5 Summer fitness myths (and what you can do instead)

Hi folks! Rachel here from SOURCE to hep you navigate through the murky waters of the fitness and fat loss world.

I’ll be the first to say that I’ve embarked upon panicked crash diets spurred on by packing my bags and seeing a mountain of bikinis staring back at me with three weeks to go before baring my pasty legs on a beach in Europe.

Some of you reading this may be tempted by sensationalist statements (as I previously would have been ) like “Drop a dress size in three days with this tea that Kendall Jenner uses!”

“Abs in 3 minutes with this product that has definitely been endorsed by a celebrity but they almost certainly don’t use”. Let’s have a look at 5 common summer fitness myths and what you can do instead to feel comfortable in your own skin, for your holidays and beyond.

1. Fit Teas for Fat Loss
Unfortunately this appears to be the modern version of selling snake oil. It’s tempting to believe in an over priced herby water that’s being pedalled by a seventeen year old instagram influencer with the metabolism of a hummingbird, abs under just the right lighting and a vested interest in selling this product. Behind the scenes she’s watching her energy balance (calories in slightly less than calories out), lifting weights and maybe doing a little bit of cardio.
What can you do instead?
Ditch the Fit Tea and hydrate your body more effectively and less expensively by drinking 2.5L water everyday. You’ll have better energy levels, less cravings and will have more spare cash for that eighth bikini you knew you needed, just in case.

2. Spot reduction of fat.
You can actually buy a cream for this. You can, but should you? I wish it was true but no amount of body cream will reduce fat from one specific area of the body. Unfortunately our bodies just don’t work this way. Fat is reduced at uneven rates around the body and can even depend on factors such as gender and genetics. Overall fat loss is still the best (and only non surgical) way to see fat loss from a specific area.
What can you do to see fat loss from a specific area?
– Be in a consistent, mild calorie deficit (you take in a little bit less energy through food
and drink than you expend daily)
– Drink 2.5 L water everyday
– Sleep 6-8 hours every night
– Strength train 2-3 times a week
– Be patient

3. Juice Cleanses.
Juice Detox companies have excellent marketing so understandably a lot of people still believe the hype about cleansing your body through their means but the science backing up their claims is shaky at best. The main claims juice detox companies make are weight loss and detoxification of the body. The weight loss often occurs because of the restrictive nature of the ‘diet’, you lose fluid and have eliminated all solid foods so of course there will be weight loss, but this quickly comes back on again when you start eating properly again as 700 calories of fruit juice is neither a healthy nor sustainable diet.
The detox side of things has been widely thrown out by medical professionals the world over, your liver, kidneys, colon and lungs do all the detoxing your body requires.
What can you do to see fat loss and detox your body?
Limit the amount of junk food (processed foods, alcohol and sugary drinks) to reduce the amount of detoxing your internal organs have to do as well as benefitting from the fat loss that comes from reducing these kinds of food. Win win!

4. Sit ups for a flat stomach
Unfortunately doing 500 sit ups a day might give you more of a sore back than a six pack. Though sit ups and crunches may strengthen your abdominal muscles, they actually only target a very small portion of the muscles that make up your core and so aren’t even particularly efficient at building core strength because of that.
Having a strong set of abs doesn’t necessarily mean you have visible abs. Sit ups do nothing to reduce abdominal fat which is what we need to do if we want to reduce the size of our midsection and improve our overall health.
So what to do for a flat stomach?
For this, we need to
Adjust nutritional habits by reducing the amount of processed, sugary foods we are consuming. There’s no out training a bad diet!Learn how to use weights safely. When you build more muscle, your ability to burn calories throughout the day increases and this helps massively with overall reduction of body fat.If you want to do ab-specific exercises, consider switching from sit ups to Planks and Dead Bugs as these recruit a lot more of the muscles of the core and give you more bang for your buck without the stress on the low back.

5. Crash Diet to get holiday ready
Crash diets are extremely restrictive meal plans that can vary from only eating one kind of food (ever heard of the banana only diet?), to severely restricting your calories to as low as 500 calories a day in some cases which is extremely unhealthy and will make you very, very unpleasant to be around. (Hanger is a real thing :/ )
The problem with crash diets is that maybe you’ll see a small short term change on the scale but this is always short lived. Crash diets are, by definition, restrictive and so, unsustainable for long term fat loss. Added to that, with crash diets it’s extremely difficult to ensure you’re getting enough of the nutrients your body requires to function properly. Long term reduction of these compounds can mean impaired cognitive function and reduced bone health to name only two of a whole list of health indications.
What can you do instead?
Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes. The fitness industry thrives on selling the newest diet craze or program that promises fast results but there is no substitution for a well balanced diet comprised of nutrient rich, whole foods, an active lifestyle including some strength training and drinking plenty of water.

If you want to find out more about the way we do things at SOURCE, don’t hesitate to contact me there!

Rachel

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