Eating Habits

"21 Worthless Foods a Nutritionist Will Immediately Cut From Your Diet" Review

Whether losing weight or striving for optimal health, the foods on this list should be the first that you consider removing from your diet...whether you like it or not (from the article 21 Worthless Foods a Nutritionist Will Immediately Cut From Your Diet )!


The first on our list is perhaps the most obvious culprit, but despite numerous studies backing up the negative effects both diet and regular soda have on your body, our pros say it's shocking how much of it people drink. "This is not a benign food!" says Carissa Bealert, RD and co-owner of Evolution Fitness Orlando. "Artificial sweeteners and aspartame in diet soda in particular can mess with our body's regulatory system. Plus, soda doesn't nourish you. It doesn't give your body anything at all." In addition to excess calories, studies have linked soda to tooth decay, headaches, increased risk of type 2 diabetes, and decreased bone health. And despite its name, diet soda is no better: researchers at the University of Texas found that in the course of a decade, diet soda drinkers had a 70% greater waist circumference than non-drinkers. To quit a soda habit, Bealert suggests overloading your glass with ice. The soda will be diluted, and you can steadily wean yourself off. If you still need a little extra something, Bealert suggests zero-calorie sparkling water with natural flavors. Read "4 Ways to Beat Your Diet Soda Addiction in One Week" for more suggestions.


You hit the local juice bar before work and think you're making a healthy choice by drinking your breakfast. But Keren Gilbert, RD and founder of Decision Nutrition, says it's not that simple. Even though you're consuming fruits and veggies, a lot of the good stuff is left behind in the juicing process. "When you juice something, you're taking all the vitamins and sugars and leaving out all of the fiber," she says. Fiber slows down sugar absorption in the body, so without it, sugar is absorbed too quickly. This means that your tummy could be grumbling in an hour—which totally defeats the purpose of a diet, says Gilbert.

Fried food

Duh! Even though we all know fried foods are a healthy diet's arch-nemesis, fries (sweet potato or not—sorry!), chicken fingers, and onion rings are the default side dish to meals everywhere. Elisa Zied, RD, and founder of Zied Health Communications, says portion sizes of these artery-clogging items at restaurants and sports venues can be twice or three times the amount, equaling a diet disaster. "If you're going to have fried food, share it," she says. "Or order the smallest size possible, and keep it to once in a while at best." Even better, Zied says, is making healthier versions of familiar foods at home, such as baked fresh-cut fries with a drizzle of olive oil. Just for fun, check out "50 Unhealthiest Foods On the Planet" Review for other foods to avoid.

Fat-free dressing

Bealert says going fat-free (dressings are just one example) is one of the biggest misconceptions she sees in clients who want to lose weight. In fact, not all fats are bad for you. "Good" fats keep you full and help you absorb more nutrients from food. They're also beneficial for your heart: monounsaturated fatty acids (found in nuts, avocados, olive oil, and canola oil) can lower cholesterol levels and your risk of getting heart disease, while polyunsaturated fatty acids (found in fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, as well as corn and soybean oils) are a great source of heart-healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Another downside to low-fat diets: When you take out fat, you replace it with artificial sugars and other additives to pump up the flavor, Bealert says. When it comes to salad dressing, she recommends making homemade vinaigrette with honey mustard, olive oil, and apple cider vinegar instead of purchasing a low fat bottled variety.


Serious about losing weight and getting healthy? Then you'll have to ditch that daily glass of wine. Bealert suggest having no more than two drinks a week, or even fewer if you can. In addition to the added liquid calories, drinking can easily pull you off track from your diet goals. "The more you drink, the more likely you're going to have an unhealthy snack," she says. "And you probably won't want to start the next morning with egg whites and oatmeal." A Texas Tech University study found that alcohol makes women's brains more sensitive to the smell of food, which explains why it's so difficult to turn down that late-night pizza after you've had a few drinks. Sometimes this is all it takes to lose focus, and before you know it, you've completely ditched a new healthy eating plan. Still need help incorporating alcohol while focused on weight loss? Skim "How to Fit Alcohol in Your diet Without Ruining Your Weight Loss Goals".


Yes, cheese contains bone-building calcium—and there are low-fat versions—but our pros say the bad can easily outweigh the good when portions get out of hand, which is very easily done. "Almost universally, everyone over-portions cheese," says Gilbert. "It's not that you can't have it every once in a while, but people put it in eggs, on salads, sandwiches, everywhere." Cheese is typically high in saturated fat, and for many people dairy can be difficult to digest, causing bloating. Gilbert suggests cutting out dairy completely for one week, testing the waters to see how your stomach reacts, then choosing one dish to add back an appropriate amount of cheese.

