The 5 Exercise and Diet Myths That Can Go Away Now

Do you know what the WORST part about being a dietitian and trainer is? Telling complete strangers what you do at social events.

“So what do you do?” – “I’m a registered dietitian and trainer”

  • “Oh, so you are totally judging my plate right now…”
  • “What do you think about _____ diet?”
  • “I used to work out all the time.”
  • “So do you sell supplements and stuff?”
  • “I can’t believe you’re eating that”
  • “You drink alcohol?”

The list goes on and on.

I am only half kidding about that being the worst part because it usually gives me an opportunity to make a sale, and hopefully show someone that a better way is out there.

But what most people think exercise and diet have to be to see results is completely wrong.

1) Pain

Exercise and dieting do not have to involve pain. Unless making healthier choices for your future is physically painful to you. But really, physical pain with exercise is not a good thing. It is definitely NOT a sign of a good workout. Yes, you may be a little sore the day after or two, but in the muscles, and you feel like you worked out.

Sometimes it’s okay to never be sore! That sounds great, doesn’t it?

Soreness is most common when you push yourself too hard, your form gets crappy, or you add a new exercise to the mix.

All three of those things are not necessary or not recommended either! Training is a skill that must be honed in. You cannot improve a skill if you overdo it, do it sloppily, or try adding a new skill every week.

Stop going to workouts that leave you crippled, puking or passing out. And if you are a trainer who brags about these things – shame on you.

2) Suffering

“I ate a carrot and an egg for lunch today, and I am soooo hungry” 🙂

For some reason, the more hardcore someone’s diet is, the more they will tell you about it. Like a badge of honor. This is not a good path to go down, nor is it necessary.

Now, what is necessary is making realistic changes to your overall food habits if you are not happy with your health. Sitting around and wishing for results while eating way too many calories also is not a good idea.

This may take a new lens to understand.

Instead of seeing changes to your diet as suffering, look for opportunities for small changes with the least amount of stress – think of it as a pawn in chess.

Say you eat ice cream every single night. You love it. You refuse to give it up. Cool!

However, you also know that it’s probably one of the contributing factors to you not being able to lose weight. So you decide to look at the calories. “400 calories per serving”. What is a serving you ask? “Oh man, 1/2 cup! I probably eat 3 servings a night!”

So now, instead of just cutting out ice cream altogether, where can you move one space forward to make a safe, unthreatening move that won’t kill you (pawn in chess). Maybe switch to a lower calorie ice cream. Maybe cut your serving in half. Maybe only eat it on nights that start with “T”. I don’t know, that decision is up to you. But finding a small safe step is often the right move for most people.

3) Cardio for Fatloss

Cardiovascular health is important.

Having a good cardio base is very important. You should be able to get up and run an unbroken mile right now.

That being said – doing more and more cardio for fat loss is not the best idea.

When I say cardio, I’m talking traditional jogging/biking/elliptical magazine reading…you know, the things you see most people spending way too much time on.

Without addressing your diet, cardio will only take you so far. Moving your body one mile burns anywhere from 80-120 calories or so, depending on your weight. Do you know how easy it is to eat 80-120 calories? Easy like 12 almonds easy.

As much as most people don’t want to, you have to address your diet. To reiterate point 2, it doesn’t have to be as bad as you think – but change has to happen.

Traditional cardio drives up hunger hormones, increases oxidative stress in the body, and can be a terrible idea for someone overweight with bad joints in the first place!

Does this sound like something that would make your life easier? What about the Coke you drink every day…switch that to Diet Coke and you just “ran 1.2 miles”.

Increase your step count, move more in general, but don’t think you NEED to run all the time!

4) Workouts Need to Be Long

I don’t care that you spent 3 hours at the gym the other day. You clearly have more time on your hands than I, and that is awesome!

Too many people think of exercise as this all or nothing approach – especially guys.

“I used to workout 7 days per week for 2 hours per day – but now I don’t have time for that, so I don’t work out at all”. You realize how dumb this sounds, right?

If you are currently doing nothing – start with 5-10 minutes per day if you truly think that you don’t have time. Get up 5-10 minutes earlier, spend 5-10 minutes less looking at memes on Facebook. Whatever it takes…you have time.

If you need a way to plan out your day, or really self-audit your time – download this free cheat sheet, and take a good hard look at where you are actually spending your time.

You can make huge strides, build muscle, and lose fat – and your workouts can be 30 minutes long. Full honesty here – this is all relative to much more important things. You CAN get away with 30-minute workouts if you have your total steps in check, your nutrition dialed in pretty well, and you are consistent.

But for someone who is so busy that they don’t think they can work out at all, this is where I would focus my time, in this order:

  1. Monitor daily steps, come up with a goal of +2000 steps over my current level.
  2. Take an honest look at my diet – make 1 change that will make the biggest impact.
  3. Find two “time slots” to workout for 30 minutes.

Start there, and BE CONSISTENT with it…you will be surprised at what that can accomplish.

5) You Can’t Enjoy Anything That Others Do

This kind of sounds like suffering, but the context here is big.

You currently sit around, saying things like ” I wish I could do what they do, and look like they do” – when you have no IDEA what that person does. You only see a small sample size of their life. So that person that looks super fit, pigging out at a wedding dinner and slamming cocktails… maybe they eat and drink super healthy 99% of their life that you don’t see OR maybe they have a severe eating disorder and are miserable on the inside.

You. Don’t. Know!

But comparing yourself to others is the thief of joy.

What I CAN tell you is most people look at this from the wrong angle. Most people spend time and effort stressing about the little things –  about how they will handle Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years…the gauntlet of fatty holidays, what workout is best for them, should they drink vodka or tequila, squats or lunges, apple or orange.

Who cares what you do on the actual holidays!

When in reality, they are 3 days over the course of 36 days. 8%. 

If you spend so much time worrying about 8% of anything and don’t even think about the other 92%, it won’t turn out well.

Focus on what you do normally – and enjoy the hell out of holidays as they are meant to be enjoyed!

Stop looking for the best workout program, and just stick to one for more than a week!

Find a program that you enjoy, supports your goals, and just stick to it.

Stop focussing on the little things that really don’t matter.

I don’t care if you eat an apple or an orange. That is NOT your issue. I promise you that. Chicken or beef? Again – I don’t care.

I care more about what kind of fatty sauce you drown it in, how many glasses of “relaxation” you drink per night or the cookies that are always sitting on your kitchen counter.

Would you like more help on taking back your life, learning to love health and food again, and getting life long results along the way? IF so —> CHECK OUT ONLINE COACHING***

Like what you read? Want to get up to date blog posts sent directly to your email? Sign up below!

Stay healthy my friends,