Health and Fitness Myths I Wish I Never Fell For

I had this amazing idea for a post idea last week when I was in the shower. And we all know shower thoughts are the best thoughts, so it was immediately added to the post docket and written up this week. It’s just that good, and something I’m passionate about!

If you’ve been following me for anytime longer than a few days, then you know I’m super into fitness. And if you’ve been following me for at least a few months, you know I’ve had a negative past with health and fitness, but have turned it into a healthy relationship. One of the reasons my unhealthy relationship with diets and exercises started was because of all the misinformation I found on the web, so today I’m debunking all the myths younger Caitlyn used to follow religiously in hopes that I save another person out there from going through what I went through, and still deal with today.

1200 calorie diets

I have no idea what crazy insane person started this, but you should not follow a 1200 calorie diet! Only is rare circumstances should you be eating that little amount of food in one day.

Yes, you need to have a deficit of calories to lose weight, but even if you don’t work out, your body is already burning calories all day long. Even if all you did was lay in bed all day long, your body would probably still burn about 1500. Yeah. This is because of something called your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), also commonly known as your metabolism.

An average 20-year-old female who is 5’4” and weighs 150 pounds has a BMR of about 1435. That means this girl will burn almost 1500 doing absolutely nothing! Meaning to maintain her weight, she’d have to eat more than that since walking around and doing daily tasks would increase her calories burned.

I highly recommend you to look more into BMR and consult a doctor or nutritionist before you set a caloric intake for yourself. Especially, if you’re wanting to aim for something close to your BMR. I’m no doctor, but I’d say eating fewer calories than your BMR is dangerous.

Final take away: never aim to eat only 1200 calories in one day.

You shouldn’t eat after dinner

There are all these weird “rules” out there about when it’s not okay to eat. This one I fell for and followed for years actually. I thought if I ate anything after eating dinner that it would all turn to fat. Wow was younger me bad at science or what? 

While when you eat, and how closely you eat between meals can affect how it’s metabolized, eating after dinner (or dark) is not evil! While this does help curb late night snacking and gorging, it also creates an unhealthy mindset around food. There were nights I was so hungry after dinner but would make myself suffer until breakfast the next morning. Not worth it.

Final take away: If you are hungry, eat something! No matter the time of day.

60 minutes or it doesn’t count

When I first started working out nine years ago, I thought every workout had to an hour long or it didn’t matter. It was worthless if I didn’t hit the 60-minute mark.

Not only did this stress me out when my workouts didn’t last an hour long, but it also caused me to stress my body more than I should have. Forcing my body to go through long workouts when I was already sore from previous ones, not in the mental mind space to do it, and when I wasn’t taking care of my body by stretching to warming up properly was not the right thing to do.

I’m not bashing long workouts, my leg days are usually at least an hour long, and I once somehow spent two hours at the gym on arm day? Anyway, I’m just trying to say every workout doesn’t have to be longer than a Netflix show. Ja feel?

I still struggle sometimes with not feeling guilty if my workout is only a half hour long. Or if I only do three or four exercises. But there is nothing wrong with that!

Final take away: Any workout is better than no workout.  

Running is the only way to lose weight

Don’t get me wrong, running is one of my favorite past times and forms of therapy, and is an amazing cardiovascular exercise. But it’s not the only kind of exercise!

I feel like so many people, including myself years ago, think they have to force themselves to run if they want to lose weight. And that’s just not true. To lose weight all you have to do is have a calorie deficit. And the easiest way to do that, it to just work out!

If you don’t like to run you do not have to! Instead, you could go to a Zumba class, go on a hike, go bouldering, take a spin class, walk a nature trail or light weights. Literally all of these, and tons more, burn calories! You do not have to run to lose weight! I promise.

Final take away: Don’t run if you don’t like it!

Squats are the only way to build a butt

The number of times I used to do 30-day squat challenges. Wow, let’s not talk about it.

So yes, squats are amazing. You do those squats sweetie! But you cannot JUST do squats and expect your glutes to grow as fast as they would if you were to do other exercises along with squats.

Your glutes are made up of three main muscles that you may have heard of, the gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus, and then a handful of supporting muscles that I can’t even name. Anyway, I’m pointing this out because squats targets gluteus maximus the most. And you need to grow and strengthen more than just one of the muscles that make up your glutes to get max growth and not have unevenly strong glutes.

Final takeaway: Don’t do just squats! Try out lunges, hip abductions and adductions, and single leg step-ups.

I hope you found this post enlightening or helpful in some way! As I said in the beginning, I wanted to write this post to stop other people from falling down the rabbit holes I did when I was younger, so I hope I accomplished that!

Please let me know if you found this post helpful and would like more health and fitness posts!

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