Red meat

New research from the World Health Organization found red meat to be a potential carcinogen linked to colorectal, prostate, and pancreatic cancer. That's probably more than enough to kick a cheeseburger habit, but the immediate risk to your heart health solidifies this as a red-flag food. Gilbert says it only takes one or two servings of red meat a week to take you over the limit on saturated fat. The better choices are fish and lean meats like turkey or chicken. Boost flavor and keep turkey burgers juicy by choosing a 93% lean ground meat and adding onions, peppers, and spinach to the patties.

Processed meats

The same WHO report also found a link between cancer and processed meats like bacon, hot dogs, and sausages. Processed meats that have been cured, salted, smoked, or preserved are known carcinogens and can increase your risk for colon cancer in particular. If you struggle with the idea of giving up bacon completely, Health contributing nutrition editor Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, recommends saving it for an occasional treat. "Have a few strips of bacon at Sunday brunch or a few slices of pepperoni pizza on Friday night—but not both, and none during the week," she told Health in an earlier interview.

Flavored coffee drinks

Pumpkin spice lattes may only be available for a limited time, but that doesn't negate the excess liquid calories you consume if you drink these indulgent lattes on a regular basis. Whether it's the limited availability or a 4-oclock slump, Bealert says people rationalize decadent drinks like this, and those calories can really add up. Instead of ordering a calorie-rich flavored drink, opt for black coffee or coffee with a splash of milk. Or combat your afternoon fatigue with a brisk 10-minute walk. Not ready to make this change? At least cut out these coffee drinks: "20 Coffee Drinks with More Sugar Than a Can of Coke" Review

Gluten-free foods

Adhering to a gluten-free diet is vital for people suffering from a gluten-intolerance or Celiac disease, but going gluten-free isn't necessarily a way to lose weight or eat healthier. Lynch says many gluten-free foods and recipes use tapioca flour as a binder substitute, but this ingredient provides little or no nutrition—not to mention that gluten-free cookies, muffins, pretzels, and the like are still junk food. Instead of focusing on gluten-free labels, aim for well-rounded diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits, veggies, beans, lentils, nuts, lean proteins, and—yes—whole grains. A great source of fiber, whole grains can help regulate blood sugar, lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, reduce colon cancer risk, and aid digestion, so there are plenty of reasons to continue to enjoy them as part of a healthy diet.

Ice cream and frozen yogurt

As delicious as that pint of Ben & Jerry's in your freezer is, it's loaded with sugar and calories. Indulge in your craving too often and you're looking at increased blood sugar levels, weight gain over time, inflammation throughout the body, and a rise in LDL (bad) cholesterol, says Lynch.

Flavored instant oatmeal

While convenient, those individual packets of oatmeal are filled with 15 to 20 grams of unnecessary sugar, says Gilbert. These artificial sweeteners trigger cravings, because once blood sugar levels plummet after an hour, you'll be hungry again. Gilbert says you're better off with rolled oats (which cook very quickly, too) with real fruit, or overnight oats.


Granola is easily mistaken for a health food, but if you've ever used it to top your yogurt, you know how difficult it can be to stick to an appropriate portion of this crunchy snack (most experts recommend no more than 2/3 a cup per serving). Therein lies the problem, says Zied: "Granola is high in fat and calories and often provides a good dose of added sugar." For a healthier alternative that doesn't wreck your waistline, she suggests cutting back on the amount of granola, going low-fat, and mixing it with one to two tablespoons of chopped nuts to add protein.

Soy sauce

Douse your sushi in soy sauce, and the next thing you know you're feeling stuffed, bloated and uncomfortable. That's all thanks to its astronomically high levels of sodium. "Sodium holds on to water, which can translate to water retention and weight gain," says Gilbert. "Plus, it's really bad for blood pressure." Ask for low-sodium soy sauce instead, and use just a dash. As for other high-sodium sauces—we're looking at you, sweet and sour—Gilbert says to ask for it on the side in order to better control the amount you consume.

