There is so much misinformation and bogus myths floating around when it comes to diet and exercise. Here are the most common diet and exercise myths that keep people fat.

The Spot Toning Myth

One very common myth about exercises and weight loss is the spot toning myth. Spot toning means doing exercises that work the muscles of a single part of your body, such as your stomach, in an attempt to lose fat in that particular area.

The truth is you cannot lose fat in any particular part of your body by training that spot alone. Weight-loss doesn't work this way.

When you burn more calories than you consume your body starts burning fat for energy. The fat is being burned from all over your body simultaneously. So even if you try to lose fat from a single spot on your body you will be burning fat all over.

That is why you can do crunches all day long and they will make your stomach muscles bigger and stronger, but they will do very little to get rid of the fat layer that your muscles are hidden under, these exercises simply don't burn enough calories or enough fat.

You can't choose the area where you'd like to burn fat. You can lower you overall body fat with a combination of full body strength exercises, cardio exercises and healthy eating habits to increase your metabolism and burn more calories. This is the best way to get rid of that fat layer.

Exercise Turns Fat Into Muscle Myth

This is not true. Fat and muscle tissue are two entirely different types of cells. While you can lose fat and replace it with muscle, the two never turn into each other, fat will never turn into muscle.

Negative Calorie Foods Myth

Negative calorie foods is a name for foods that require more calories to digest them then the caloric value they contain, thus in theory they cause you to burn calories while eating them. The truth is there are no negative calorie foods.

With the exception of water that contains no calories at all every food that we eat will have more calories in it than your body uses to break it down in digestion. The calories required to digest food are miniscule compared to the calories the food contains.

Some foods that are commonly referred to as negative calorie foods are grapefruit and celery, but even those low calorie foods contain far more calories than are burned in digesting them.

There is a benefit to these low calorie foods however and it comes from the fact that eating those foods takes room in your stomach, that otherwise might have been filled with fatty or calorie rich foods. Also it's important to note that a diet based solely on these foods is bad for you as these foods don’t contain many essential nutrients.

I Exercise Every Day, So I Can Eat Anything I Want

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First, let me say that if you manage to lose weight by exercising while eating only "junk food" than I envy you, you have naturally high metabolism.

For most of us it doesn't work this way. It's all due to the simple fact that exercise, even intense cardio or weights, doesn't burn enough calories so that you can neglect watching your eating habits completely. Here are some facts and figures on the subject.

The Don’t Eat After 8PM Myth

This is simply inaccurate. Yea it is best no to eat a heavy meal two hours before bed time, but such a general statement that assumes everyone goes to bed at around 10PM can't be accurate, for people who tend to go to bed late, 8PM might be 4-6 hours before bed time.

Plus, there are certain types of food, such as veggie snacks, that you can eat anytime you want. In fact it is much better to eat those healthy, low calorie snacks after 8PM if it prevents you from having a midnight snack later on.

Moreover, even if we are not talking about the healthiest snacks, it all comes down to what you have been eating during the day. If you eat healthy, small portions, every 3-4 hours then you can go ahead and have a treat, on the other hand if you have bad eating habits then your body will store excess calories as fat even if it's 4PM.

The Diets Don’t Work Myth

You have seen the slogans apparently diets don’t work. The fact is most diets work!

BUT, if a diet doesn’t fit your lifestyle it is bound to fail. If the diet is too restrictive you will have a hard time sticking to it, and the weight you have lost will be gained back when the diet fails.

This is the main reason I advocate changing your eating habits instead of dieting, look at it as a diet you can stick to for the rest of your life.

That is why I also don’t recommend diets that have you denying yourself completely of certain foods. Instead make healthier choices for the majority of the time and reward yourself for your success with an occasional treat, this is how most people managed to lose weight permanently.

Remember a healthy diet can be tasty and rewarding, watching your diet doesn’t mean you have to suffer, you can start by using the tips on the following page to help you develop the healthy meal plan that suits you.

Strength Training Makes Women Look like Body Builders Myth

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Some women are reluctant to do strength training exercises because they will make them bulky.

This is not true because we females don't produce enough testosterone to become ‘bulky’ like those body builders on TV, to look like a body builder a woman will need to take special supplements.

Strength training is not only for men, but if you are still concerned, simply use lighter weights and do more repetitions to develop leaner muscles.

With age it becomes beneficial for women to do some strength training exercises. Women are at a greater risk of osteoporosis than men because we naturally have less bone and muscle than men, so we need to take care of what we've got. Losing muscle effects strength, balance, flexibility, and endurance, and puts women, as well as men, at greater risk of disability with age.

Weight Gain is Inevitable As You Age Myth

Most people gain weight as they get older, but it doesn't have to be this way.

The reasons for gaining weight with age are reduced physical activity levels and lower metabolic rate caused by a loss of lean body mass (muscle).

You can reverse this process with simple exercises for as little as 30 minutes a day three times a week. When we get older our metabolism slows and our body burns fewer calories during normal activity. Exercising makes you burn more calories while also building back the lost muscle.