You have to work out before breakfast to burn fat, weights make you big and bulky, carbs are the enemy, eating fat will make you fat.

food and fitness myths are everywhere and identifying what is true or false can be very confusing. There are many misconceptions about training and nutrition out there that are loosely based on fact. Many of these have simply grown over time or never had a base of evidence to begin with.

With this in mind, I thought I’d discuss and debunk some of the common myths that might be holding you back from achieving your goals.

1. Lots of cardio is best if you want to lose weight.

This idea stems from people focusing solely on calories IN and calories OUT. “How many do I eat and how many during my workout do I burns’ But when it comes to being an efficient fat burner there is so much more at play. When we lose weight we want to be losing fat so we need to train in a way that will help us burn fat and not lose too much lean muscle. ;We also want to make sure that our metabolism stays in an elevated state and keeps working well after our workout finishes. Cardio can be a part of this but put simply it is not the best way and if done in long steady form only you will not get the results you want.

To lose fat fast and keep it off you want to make sure you are doing 2 things: Make sure there is some resistance training in your workouts as the more lean muscle you have the better your metabolism will work. When it comes to cardio – High intensity bursts of cardio that spike your heart rate and get you out of your comfort zone are best to keep that engine burning.

2. Fat makes you fat

top-4-food-fitness-myths-debunked-02

WRONG.

Most people worry that eating fat will make them fat. And it’s no wonder – we have been told this for decades. We know that fat has more calories per gram than carbohydrates or protein, so the assumption is that fat makes you fat. But if this was true, why, then, as we have cut back on fat, especially saturated fat, have obesity rates tripled? I could go on and on for hours but the key messages I always share with my clients when they ask about eating fat is to eat the right fats (such as those found in seeds, nuts and avocado) consume quality protein and lots of vegetables and fruit (real food) and avoid high sugar and highly processed carbs (not a no carb diet but a lower amount and the right type) as they are what really makes us fat!

3. Sit-ups will get you a six-pack

top-4-food-fitness-myths-debunked-03

If sit-ups gave us six packs we’d all be walking around looking like Greek gods. Whilst it’s true that sit-ups are one of many exercises to work our abdominal muscles we need to accept that you we will never be able to see them unless you have a small layer of fat covering. So I always say build and strengthen the core from the inside out with controlled functional movements, twisting, bracing, lowering and some old school sit-ups but make sure you add some HIIT style fat burning too. And never forget the oldie but a goodie “abs are made in the kitchens’.

4. The more you exercise, the better

top-4-food-fitness-myths-debunked-01

I’m a believer in quality over quantity when it comes to training. I always say to make every workout count rather than counting every workout. With 17 years experience in the fitness industry, I know that consistency, variety and intensity will yield better results than volume. Of course the exception to this rule is those training for an endurance event such as a marathon where preparation specific to your event is key but for the average person wanting to get fast results it’s about training smarter, not harder. 28 minutes per day is the magic number, try to mix up your routine with some high intensity workouts and others that focus more on recovery and mobility.

With all the misinformation out there my best advice is don’t always believe everything you read. Do your research and make sure you follow the advice of trusted and experienced experts, not just your favourite influencer.

Posted by Sam Wood

Father and husband, on a mission to help people move more, eat better and make a positive change. Sam Wood has over 18 years experience in the health and fitness industry, and is recognised as one of Australia’s leading experts and media commentators. He is also the founder and trainer at Australia’s number one online fitness and nutrition program, and owner of Australia’s largest personal training studio, The Woodshed.