Dried fruit

Consider this: a fresh apricot is roughly the size of a golf ball, so you likely wouldn't eat five in one sitting. On the other hand, it's not difficult to imagine mindlessly snacking on five or more (much smaller) dried apricots. That serving-size misperception adds up to lots of sugar and calories, no matter what kind of dried fruit you choose. "Two spoonfuls of dried fruit have health benefits," says Bealert. "It's when you don't control portions—that's the problem."

Protein bars

There's a time and place for a generous helping of protein—after a sweaty, strenuous workout, for example. However, many people simply don't need the massive amounts of protein in many of the bars that line supermarket checkout aisles. "Thirty grams of protein is too much for most people at one time for a snack," says Bealert. Where all that protein comes from is another cause for concern. Bealert says that many of the ingredients in these bars are unrecognizable, may not come from whole foods, and often contain lots of sugar. Check out this list for more protein options: 36 Ways to Fulfill Your Protein Needs While Losing Weight

What other foods should you immediately cut from your diet?

Picture Credit:
Westend61 and your favorite food on this list?

More to Read:
Even with the right foods you should still be careful. The number one reason: Portion control. Check out this list to see which foods you should eat with a leash: 10 Trendy Health Foods That Can Threaten Your Waistline


Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article " 21 Worthless Foods a Nutritionist Will Immediately Cut From Your Diet " on
"21 Worthless Foods a Nutritionist Will Immediately Cut From Your Diet" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

Transform your life with Michael's self-help book Redefine Yourself here!


"The 67 Worst Frozen Foods in America" Review

I've highlighted the 25 most common products from the article The 67 Worst Frozen Foods in America). My guess: Several of these frozen foods are in your kitchen (and they are killing your efforts to lose body fat).

What other frozen foods should we add to this list? What weight loss foods are better options?

Are you having trouble finding ways to lose weight? Read "The 50 Best Weight-Loss Tips From 2015 " Review. This list helped my personal training clients in 2015 and will help you today.

Picture Credit: frozen foods are on your weight loss grocery list?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article " The 67 Worst Frozen Foods in America " on
"The 67 Worst Frozen Foods in America" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
Transform your life with Michael's self-help book Redefine Yourself here!

Transform your life with Michael's self-help book Redefine Yourself here!


"How a Healthy Gut Can Make You Happier" Review

If you're having trouble finding happiness, the solution may be in your gut. This is what you should keep in mind the next time you hit the plate (from the article How a Healthy Gut Can Make You Happier).

If you’ve been following the news over the past year, you know that the wellness world’s golden child is your gut. Though not as glamorous as the heart or brain, studies are showing that the status of your gut microbes can impact everything from your body’s inflammation and weight to your skin and brain health. And now we can add one more important aspect that your gut can influence — your state of mind.

One of the biggest influencers of mood in your body is a neurotransmitter called serotonin. Serotonin is sometimes referred to as the “feel good” hormone because of its ability to impact mood, anxiety, and happiness among other functions.

While some serotonin is created and used in the brain, between 80 and 90 percent of it is created in the intestines — our gut. There is recent evidence that the gut bacteria can even coax the intestines to produce more serotonin, says Erica Sonnenburg, Ph.D., senior research scientist at the Stanford University School of Medicine in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and co-author of “The Good Gut: Taking Control of Your Weight, Your Mood, and Your Long-Term Health.”

How Your Happy Hormones Go From Gut to Brain

Located in the tissues that line the esophagus, stomach and small and large intestines is a network of neurons, neurotransmitters and proteins that send and receive impulses, record experiences and respond to emotion.

This enteric nervous system (ENS) in your gut is also often called your body’s “second brain,” and it connects and communicates with your central nervous system (CNS). Scientists have known that the brain can send signals to the gut, which is exactly why things like stress can lead to gut issues like stomach pain, constipation and diarrhea (we’ve all been there).

But current research is finding more proof that communication is a two-way street: The central nervous system can impact the enteric nervous system in the gut — and vice versa. So, in short, irritation and imbalance in the gastrointestinal system can send messages to the central nervous system causing mood changes.

Also, according to a 2015 report by Linghong Zhou and Jane A. Foster, various studies in which participants took a course of probiotics showed brain activity in the emotional centers of the brain, a reduction in the levels of the stress hormone cortisol and improved mood. “Overall, these studies in healthy individuals provide clear evidence of a link between microbiota and emotional processing,” the report says.

How Do You Know If Your Gut Balance Is out of Whack?

