Diet and Exercise Myths & Misconceptions

Understanding what the truths are behind exercise and diets

We all have different ideas about what is good and bad for us. Below are a few myths that you may or may not know about exercise, weight loss, and nutrition.

A woman with two dumbbellsYou have to do cardiovascular exercise to lose body fat

This is simply not true. There are many forms of exercise that can help you burn fat off your body and if you had to choose one, it should be weight and resistance based exercise. Not only will these help you burn more calories, and thus fat in the long run, they also help to shape and define your body in ways which cardiovascular exercise can’t.

What’s more ,just doing cardiovascular exercise can actually make it harder for you to burn fat, as it burns muscle protein off and it’s your actual muscles which burn the energy to use up your fat stores!

Ask yourself this: Do you take the gears out of the car before you drive it? Then why would you want to burn off the very thing that makes your body strong, toned and defined?


A woman doing situpsSitups burn off stomach fat

Fat is an energy source within the body, which is released through certain enzymes in order to be effectively used. This can be when you workout and the amount used will depend on the type and amount of work you are doing.

However, one thing is certain: situps do not burn fat off your stomach. Rather, the muscles under your abs will get stronger and become more developed, but only by eating the correct foods and exercising the correct way will you burn fat off your stomach. And, the plus side is that when you eat properly and workout correctly then fat will come off where your body wishes to take it from and not where you want it to disappear from!

A set of dumbbellsIf women lift weights then they’ll bulk up like men

It’s true that weight training develops your muscles. But, to build real size you first need to be consuming enough protein to create muscle tissue; next, you need to have enough testosterone in your body to crank up muscle production; and finally, you need to be lifting weights up to 75% of your maximum. That’s a weight you can only lift 8-10 times before you have to drop the bar because it’s so heavy.

When was the last time you picked up a weight that heavy?

A basket of bread

Grains are great for your body and vitality

By Paul Chek, HHP, NMT Founder, C.H.E.K Institute

The story or grains is part and parcel with the story of bread, neither of which the human machinery is designed to function on optimally. While I’m sure this comment is a surprise to some of you, significant amounts of scientific evidence suggests that for all of human evolution — right up until approximately 10,000 years ago — the primary staple in the diets of most civilizations was animal meat.

There were times when meat was scarce for a variety of reasons but, in general, our consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds was seasonal and supplementary. Most of the animals we ate, such as deer, were plant eaters. These animals had condensed nutrition in their meats (1 pound of meat contained the nutritional equivalent of several pounds of vegetables).

Such a nutrient-dense source of nourishment allowed us to have sustenance during the winter months when we had minimal food storage methods other than the cold itself. Although many argue (mostly from an emotional bias) that we must have carbohydrate sources to function, current biochemistry reveals that we do have the capacity to convert some fat molecules (glycerol) into carbohydrates.

While there are many controversial theories as to why we began farming, it is more commonly agreed on that we began farming practices, or nurturing the growth of specific plant species and domesticating animals no longer than 20,000 years ago and more likely as soon as 10,000 years ago.2 During this time, there has been a progressive increase in the consumption of grains and grain-based products, yet this time period is but a flash in the scope of human evolution, during which our digestive machinery was formed.

glass of milk being pouredPasteurized milk is really good for you

It is not recommended that you drink pasteurized milk of any kind due to the pasteurization process: this entails heating the milk to a temperature of 145/ 150 degrees F and keeping it there for at least half an hour. This completely changes the structure of the milk proteins into something far less than healthy.

Pasteurized cow’s milk is the number one allergic food in the United States. It has been associated with a number of symptoms and illnesses, including:

  • Diarrhea, cramps, bloating and gas
  • Osteoporosis
  • Arthritis
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Recurrent ear infections and colic in infants and children
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Infertility
  • Leukemia
  • Autism

The healthy alternative to pasteurized milk is raw milk, which is an outstanding source of nutrients. It includes: beneficial bacteria such as lactobacillus acidophilus, vitamins and enzymes, and it is, in my estimation, one of the finest sources of calcium available.

Raw milk is generally not associated with any of the above health problems, and people who have been allergic to pasteurized milk for many years can typically tolerate and even thrive on raw milk. Yet, there are still people who still have trouble drinking raw milk, and like Dr. Thomas Cowan, I have wondered if there could be a missing piece to the puzzle. That piece, it turns out, may very well be related to the type of cow your milk comes from.

A group of older people lifting weightsOlder Adults Shouldn’t Exercise

This is one of the most common things i hear from the older generation: “I’m too old to bother with all that stuff”. As we get older, our bodies begin to slow down, bone density, metabolism, and many other functions start to drop. The one hing we can all do to slow the aging process is to exercise, and do exercises that are beneficial to us, such as:

  • Cardiovascular to help keep our heart healthy
  • Weight training to improve bone density
  • Yoga to improve flexibility
  • Core stability training to improve balance
  • Pilates to improve posture
  • Swimming to help condition the whole body

I don’t know about you, but that sounds beneficial to anyone at any age! Don’t you agree? If you’d prefer to work with a personal trainer closer to your age, then click through to our ‘meet the team’ page and look at dorothy’s profile, who specialises training mature adults.

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