by Latrice Marie Winston
MYTH 1: Cardio is the key to weight Loss
Absolutely Not! Most of us are looking to achieve the fabled beautiful hour glass physique, but to do that weight training is necessary to not only sculpt your physique for a customized look but also to speed up your metabolism so that it can burn more calories throughout the day. Cardio is a must to burn calories and eventually fat, but it is only a piece of the puzzle. For example, if you are pear shaped and desire an hour glass look, one trick is to widen your shoulders through specific shoulder exercises. That combined with weight loss gives you the illusion of a waist that’s smaller than it actually it is. On the other hand if you have a T shaped physique, characterized characterized by a wider shoulders and slim and narrow hips and legs, you can widen out your hips and glutes by using squats and lunges to create more shape. Lastly, weight training allows you to build lean shapely muscle that forces you to burn more calories throughout the day while resting from exercise.
MYTH 2: Exercising on an empty stomach will help you lose more weight
Exercise forces muscles to use an incredible amount of energy. When you exercise first thing in the morning your body has gone through 6-8 hours of starvation overnight. Because of that, if you skip breakfast, you won’t be able to have a productive workout. Your body simply lacks the fuel needed to burn calories after that long fast. Additionally, exercising on an empty stomach can cause dizziness, nausea and an increased risk for embarrassing falls. (Trust me I’ve learned the hard way and feeling nauseous on a treadmill is not a good look.) Lastly, working out on an empty stomach often forces your body to burn muscle as opposed to fat, which over the long term leads to poor muscle tone and a slower metabolism. To burn the most calories early in the morning eat a light breakfast (for example Greek Yogurt and few teaspoons of Kashi cereal) so that you have energy to go hard during your workout!
MYTH 3: Skipping meals leads to quicker weight loss
Skipping meal causes the opposite of weight loss; weight gain. It causes your body to go into a starvation mode in which your fuel starved body will use both fat and muscle as fuel. As stated above, when your body uses muscle for fuel your metabolism slows down, as does your ability to lose weight. Additionally, when you skip meals you overeat to compensate for not eating. Lastly, as you continue to skip meals your body begins to hang on to and hoard any calories that it receives. Long term, your body becomes resistant to losing weight. To avoid that and keep your metabolism humming along eat every 3 to 4 hours, which means 5 to 6 small meals per day.
MYTH 4: Doing a lot of ab exercises removes belly fat
At every gym I’ve ever worked out in, I see people spending too much time on ab machines in hopes of losing belly fat. They should spend more time doing cardio and eating healthier. In order to dramatically reduce your belly fat, you need to engage in cardiovascular activity to burn enough fat to actually see your abs. Then, after you burn the calories, you need to eat healthy enough to keep the fat off! Lastly, when your exercise on a regular basis with heavy enough weight and focus on keeping your core tight, you won’t need as many ab exercises as you think, because your already working them! So, if you want that six pack, use the treadmill and watch your diet!
MYTH 5: Strength training will make you bulky
No, no, no! I’ve spoken on this question in past articles, but I will briefly stress the fallacy of this myth again. It’s not possible for women to look like male or female bodybuilders if they weight train! Women don’t possess enough testosterone to look bulky, so ladies embrace the weights. Consult a personal trainer or do your research before working out so that you know the correct techniques and don’t injure yourself. Remember, weight training allows you to sculpt your body into the beautiful physique you’ve always wanted!
MYTH 6: Honey is less fattening than sugar
Nope! Honey is primarily composed of simple sugars. One teaspoon of sugar is 16 calories as compared to one teaspoon of honey at 25 calories. So just like most things, use honey in moderation. Add water to make it slightly less caloric while still enjoying the great taste. As an alternative; if you’re looking for a great natural sweetener, try agave.
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