This Xmas we take a look at the 12 Myths of Christmas designed by our very own PT Jack Smith.
You'll always want to go through each topic and make notes because im sure you'll want to stay in great shape but also enjoy yourself across the christmas festivities.
- Do Carbs and Fats make you fat?
Let’s keep this one short! It's true that cutting these things out of your diet will kick start your weight loss, but this is because doing so will reduce your overall calorific intake, not because these things are ‘bad' for you. Although being at a calorific deficit is crucial if you want to lose fat, cutting out carbs and fat completely is likely to be counterproductive in the long term; the body needs these things!
Carbohydrates are an important fuel, especially if you're working out regularly, and a certain amount of fat is important in your diet to aid with fat loss. To summarise, you lose weight from a caloric deficit, not a carb or fat reduction, you are gaining weight because you are eating too much for your body! You need to work out what your body requires and take control of what you eat.
- Cardio Burns more fat than Weights?
Many people think that if you want to lose fat, you should do more cardio, and that if you want to build muscle, you should lift weights. But it's not that simple. You can use weight training to lose fat, and in some ways it's actually better than cardio.
Falling for the common misconception that you need to do cardio to lose weight is one of the biggest mistakes you could make. The more muscle you have on your body, the higher the rate of fat loss tends to be, this is the primary reason males can typically eat more than females without gaining weight—they have more lean muscle mass on their body, thus they are burning more calories around-the-clock.
Another big benefit that weight training has over cardio training is that it will allow you to completely reshape your body. While doing cardio can help your fat-loss goals, in a lot of ways weight training is more effective and will also give you a more toned body shape.
And if you just want to lose fat and don't want to get hugely muscular, don't worry, that takes a lot of concentrated effort and won't happen just by showing up to the weights area a few times a week.
It's time to break free from the thinking that cardio equates to fat loss and weight training equates to becoming bulky. It's simply not as clear cut as that.
If losing fat is your goal, lifting weights can only help you, so make it a priority.
- How to turn Fat into Muscle?
The simple answer is…You can’t! Muscle and fat are two completely different tissues! Fat is essentially a fuel source to your muscles.
To convert one into the other is impossible, you can certainly decrease body fat percentage and increase muscle size which would in the end have the same outcome but that’s as close to converting them as you’ll get, this is most likely where the misconception comes from!
People simply making changes to their diet/exercise routines for the better and being able to see more muscle definition, all that has happened is body fat levels have decreased due to the creation of a calorie deficit and the muscles have become more visible... not converted from fat!
- Spot Reduction
One of the biggest exercise myths is that you can lose fat in an area of the body by strength training or exercising that specific body part. The truth is that “spot reducing” and “spot toning” do not work, because we cannot dictate from where our bodies will decide to burn fat, nor can we change fat into muscle. Doing triceps press-downs will not decrease the amount of fat you have on the backs of your arms any more than doing crunches will decrease the amount of fat you have on your stomach.
As you age, your skin will become less elastic and thus conform less to your arms. So “flabby arms” can somewhat be a product of age. Any exercise that decreases body fat percentage will help you lose fat on your arms, just as it will help you lose fat from other areas of the body.
Don’t get me wrong, directly training an area still has its benefits as the muscle will look better developed once the body fat has been lost but in no way can you target areas for fat loss!
- Can you tone a muscle?
Let’s clear this myth up straight away, there is no such thing as toning a muscle! The firming-up or toning is due to an increase in muscle tissue as well as a low enough body fat percentage to see the definition and shape of the muscles and get rid of the "jiggle". Muscles do not go from soft to hard or hard to soft—they either shrink or grow in size. Muscles themselves do not "firm-up" or "tone". They appear “toned” or defined due to a decrease in body fat. That’s it! So save yourself the time and effort and stop doing crazy light exercises with crazy high repetitions thinking that’s the way to tone a muscle, it’s not! In fact it probably won’t do anything at all!
- Should your knees go over your toes when squatting?
Without going into too much depth about limb length, injuries and squat variations which may all affect your knee/foot positioning when performing a squat, the well-known phrase that your knees shouldn’t travel over your toes is simply a myth!