“We really don’t have the tools to tell at this point what is ‘normal’ [for your gut], but the field is advancing rapidly,” explains Dr. Kirsten Tillisch, an associate professor of medicine in the digestive diseases division at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine. If you eat a typical Western diet, though, there’s a good chance your gut microbes could use some help.

So how can you build a strong gut and maybe improve your mood in the process? While probiotic pills get a lot of praise for improving gut health, you don’t need to rely on a supplement, says Tillisch. A change in the foods you consume can alter your gut health and your mental outlook for the better.

“The state of our microbiota is a product of many factors, but we know that one of the major levers that controls this community is diet,” Sonnenburg explains. “Your long-term dietary patterns dictate to a large extent which bacteria you have in your gut and their metabolic output (i.e., what molecules they are manufacturing in your body).”

While supplements might be a quick fix for some, you can make your diet more gut-friendly by making some simple adjustments. “When optimizing digestion and gut function there are certain foods that should be avoided as well as key foods to include,” explains Jacqui Justice, nutritional director, Balance 3H+ Diet Plan, NY Health & Wellness.

Eat These 3 Foods for Optimal Gut Health

1. Fiber

Experts all agree: We need to be eating more fiber — 25 to 37 grams a day, according to the FDA. “Fiber, the complex carbohydrates found in fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, are the major food source for the bacteria in our gut,” says Sonnenburg.

When your gut doesn’t get this fuel from your diet, it starts to “eat” your gut lining, leading to intestinal issues and a permeability of the gut wall. “This mucous lining is a key barrier that our body erects to keep our gut bacteria at a safe distance from our intestinal cells,” Sonnenburg explains. “If that barrier breaks down it could set off alarm bells within our immune system resulting in chronic inflammation.”

Justice recommends high-fiber foods like beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, cruciferous veggies and fruits like avocados, pears, blackberries and raspberries.

2. Fermented Foods

Noticed your local grocery store stocking more kombucha and sauerkraut? There’s a reason these fermented foods are gaining in popularity. “When foods are fermented or cultured, the bacteria, yeasts or molds used in the process predigest the food, meaning they break down the carbohydrates, fats and proteins to create microflora — friendly, life-giving bacteria beneficial to the gastrointestinal system,” explains Justice.

While most people are familiar with fermented dairy products like yogurt, there is growing interest in other fermented foods like kimchee, sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, miso and natto. Many of these fermented foods can even be made at home.

3. Anti-Inflammatory Foods

If you’re eating foods that are more likely to inflame your insides, you're certainly warranted to be in a bad mood. What you should avoid may differ from person to person. “People need to be their own experimentalists,” says Sonnenburg. “Since the microbiota is individual, what could be fine for one person may be an issue for someone else.”

While you figure out which gut-busters to avoid, try adding in more anti-inflammatory foods like fish, green tea, flaxseed, garlic and walnuts and spices like cinnamon and ginger, Justice recommends.

What have you noticed about your gut? What dietary changes can you implement?

Are you having trouble losing weight? Read "The 50 Best Weight-Loss Tips From 2015 " Review. This list helped my personal training clients in 2015 and will help you today.

Picture Credit: berries help you lose weight and bring more happiness to your life?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article " How a Healthy Gut Can Make You Happier " on
"How a Healthy Gut Can Make You Happier" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
Transform your life with Michael's self-help book Redefine Yourself  here !

Transform your life with Michael's self-help book Redefine Yourself here!


"11 Ways To Sleep Better Tonight" Review

If you've been struggling with poor sleep, this list will help without a has definitely helped my personal training clients! (from the article 11 Ways To Sleep Better Tonight).

1. Stick with a consistent sleep schedule.

That means going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. On weekends, you can vary your sleep schedule slightly, but try to keep the difference to one hour or less. Otherwise, staying up late and sleeping in on weekends can disrupt your body's circadian (sleep-wake) rhythms, giving you the equivalent of jet lag without ever leaving home.

2. Make your bedroom a sleep-inducing sanctuary.

It should be dark, quiet, and cool, with a comfortable, supportive mattress and bed pillows. To keep out unwanted light, consider installing blackout shades or heavy curtains. Block outside noise by installing double- or triple-pane windows, wearing earplugs, or using a "white noise" machine or one that generates soothing sounds that supposedly entrain your brain waves so you more easily reach delta (stage 3 or 4) sleep.

Keep the bedroom cool (many people prefer a temperature between 60 and 72°) and well ventilated, using a fan if need be.

