4 Big Health Myths

Exercise and diet misinformation is often entrenched. Especially difficult to shake are those fallacies that have the ring of truth or a basis in fact. Here are four often-repeated myths that may seem reasonable at first blush, but crumble under closer scrutiny.


Myth 1:

Quick and significant weight loss results are worse long-term than gradual weight loss.

It’s easy to understand why this myth would be perpetrated, since losing weight quickly is associated with fad diets. In that respect, yes, short-term diets that aren’t going to accompany long-term lifestyle changes will likely not work.

However, a 2014 study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology deduced that while long-term weight loss is difficult to achieve no matter what diet approach is used, weight loss in the short-term is more likely when rapid weight loss occurs.


Myth 2:

Eating fat makes you fat.


Eating fat doesn’t make a person fat. Eating too much of anything, whether it’s fat, carbohydrates or protein causes weight gain. Fats are an essential part of a healthy diet, so there’s no need to eliminate them from your food.

Since fat is dense in energy, it’s easy to overshoot your calorie needs when you eat high-fat foods. On the other hand, foods that are high in fat can help some people feel satiated and prevent overeating. High fat, nutritious choices include seeds, nuts and avocados.

Myth 3:

Running is always healthy.


Running is a high-impact activity, so it’s not unreasonable to think that distance running could cause damage to your body. While there are conflicting opinions about the long-term healthfulness of long-distance running, there is little doubt about the benefits of running shorter distances for most people. There’s a strong consensus on the benefits of short, high intensity, workouts.

If you want the benefits of running, but have concerns about its impact on your joints, do less of it as part of a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) routine. This approach has grown in popularity, in part because of the growing evidence of how effective it can be. Alexandria residents looking for a gym that expertly incorporates HIIT and proper diet should look to The Genesis Experience. They can help you achieve your health and fitness goals.

Myth 4:

You lose one pound of fat for each 3,500-calorie deficit.


Eating fewer or burning more calories results in weight loss. However, the correlation between 3,500 calories burned and one pound lost isn’t accurate, and the idea that the loss will be purely fat is wrong.

It is true that the energy represented in one pound of fat tissue equals 3,500 calories. Unfortunately, that calculation doesn’t account for the variation in how people lose weight. People lose at different rates, and metabolism can slow when it adjusts to weight loss and calorie cutbacks. It becomes harder to lose pounds as you continue to decrease calorie consumption. In addition, weight loss consists of fat, water and other tissue. Even if you could count on the accuracy of the 3,500-calorie guideline, calorie numbers on labels are estimates as are energy expenditures for exercise.

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