The thought behind this is that it puts an increased and unnecessary amount of stress on your knee joint which may lead to injury; this will only be true if there is already an underlying knee injury or the squat is done with excessive forward knee movement.
The reality is if you try to perform a squat without your knees going over and sometimes past your toes you will more than likely struggle to remain upright therefore putting more strain on your lower back, if you fight the urge to tilt forward you will simply fall backwards.
Having said that, it is vital that your heels remain flat on the ground. Failure to do this will increase the likelihood of you developing an injury or just falling forward as your centre of gravity shifts.
To summarise: Yes it’s okay for your knees to go over your toes (Providing that your heels are flat on the ground), No it’s not bad for your knees, Its safer on your lower back and hips, you will more likely feel your quads working more as a result.
- The truth about protein supplements
If you were to ask any supplement company, they would tell you without reservation that their protein supplement, amino acids, or other “latest greatest supplement guaranteed to put muscle on the skinniest guy” will work wonders. According to them, you’ll gain pounds of muscle, melt pounds of fat, and be stronger overnight.
Truth be told, though, the best muscle-building substance that you can put into your body is... Wait for it… FOOD!
Yes, food. The food that you eat provides you with all of the building blocks, energy resources, and nutrients that your body needs to recover and reconstruct your muscles into larger, stronger versions of their previous selves. Just try to include some kind of protein in every meal, and you should get enough nutrients to gain some muscle.
Protein supplements are no more than that, a quick source of protein to supplement your already well rounded diet.
- What is the best diet?
What is the best diet? Well here it is!
There is no best diet! The truth is, the diet or eating routine that:
- Allows you to consistently hit your dietary goals whatever these may be!
- The diet that that works around your schedule!
- The diet that allows you balance and sustainability!
- It doesn’t matter when you eat as long as you are able to hit your calorie/ macro goals at the end of the day you will be on track to achieving whatever it is you are working towards!
- don’t over complicate diets, everyone has one, some are better than others. Make yours work for you!
- Does sugar make you fat?
Sugar is not making you fat!!! Well it might be helping? Okay let me clear it up a bit, as always I’m going to refer to calories being the key to fat gain/loss, so where does sugar play a role in weight gain? The foods we tend to overeat or binge on are more often than not high in sugar, the reason we overeat these types of foods is because we like the taste of them. The over consumption of calories in the food are what makes us gain weight, NOT the sugar! It is not addictive, it is not making you fat, and it’s not toxic! We like the taste of it so tend to overeat foods that are high in it! It still comes down to the over consumption calories for gaining body fat!
- Are abs made in the kitchen?
By far one of the more common phrases you will hear around the gym, to keep it simple the abdominal muscles are no different to any other muscle in your body, they have to be trained in order for them to grow, they are made in the gym, not the kitchen. .
When it comes to actually seeing your abs your body fat has to be at a low enough level for them to show through, our bodies tend to lose fat from the core area last so give it time, providing you actually have well developed abs you will sure enough start to see some definition before long.
To summarise, Abs are made in the gym, not the kitchen, once they are built, your body fat levels will determine how visible they appear!
- Do you have stubborn body fat?
Do you have ‘stubborn’ body fat? Good news! You don’t! When In a so called “fat burning phase” your body will start using fat from certain areas earlier than it does others, where you first lose it is different in everyone! It might be from your face, your legs, your arms etc. The reason we say some areas are stubborn are because they are usually the last to go, not because they are stubborn, Just last. These areas are often around the mid-section, just give your body enough time and enough reason to continue burning fat and it will go, eventually!
- Do diet pills really work?
Without going into too much depth about the amount of calories you eat being the main cause of either weight Loss or weight gain (Which they are), Dietary supplements such as weight loss pills are NOT the reason you lose weight, if you start taking something along these lines and begin to lose weight it is likely because you have made additional changes to your lifestyle (Moving more or eating better). In other words these magical diet supplements are acting as a placebo and are probably having little to no effect on you what so ever. Save your money, start moving more and learn about calories in vs calories out.