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5 Myths of diet & fitness

There are lots of myths, Bro science, half truths and fallacies in fitness & diet. These range from the fairly harmless but ineffective 3X10 workouts to the dangerous wonder shakes that will help you lose weight and get fit. If something sounds to good to be true, it probably is. If you are being sold the magic bullet of diet or fitness be suspicious.

But it is very easy to be sucked into the promise of a quick fix or an easy option especially when we are at our most vulnerable.

1: The quick fix meal replacement shake, pill or wonder supplement, how to lose X

amount of pounds in just a few days/weeks with out the need for exercise or healthy eating. The people selling these products specifically prey on the vulnerable and try to exploit their fears and insecurities by hard sales tactics of these miracle products. They are willing to lie, cheat & emotionally blackmail people.

BEWARE they often run free fitness classes with no qualifications or experience and act more like drug dealers than fitness or health professionals. If in doubt, ask to see their qualifications and insurance.

Supplementation can be very useful if you train hard, but a good healthy diet is always the best place to start.

NO personal trainer or fitness professional should ever sell you some kind of meal replacement shake, quick fix supplement or pills, if they try to walk away very fast.

2: Money back guarantee This sounds like a really good idea what can be so bad about this. Well nothing really but the type of trainer who offers this knows that it's a con because any changes in eating or exercise will cause a loss of weight in the first 6 to 8 weeks. Also, they pick their clients to make sure they are not fit to start with, because the fatter and more unfit you are the easier it is to lose weight initially. After the initial phase of training the body says 'Hold on, whats happening?' and starts to try and protect its fat stores. This is why most people start to gain weight after the initial 6 to 8 weeks of diet or exercise, so they try and repeat what helped them to lose weight initially which now doesn't work. So if someone offers you a money back guarantee make sure it is good for 16, 24 even 52 weeks.

3: Get toned I'm sorry to tell you this but you can't get toned, you can burn fat and build muscle which will make you look good, but you either have muscles or you don't, you can't 'tone' it. Personal trainers who offer toning usually get the person to do high reps with very low weights, which neither builds muscle or burns fat. All this type of training does is make you really good at lifting light weights alot.

Research and basic anatomical knowledge implies that the notion of specific exercises to improve tone is unfounded. Exercises can aid fat loss or stimulate muscle hypertrophy, but cannot otherwise improve tone. The size of the muscle can change, as can the amount of fat covering the muscle, but the 'shape' cannot.

4: Detox This seems to be a constant favourite, detox your liver or detox your system. The healthy body has kidneys, a liver, skin, even lungs that are detoxifying for you all the time, if you built up the amount of toxins that these magic potions, pills & diets are supposed to eliminate you would probably already be dead. The detox industry is similar to the quick fix, it preys on the fears & desire for a quick fix with promises of fixing these non-existent problems all for a reasonable price. Don’t be conned into buying magic potions, wonder blenders or even worse colonic irrigation.

The only detox you may need is if you are addicted to some form of drug like smoking or alcohol. Your body does a really great job of detoxing & the only thing you need to do is eat a healthy diet, exercise and enjoy life.

5: Lifting weights makes you bulky No eating too much & sitting on your arse makes you bulky, lifting weights makes you strong, builds muscle and burns fat.

If you lift weights you will not look like a bodybuilder unless you train, eat and supplement like a bodybuilder. Bodybuilders are some of the most dedicated athletes around, their training is extremely tough and intense. Lifting weights 2, 3 or even 4 times a week will not turn you into the hulk, unless you are genetically gifted to get that way.

The great thing about muscle is that it burns more fat even when you are doing nothing. So don't be afraid of grabbing a barbell and building some muscle.


There are other things that I could add such as celebrity fitness videos, workouts & diets. The main problem with these products is that they don’t show the real work that goes into making these so-called celebs look the way they do. They don’t show the professional chefs cooking their meals, the £200 an hour personal trainer for 4 hours a day 6 days a week. They don’t show the lighting rig that makes sure they look great, along with the makeup artist. And they definitely don’t show the cosmetic surgery.

Also we all know that a lot of before and after pictures are taken on the same day, its amazing how much just changing the lighting and better posture will improve someones appearance.

Health, fitness & diet is a huge subject with lots of opinions some backed by facts some by myths, always ask questions do your own research.

John Nelson

Personal Trainer

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