The fitness industry has become an expert in tempting you to follow some rules. Following a set of rules that impede your lifestyle and causes you unhappiness isn't conducive to a good life. Fitness doesn't need to be a strict black and white focus. There can be some shades of grey as well. There's more than one way to master fitness skills and achieve lifelong healthy habits. Here are some "rules" that you should stop being tempted by.
No Carbs at Night
People have been saying that eating carbs at night will make you fatter. But that's just a dumb rule. Eating carbs does not cause you to gain weight, eating extra calories causes the weight gain. A study that was conducted showed that individuals who ate carbs at night actually got leaner. So feel free to eat carbs at night, allowing yourself 2-3 hours before going to bed to digest the food. Carbs also trigger the release of serotonin, which help to promote sleep and relaxation. In fact, it has been researched that sleeping increases your metabolism. So if you get a proper amount of night's rest, eating carbs at night will have no effect on your system. Just watch out for too many calories though.
You Must Cut out all Carbs to Lose Fat
People think obesity is caused by carbohydrates, when really it is just because people are overeating. Low carb diets are ok for those who are sedentary, because they aren't getting must exercise to burn the calories consumed. But for those who are active and exercise, cutting out carbs is a really bad idea. Carbs give you energy and after exercise helps in recovery. Cutting out carbs also leads to crankiness, brain fog due to not getting enough glucose and constipation. To read more on what carbs really are, read Carbohydrates: What You Should Know About Them. Also, take a look at our article on how carb cycling can burn fat by reading Burn Fat the Carb Cycling Way!
Only Cardio Will Burn Fat
Cardio is a great exercise for when you have your nutrition in control, are strength training and you have your stress controls and blood pressure in check. However, its not the only thing that's going to burn your fat. Cardio does indeed burn plenty of calories. But that's only when you are exercising. To burn even more calories after you exercise, you need to incorporate weight training in your regime.
Is the Only Diet You Should Follow
Whether its intermittent fasting, Paleo, Dukan, Atkins, or the DASH diet, they all work somehow for different people with different lifestyles. No one diet is the only diet that works. The key is to tailor your diet to cater to a lifestyle that does not add additional stress. You need to incorporate a way of eating that makes you happy but still nutritional.
Supplements Will Make You Progress
Supplements are not necessary, that's why they are called supplements. They are just added to the healthy lifestyle that you should already have by eating nutritiously and exercising regularly, incorporating weight lifting. Ensure you get proper rest with the healthy lifestyle and you will see results without supplements. Only when you've entered into a state where you've gotten good results without the supplements, should you take supplements to gain that extra edge.
Fat Can Be Spot Reduced Through Exercise
Unfortunately you can't pick and choose where body fat will be burned off from. Men and women are obsessed with the idea of this, those crunches or reps for inner thighs won't speed up the process of burning fat from those areas.Just focus on reducing overall body fat by eating healthier and exercising properly.
Pain For Progress
The old adage "No pain, no gain," does not work. Many people use these types of chants for fitness motivation. But you don't need to be sore, hurting or in pain after every workout to see results. Muscle soreness is the result of small tears in your muscle and its normal for when you start a new fitness program, but when you are constantly sore that’s a sign that you aren't recovering enough. Proper rest increases your recovery and makes you grow stronger.
Gluten Free is the Way to Go
If you have food allergies, digestive problems or celiac disease, then it makes sense for you to go gluten free. But if you don't have any of these problems, you need to avoid these gluten-free diets or any other "-free" diet. The foods that have gluten in them are important for a good diet, so don't just go into a new fad diet just because other people are doing it. To learn more about gluten, read What is Gluten?
You Need to Have A Great Body to Look Good
The new culture is obsessed with body image. While its great to have goals to improve your body composition, obsessing over the perfect body to improve your self-worth will only make you less happy, especially if you don't get results. You should improve your body only for you. The key to happiness and a habit of exercising is to find motivation not just for physical appearance.
Stop following fads that people tell you in the fitness industry. Instead focus on staying happy and living a healthy life without stress added by some fitness 'rules.'