Fitness

8 health and fitness myths debunked

Founder of TIFFXO.com and expert trainer, Tiffiny Hall, explains how some common fitness myths could be negatively affecting your approach to health.

By Tiffiny Hall

Once upon a time, in a land not too far away, there were many fitness fairytales being passed around; promising quick fixes and claiming bread is the enemy (rubbish).

Welcome to what I like to call 'fitness fairytales,' these false claims try and distract us from healthy habits and a #happyfit life. So it's important we armor ourselves with a little bit of knowledge so we're able to tackle any setbacks that come our way.

I've broken down some fitness fairytales so you can make smarter choices and get closer to your goal.

FITNESS FAIRYTALE 1: Scales determine your healthy weight

Just. No. Scales don't actually determine how far along we have come in our fitness journey, and they certainly don't determine progress or worth. I know it's exciting to be able to track your progress, but you don't (and shouldn't) have to live your number by the screen.

Your weight fluctuates due to hormones, weather and water and doesn't tell an honest story. It really is arbitrary because as you train, you will gain lean, sexy muscle and your body composition will change.

You may not lose weight (on the scales), but you will find your clothes fit better and all of a sudden you have all of this extra energy. It's about focusing on the FIT not the FAT, so find some fitness goals and work towards them and appreciate how strong and empowered you are feeling.

FITNESS FAIRYTALE 2: Eating fat makes you fat

Not true, but only when we're talking about the GOOD kinds of fats. I'm talking about avocados, salmon, eggs, nuts, olive oil… These foods keep us fuller for longer, deliver a range of nutrients, boost immunity, help control cravings and are a necessary part of our diets.

This is why I've made sure my online health and wellbeing program TIFFXO has the perfect amount of good fats, proteins and carbs in every day.

FITNESS FAIRYTALE 3: Lifting weights makes women bulky

Just not true. The average woman typically has less muscle tissue and produce lower levels of testosterone than men, which means we're less prone to becoming brawny.

Here's the shiny truth: when you pick up heavy things, your muscles get stronger, but not necessarily bigger. Paired with the right diet of healthy foods, you will get stronger, burn the fat on top of your muscle and get that long, toned look you're after.

When you see female bodybuilders who look strong and well, bulky, that's because they eat, train and take supplements specifically to look like that!

FITNESS FAIRYTALE 4: The only time to workout is the mornings

Nope. Guess what, the best time to workout is whatever time allows you to exercise the most consistently.

Really, the only advantage for working out in the morning is that it's done and dusted before the day can derail any plans for shine. Find what works for your life and stick to it.

FITNESS FAIRYTALE 5: A regular bra is fine to work out in

Definitely not! For starters, working out means we move and jiggle and shake around and sports bras and made to reduce these movements. Guess what, if you're working out in your everyday Bonds, you're actually going to promote saggy boobs, but more importantly, you're also giving yourself a pretty good chance for upper back and shoulder problems.

Breasts have no muscles and without the proper support they'll be causing you more pain than good. Help yourself avoid discomfort, reduce your body pain and reduce long-term sagging by getting a dedicated sports bra.

Plus they make some some pretty cute ones nowadays so get out there and support your ladies!

FITNESS FAIRYTALE 6: You can spot reduce areas

SO WRONG: I'm sorry to be the one to break it to you, but you can't actually spot target areas, no matter what that person on social media says.

Doing a gazillion sit ups a day ain't gonna bring you closer to having the world's flattest tum. Sure, it's going to make those muscles stronger, but it isn't going to burn through your belly fat. Same deal for lunges and thighs, tricep dips and upper arms.

If you are wanting to lose weight or tone up a particular spot, you'll need to reduce your total body fat percentage through a mix of exercise and diet.

FITNESS FAIRYTALE 7: You need to sweat heavily to have any kind of impact

Sorry to break it to you, but no. I totally get it, you've worked out and you feel MORE accomplished because your t-shirt is drenched with sweat after your workout.

It feels like proof. Except, the amount you sweat when exercise has no relationship with the calories you burned during that session. When our body sweats, it's actually the body's way of cooling down, not burning calories.

One of the reason I love my TIFFXO HIIT workouts so much is that it allows your body to continue to work and burn even after you've finished, so you reap the rewards all day long.

FITNESS FAIRYTALE 8: Working out means I get to eat what I want

Oh dear, this is something that many get caught out by. Ever heard of the concept, it's 80 per cent what happens in the kitchen and 20 per cent what happens in the Dojang?

You can't out run a crappy diet unfortunately. It's not about going to boot camp just so you can eat pizza every evening, it's about learning how to have a healthy and #happyfit lifestyle where you make smart choices but you're also allowed to indulge.

Tiffiny Hall is the founder of TIFFXO, an author, expert trainer, journalist and television personality, best known for her role as trainer on The Biggest Loser Australia.