3. Expose yourself to natural light.

Spending time outside, even on a cloudy day, will help keep your body's internal clock ticking properly and help you maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle. It's best if you can expose yourself to natural light for at least 20 minutes first thing in the morning—by throwing open the curtains, sitting in a sunny window, or using a dawn simulator light or alarm clock.

4. Steer clear of heavy meals in the evening.

Having a large, spicy, rich, or fatty meal too close to bedtime can interfere with sleep and give you a whopping case of indigestion that keeps you up when you'd like to be snoozing.

It's best to finish dinner a few hours before bedtime; if you get hungry later in the evening, have a light snack with sleep-inducing foods that contain tryptophan (an amino acid the brain uses to make calming serotonin). Good choices are a handful of almonds and a banana. Having a cup of caffeine-free chamomile tea can also put you in the mood to snooze. (Avoid chamomile if you are allergic to ragweed; it could trigger a severe reaction. If you are, try another calming herb tea as a natural stress reliever.)

5. Avoid sneaky stimulants that interfere with sleep.

As you probably know, caffeine can keep you up at night, which is why it's best to avoid having coffee, tea, chocolate, and soda four to six hours before bedtime. Similarly, the nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes can rev you up, so avoid smoking in the evenings if you do smoke.

While having a glass of wine or a cocktail (or two or three) can certainly make you sleepy, after a few hours of sleep, alcohol acts as a stimulant, leaving you susceptive to micro- (or full) arousals or awakenings and poorer overall quality sleep as the night goes on; this is another reason why it's best to limit alcohol consumption to no more than one or two drinks per day and to avoid it close to bedtime.

6. Exercise during the day.

Playing sports or working out can set you up for a good night's sleep—but the timing matters for some people. It's best to finish vigorous workouts by late afternoon to give your body temperature, heart rate, and other functions enough time to drop, postexercise, to set the stage for sound slumber. In fact, the 2013 National Sleep Foundation's Sleep in America poll, which included 1,000 adults between the ages of 23 and 60, found that people who exercise vigorously in the morning have the best sleep patterns, including better quality sleep and a lower likelihood of awakening feeling unrefreshed. It's fine to do relaxing exercises like yoga or simple stretches in the evening.

Moody Wisdom: Is there a better time to hire a personal trainer in Chicago? Just kidding. Please visit your local gym, though, and start moving. Doctor's orders.

7. Banish technology from your bedroom.

Don't bring your laptop, your smartphone, or other high-tech gadgets to bed with you. The light alone from these devices can reset your body's internal clock; plus, using these devices tends to be stimulating, which isn't what you want before you turn in for the night. So unplug, shut it down, or turn it off. (Your bed partner will thank you.)

8. Give yourself a chill-out period before bed.

Avoid strenuous or stimulating activities or emotionally upsetting conversations in the hours before climbing into bed. Physically and psychologically stressful activities trigger the release of cortisol in your body, which increases alertness and arousal. Instead, establish a relaxing bedtime routine—taking a warm bath, doing some gentle stretches, listening to calming music, and the like—before going to bed. Also, be sure to dim the lights: Spending time in bright artificial light—from a TV or computer screen, for instance—tells your brain to stay alert rather than get sleepy.

9. Be smart about napping.

The truth is, napping can be a double-edged sword. Yes, a nap during the day may serve as a welcome pick-me-up, boosting energy, alertness, and productivity. But if you struggle with falling asleep or staying asleep at night, daytime napping will likely disturb your nighttime sleep patterns even more. If you do decide to nap, it's best to do it by mid-afternoon and limit it to no more than 30 minutes.

Moody Wisdom: Of the 7 regions of the world in which the residents have the longest lifespan, more than half take naps daily. Rest when needed, but don't overdo it, definitely will be staring at the ceiling later that night.

10. Kick your pets—and even your— partner out of bed.

Research suggests that the number of people who let their pets sleep in their beds yet find their animals disturb their sleep is on the rise. As much as you love your dog or cat, it's not worth sacrificing precious sleep to be near your animal. Train your pet to sleep on his or her own bed on the floor—or outside your room.

Similarly, if your partner tosses and turns, kicks, snores, or otherwise disturbs your sleep on a regular basis, you may want to consider having separate beds. You can still have a strong, loving relationship without sleeping together; in fact, your relationship may even improve if you're both well rested.

11. Get out of bed if you can't sleep.

Don't lie awake counting sheep or worries or staring at the clock; get up, go to another room and read, or do something relaxing or monotonous until the mood to snooze returns. Otherwise, you could come to associate your bed with not sleeping—exactly what you don't want to happen!

