When it comes to exercise and weight loss, there are so many different opinions on how to approach your fitness journey, that it can sometimes get overwhelming and hard to decipher whats true and not true. I’ve had so many people ask me about these particular myths, that I figured it would be good to address it.
Myth #1: Muscle weighs more than fat
If you stop to think about this myth for a second, you’ll realize just how silly it is.
How can a pound of muscle weigh more than a pound of fat, if they’re both one pound in weight?
What this myth is really trying to get across is that muscle is more dense than fat, so it takes up less space in your body.
Something that goes along with this myth, or way of thinking, is the idea that when you start a new workout program and you gain weight quickly, that the weight is new muscle. The weight is actually your muscles responding to the new workout.
If you’ve started doing something new, like running or lifting, you know that the next morning you’re going to be sore. That soreness is your muscles responding to the trauma the new workout brought.
Since the muscles are working in new ways, and are exposed to trauma, they require more water. This water is the weight you see on the scale, not new heavy muscle. Let your clothes be the judge, and if you are sore don’t weigh in.
Myth #2: You burn more calories during a workout, rather than after
The reality is it really depends on the workout.
Some workouts are more effective at calorie burning during and some are better after. Workouts that burn more after are usually heavy strength training or cross-training.
If you’re doing things like HIIT (high intensity interval training) or heavy strength training, fat will continue to burn for upwards of 24 hours after. The best workout for burning fat is actually a little bit of everything, which is why HIIT has a longer burn; it’s working on strength and cardio at the same time.
A shorter workout may also burn more fat longer if the intensity is high enough.
The best way to achieve the longest burn is to look for a combination workout, something HIIT and low impact if possible.
Myth #3: When you lift weights, you bulk up
Women mostly think of this myth, because they don’t want to look like a body builder.
Lifting weights, especially heavy weights, will transform your body and will help to keep your body fat lower.
Muscle dramatically increases in size when testosterone is present. Which is higher in males than in females. Since ladies have lower levels of muscle building hormones, it’s almost impossible to “bulk up” by lifting heavy.
Myth #4: You can spot reduce fat
Most of you probably already know that you can’t spot reduce or spot correct fat, but we all wish we could.
The reality is that the amount of fat cells you had during puberty is the same amount of cells you have now.
Unfortunately you do not have control over where your body decides to distribute fat cells. So your best approach is overall reduction of fat.
This happens in the kitchen! Get your diet right, and you will shed the pounds.