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In the age of information, it is hard to find the most up to date and accurate data. To make matters worse, the fitness and weight loss industries are riddled with out of date or false information. I have worked in the fitness industry for over 20 years. I have seen diets, and exercise fads come and go. I have worked with and been certified by countless companies. I have been “up to date” with all the latest “information”. Yet, year after year, I see people who are working very hard to improve their health, lose weight, and get strong fail, because they are following these long-perpetuated myths. Over and over, I see people succeed who follow these general guidelines instead. Here are my top 6 fitness and weight loss myths that are keeping you sluggish, overweight, and unhealthy and how to change these bad habits.

Myth # 1:

Exercise alone should be enough to help you lose weight


Exercise is only 20% of the weight loss equation.

What you eat is 80% of effective, long-term weight loss.

A Better Way:

Do not kill yourself with exercise.

Find something you enjoy doing and do it, but balance that with low carbohydrate diet. Focus on healthy fats, proteins, and vegetables and fruits.

Calculate your protein needs by activity level:  Body weight x body fat percentage= amount of body fat. Then, subtract the amount of body fat from your total body weight. This number will give you your lean body mass. Your lean body mass will help you figure out how much protein you need. If you are more sedentary you will opt for 0 .5 grams per pound of lean body mass. If you are more active, you may chose 0.8 grams or 1 gram if you are very active. If you need help figuring your body fat percentage ask at your gym. We can help you with that at Artfit as well. Just request a time before you work out to have your body fat percentage taken.

Limit carb intake to 50-100 grams a day for weight loss or up to 150 for weight maintenance. Start with veggies and fruit, not pasta.

Myth #2:

Whole grains are good for you and are good for people trying to lose weight.


All carbohydrates control insulin and turn to glucose that, if not burned off, will be stored as fat.

A Better Way:

Eat between 50-100 grams of carbs per day to lose weight or up to 150 for weight maintenance.

This is easy if you are eating fruit and vegetables instead of grains. Focus on healthy fats protein and vegetables. Consider a grain free diet. There are many great flour replacements such as almond or coconut flour. Just search for Paleo recipes.

Myth #3:

Eating food labeled low fat will help you lose weight.


Low-Fat products add sugar and preservatives to replace fat.

These products will affect your insulin and glucose levels. Fat does not make you fat! Sugar and extraneous carbs make you fat.

A Better Way:

Eat a diet of whole food, healthy fats, proteins, vegetables, and fruit.

Good fats like those in coconut oil and avocado oil can be used as a fuel source instead of carbs. What is not burned does not turn to fat like carbs are, but is flushed out of the body while providing nutrients that are not found in simple carbs.

Myth #4:

Cardio, Cardio, Cardio!

Get your heart rate up and keep it up if you want to burn fat.


Chronic Cardio can negatively affect health in a variety of ways.

    • It increases the production of cortisol which breaks down muscle tissue and suppresses other hormones
    • It increases systemic inflammation.
    • It creates burnout, fatigue, and immune suppression.

A Better Way:

Traditional fitness regimen push regular cardio at 60-80% of you max heart rate

Research shows that working at 55-75% of max heart rate works better and does not create the problems that working at the higher rate does.

Find your Heart Rate Range:

208-(.7xage) = Estimated Maximum Heart Rate

Estimated Maximum heart rate x.55= low end

Estimated Maximum Heart Rate x.75=High end

heavy lifting lubbockAdd Weight training-

Weight training comes with many positive effects on your body. It makes you physically stronger which allows you to do more things in your daily life

It helps you lose body fat by increasing lean muscle mass. This increases metabolism and burns more calories than fat in the same amount of time. Lean muscle mass burns 6 calories to every 2 calories that fat burns.

It also prevents osteoporosis.  Weight training can increase spinal bone mineral density (and enhance bone modeling) by 13 percent in six months

Strengthening your body can reduce your risk of injury, back pain, and arthritis. Strength training not only builds stronger muscles but also builds stronger connective tissue and increases joint stability. This acts as reinforcement for the joints and helps prevent injury.

Myth #5:

You must spend hours in the gym lifting weight to build muscle and sculpt your body


For weight training to be beneficial you must lift enough weight that you have muscle failure in 90 seconds.

Any more than that, it is too light and you are working aerobically.

A Better Way:

Use compound exercises that use as many muscle groups at one time as possible.

This creates functional muscle that is more adapted to help you do things in your life not just look good. It also allows you to get in and out of the gym quickly.

compound exercises

Ideally, you need to lift 60-80% of your max weight, meaning the heaviest weight you can lift doing one rep.

Lift the heaviest you can in one repetition. Multiply that by .6 then .8. This will be the weight range that you should train with.

Myth #6:

Women should not lift heavy weights or they will be bulky.


You will not bulk up like a man.

Women lack the testosterone to get large muscles no matter how much you lift.

A Better Way:

Lift 60-80% of your max weight.

(Formula above) The heavier weight will increase definition in a woman’s muscle, not size. Heavier weight also creates the benefits that were disused in Myth #4. These benefits will not come from lifting light weights over and over.

Attain your Fitness Goals

I hope that clearing up these enduring fitness and dietary myths with help you attain your fitness goal whether it is weight loss, increased strength, or better athletic performance.

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