Moody Wisdom: When I can't sleep, I take a nose-dive into a book until I fall sleep.

What other ways help you sleep better at night?

Are you having trouble losing weight? Read "50 Unhealthiest Foods on the Planet" Review. It's probably time to rewrite your grocery list.

Picture Credit: this list a sign of better things to come?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article " 11 Ways To Sleep Better Tonight " on
"11 Ways To Sleep Better Tonight" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
Find Michael's self-help book Redefine Yourself on  Amazon  today!

Find Michael's self-help book Redefine Yourself on Amazon today!


"12 Workout Myths That Just Need To Die" Review

You may have been taking the wrong approach to fitness up to this point....and here are the reasons why. (from the article 12 Workout Myths That Just Need To Die).

Myth #1: Strength training will make you bulk up.

Truth: It’s pretty hard for women to bulk up from a normal strength-training routine because they don’t have as much testosterone as men (the difference in this hormone level makes men more prone to bulking up). In fact, if weight loss is your goal, strength training can actually help you lean out, but you have to keep your nutrition in check, too. “Muscle is metabolically active,” explains Adam Rosante, C.S.C.S., author of The 30-Second Body. Simply maintaining lean muscle mass requires higher energy, he explains. “So, the more lean muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn at rest.” #Science .

Myth #2: You can focus on losing fat from certain body parts.

Truth: Spot-training is not a thing. “Fat cells are distributed across your entire body,” says Rosante. “If you want to lose fat from a specific spot, you need to lose overall body fat.”High-intensity interval training can work wonders—after an intense workout, your body needs to take in oxygen at a higher rate to help it return to its natural resting state.

This process requires the body to work harder, burning more calories in the process. Incorporating strength training can help you hit your goals too, since having more lean muscle will help your body burn more calories at rest.

Myth #3: Doing lots of cardio is the best way to lose weight.

Truth: If your goal is weight loss, logging endless miles on the treadmill isn’t always the best approach. Yes, traditional cardio workouts will help create a day-to-day calorie deficit (in addition to a healthy diet), which is essential for losing weight. But in the long-term, since having more lean muscle mass helps your body burn more calories at rest, you’ll be adding to this deficit without doing a thing.

A combination of both high-intensity cardio and strength training is a good idea. And don’t forget, when it comes to weight loss, having a smart nutrition plan is key.

Moody Wisdom: If you are serious about making these changes in your weight loss routine, you'll want to also read 15 Reasons You're Not Getting Results in the Gym.

Myth #4: Not feeling sore means you didn’t get a good workout.

Truth: While soreness and workout intensity are sometimes connected, how tired your muscles feel isn’t always a good indicator of a solid sweat session. “Being sore doesn’t necessarily mean it was a great workout—it just means that a significant amount of stress was applied to the tissue,” says exercise physiologist and trainer Pete McCall, M.S., C.S.C.S., host of the All About Fitness podcast.

“You can have a great workout and not be sore the next day,” he says. Proper recovery will help prevent achy muscles. “Refuel within the first 30 to 45 minutes post-exercise, stay hydrated, and get enough sleep—all of these things can help boost recovery and minimize soreness.”

Myth #5: You should give 100 percent effort during every workout.

Truth: Sort of. You should try your best to stay focused, be present, and give 100 percent during every workout. But not every gym session should require a balls-to-the-wall level of intensity. And if you are sore everyday, that may be a sign that you’re going too hard. “It’s not a good idea to exercise at too high of an intensity too frequently—it limits recovery and can lead to overtraining,” says McCall.

Ideally, to avoid putting too much stress on your body, you should only be going extra hard two to three times per week.

Moody Wisdom: You can still challenge yourself....just don't reach your anaerobic threshold every time (think: 160 heartrate and up for most).

Myth #6: Strength training means using machines and heavy weights.

Truth: Strength training means using resistance to work your muscles—and that resistance doesn’t necessarily have to come from a machine or a heavy weight. (Hello, killer bodyweight exercises!) Aside from your own bodyweight, you can also use tools like kettlebells, medicine balls, and resistance bands to add resistance.

Myth #7: Sweating a ton means you worked your butt off.

