d probably be sitting on my private jet, dripping in diamonds whilst being spoon-fed world’s best New York cheesecake. Unfortunately, I’m not. Instead, I’m sitting on my sofa in my dressing gown (which was probably due a wash sometime ago), hoping that if I ignore the dirty dishes in the sink for long enough, they might just disappear to the same place all of my socks seem to. ANYWAY... weights. They will not turn you into a bodybuilder. Firstly, women do not have the same hormones as men to be able to gain as much muscle as some men have. Secondly, for those that are able to build a large amount of muscle, it takes years of training, coaching and a very high-calorie intake to achieve. Picking up an 8kg dumbbell will not turn you into The Hulk overnight!

6. I need to lift lighter weights at high reps to get toned.
Muscles don’t actually get more “toned”, they just become more defined as they grow and the layer of fat covering them gradually decreases. By using light weights there is no real effort on your muscles, meaning that there’s likely to be very little to no change in both your strength and appearance. If you want to see your shape change, don’t be afraid of the heavier weights. You’ll thank me for it.

7. If you go to the gym, you can eat whatever you want.
You absolutely can. Even if you don’t go to the gym you can eat whatever the hell you want! However, if you have goals you’re looking to achieve, bad food choices can ruin your gym efforts. Not only can making bad choices cause your efforts to undo, it can also have an effect on your overall mood and motivation. It’s OK to have treats in moderation, but if you’re finding yourself at the drive-thru after most of your sessions, you’re probably doing it wrong.

8. You have to start working out when you’re young.
Says who? Regardless of what age you begin exercising there are going to be health benefits. Just because you can’t jump as high or get as low as some of the younger generation, it doesn’t mean that what you do isn’t equally effective. Whether you’re stepping up onto a Reebok step or leaping onto a 1-metre high box, if you’re making an effort it will make a difference.

9. To make progress you need to take supplements.
“But so and so lost all this weight by having shakes and taking fat-burners”... Correction, they lost all that weight by being in a calorie deficit and are now being paid by a company to promote their products to their impressionable, and most likely, young following. There is no magic pill to give you your dream body. You know what works really well though? Eating good and working out! Can you believe it?!

10. If your muscles aren’t sore, you aren’t working hard enough.
You shouldn’t use the soreness of your muscles as an indicator of how hard you’ve worked. If you’re a newbie to weightlifting, it’s likely that you will experience some DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) because your muscles are being challenged in a new way. As long as you are making an effort and struggling with the last couple of reps of your set, gains will definitely be made! Don’t forget, just because your workout partner is sore and you’re not, it doesn’t mean you worked any less hard.

Written by VavaViolet’s Health and Fitness Editor Zhane Alexander. Follow her fitness journey on Instagram @zeefit95

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