Hello everybody and happy Monday!

This week I am here to bust some myths within the fitness industry that you may either currently do or have considered doing, whatever it is, STOP. The industry is huge and there will always be conflicting views on what works, what does not, what is good for you, what is bad for you, what is effective and what is not and so on. However this blog is purely focused on what not to do, which will hopefully lead you on to a clearer and healthier path.

DIET AND WEIGHT LOSS PILLS

There is a belief that some pills will magically transform you and provide you with a flat stomach. This is definitely not the case and if it was that easy, everyone would be doing it. The truth is that such diet and weight loss pills act as a form of laxative and work by flushing out your system to make you appear smaller. It is a short term effect that is neither sustainable or healthy.

PLASTIC WRAPPING

I have seen on social media a few times that wrapping certain body parts in plastic wrapping will help with weight loss and it is by far the most ridiculous thing I have ever read. Again it is a short effect that makes you look smaller when it fact nothing has changed. The aim of it is to make you sweat a lot and therefore get rid of toxins however what it actually does to the body is reduce your blood volume and sends less oxygen to your cells. Other side effects include weakness, confusion and dizziness which put your body at risk.

SIGNIFICANTLY LOW CALORIES

I strongly believe that this is the most important myth to crush as well as the one below. Far too many people believe that significantly lowering their daily calorie intake will result in weight loss and don't get me wrong, it will, but for all of the wrong reasons. Dramatically lowering your calories to get to a goal weight will send your body into starvation and it can start to eat away at your muscle rather than your fat stores. From experience my body cooperates with me and looks better from eating more calories alongside a heavy training plan. I am 60kg and exercise between 1-4 hours 6 days a week and eat around 2000 calories. I have listened to what my body needs and I treat it with care so I am fully aware that on days where I have 4 hours of exercise I eat more than my rest day, this is something you should tailor to your own lifestyle and not constantly deprive your body of the nutrients and care it needs. Eating more DOES NOT mean weight gain!!

THE SHAKE DIET

Yet another pet hate of mine is shake diets, juice cleanses and all of these meal replacement things I often see. I tried it, I got hungry, I snacked on rubbish to fill the hole. I tried this mainly when I was going through my eating disorder as a way of avoiding eating solid foods and it's definitely not something I recommend as a sustainable process.

Shake diets and cleanses will often make you lose weight during the course of taking them and then it all jumps straight back on when you go back to your normal eating habits. WHY? Because you can't live off of shakes and juices forever, eventually you will eat properly again and as your body will not be used to it after surviving on liquids for a period of it, solid foods will be a shock to your body and it will keep hold of it incase you starve it again, thus storing it in fat stores.

Other products such as meal replacement bars are also not effective. They line the stomach to make you think you are full but you are in fact still depriving of it of nutritional foods that is needs such as protein, fats and carbs. NOTE: these words should not be scary, they are goof for you and you can get good fats and carbs such as sweet potato, quinoa, seeds, lentils and so on.

CRUNCHES

Crunches do not get you abs, end of story. In the summer of 2015 I did 300-500 crunches most days and yes my stomach looked great but it was not going to stay like that without the correct food.

It has been said that 80% of your physique comes from what you put in your mouth and 20% of it is from training. If you do not look after your body on the inside, it will not look after you on the outside.

One tip I can give, is to not waste a training session at the gym purely on abs. I alternate my gym session from arms, legs and full body and I include an ab superset at the end of my sessions in order to maintain my core strength.

FRUIT AND VEG 24/7

You do not need to eat a diet consisting of purely fruit and veg to stay healthy. There are a number of sources of protein, fat and carbs that are good for us such as beans and pulses, eggs, butternut squash, brown rice, tofu, quorn, oats, buckwheat, avocado and so on. It is all about experimenting with flavours and new things, healthy does not have to mean boring!

WEIGHTS MEAN BULKING

You should not feel scared to use heavy weights in case you start to bulk because it's just not going to work like that. Bulking involves a lot of preparation and consumption of a lot more food in order to do and if that is not your goal you will not get there just from lifting heavy.

Lifting heavy tones your body, defines your muscles and makes you stronger. I absolutely love lifting weights and I feel great when I lift more than the previous time because I know my body is pushing its way out of my comfort zone and developing new limits.

I hope this blog has been useful to you and answered a few questions you may have. Feel free to ask me any other questions through the 'CONTACT' section on my website.

Until next time,

J x

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