Truth: Not necessarily. “You sweat because your core temperature increases,” explains exercise physiologist Tracy Hafen, founder of Affirmative Fitness. Yes, your muscles create heat when you exercise so a tough workout will increase your internal temp, she explains, but it also has to do with the temperature you’re working out in. “For example, you’re not going to sweat as much in 40-degree weather as you would in 80-degree weather,” Hafen explains.

The humidity in the air also plays a role. “It’s not sweating that cools you off, it’s the evaporation [of sweat]. You’ll feel like you’re sweating more when it’s humid because sweat can’t evaporate.” (This is also a reason to be careful exercising in hot, humid climates, because your body temperature will keep increasing.)

Myth #8: Crunches are a great exercise for your abs.

Truth: Meh. Crunches probably aren’t going to hurt your core strength, but they’re not the most efficient exercise you can do to strengthen your midsection. “Your ab muscles are designed to work most effectively when you’re standing upright,” says McCall. Of course, there are plenty of great abs exercises that aren’t completely upright.

Moody Wisdom: Crunches will strengthen your rectus abs (upper abs) while igniting your transverse abs (lower abs) to maintain stability. Ideally, it's only a fraction of your core approach. Read 4 Simple Ways to Flatten Your Stomach for a well-rounded plan.

Myth #9: You have to do at least 20 minutes of cardio to make it worth your while.

Truth: You can get an amazing cardio workout in less time by utilizing high-intensity interval training. “High-intensity cardio challenges the respiratory system to work efficiently to deliver oxygen to working muscles,” says McCall. “If the system is stressed hard enough, it doesn’t require a lengthy workout for results.” Plus, high-intensity training creates an afterburn effect, meaning you continue burning calories after you’re done. One approach isTabata, or 20 seconds of hard work, 10 seconds of rest for eight rounds total, which adds up to a four-minute routine.

Moody Wisdom: Too long could be too much stress on the system as a whole. Aim for a shorter cardio session with more substance (and intervals).

Myth #10: You need to stretch before a workout.

Truth: While it’s true that you shouldn’t just jump right into a workout, dynamic warm-ups are where it’s at—you can save those static stretches for afterwards.

“Your pre-workout goal should be to improve mobility and elasticity in the muscles,” says Rosante. This is best done with foam rolling and a dynamic warm-up, where you keep your body moving (instead of holding stretches still). This preps your body for work and helps increase your range of motion, which means you can get deeper into exercises (and strengthen more of those ~muscles~).

Moody Wisdom: The purpose of a warm-up is to: 1.) Increase blood circulation to the muscles and 2.) Increase your range of motion in preparation of movement. Although running may accomplish #1, you may be forcing your range of motion with each stride...and tearing the muscle as a result. The body will respond by shortening your range of motion for proper repair. Instead, focus on achieving the necessary range of motion through a series of slow and controlled movements that will activate the muscle (think: a plank, squat, lunge, etc).

Myth #11: Yoga isn’t a “real” workout.

Truth: “People who write off yoga probably have an image of yoga as series of gentle stretches—they clearly haven’t taken a tough yoga class,” says Rosante. “The first time I took one was at Jivamukti Yoga Center, and was a radically humbling experience. It’s been one of the best additions to my routine, both for my body and mind.”

While there are some blissfully relaxing yoga classes out there, tougher types (like Bikram and power Vinyasa yoga) can definitely leave you sweaty, sore, and satisfied.

Moody Wisdom: Yoga is great but....don't force the motion or pose. Only position yourself within your range of motion. Anything beyond could cause more harm than good (see the explanation above).

Myth #12: You should work out every day.

Truth: Definitely not true—hallelujah! When you work out, you’re breaking down muscle fibers so they can rebuild stronger. However, to do this, you need to give your body time to recover from working out. Aim for one to do days per week of active recovery rest days—that means doing something that doesn’t put stress on your body, like gentle stretching or a walk. So, you’re definitely off the hook for that seven-days-a-week workout plan.

Moody Wisdom: Movement is required every day for a healthy lifestyle. It doesn't have to be a full-court basketball game, though. Your body needs recovery...give it the rest it needs with less stressful movement like walking.

What other workout myths do you think need to die?

Are you having trouble losing weight? Read "50 Unhealthiest Foods on the Planet" Review. It's probably time to rewrite your grocery list.

Picture Credit: running the best way to lose weight?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article " 12 Workout Myths That Just Need To Die " on
"12 Workout Myths That Just Need To Die" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
Find Michael's self-help book Redefine Yourself on  Amazon  today!

Find Michael's self-help book Redefine Yourself on Amazon today!