Four common myths about exercise and weight loss


Being a new year, this is that time when losing weight is on almost everyone’s New Year resolutions, particularly after all the celebratory food consumed during the festive season. However, many do not have sufficient knowledge of how to lose weight in a healthy and sustainable manner and the ones that do still harbor certain myths that may get in the way of their weight loss journey.


That said, 4 of those common myths about exercise and weight loss are contained in an article on, written by Corneel Vandelanotte, Professorial Research Fellow on Physical Activity and Health at CQ University, Australia.


1. Exercise is the best way to lose weight: While there is plenty of evidence showing people can lose weight just by being physically active, it is also one of the hardest ways to go about it. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends accumulating 250 to 300 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week for weight loss. That is twice the amount of physical activity recommended for good health which is 30 minutes on most days. The best way to lose weight is through combining a nutritious, low-calorie diet with regular physical activity.


2. You can’t be fat and fit: When you’re not active you have a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, some cancers, depression and anxiety. Several studies have demonstrated the association between premature death and being overweight or obese disappears when fitness is taken into account. This means you can still be metabolically healthy while being overweight, but only if you’re regularly active.


3. No pain, no gain: Or in other words, “no suffering, no weight loss”. Physical activity of a moderate intensity is recommended, not vigorous intensity. Moderate intensity physical activity such as brisk walking, riding a bicycle, makes you breathe harder and may make it difficult to talk, but you should still be able to carry on a conversation. This is unlike vigorous physical activity, which will make you completely out of breath and will make you sweat profusely regardless of the weather conditions (such as running). Moderate intensity physical activity is not painful and does not include excessive suffering to meet your goals.


4. Only resistance training will help you lose weight: Though resistance or strength training is good for you for several reasons, building muscle mass takes a serious effort, and you need to keep doing resistance training or significant loss of muscle mass will occur within weeks. More importantly though, aerobic or endurance training is also.


Please remember to wear a face mask, wash and sanitize your hands, and maintain social distancing.

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