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As we move into a new year, the prospect of setting and achieving new year resolutions becomes clearer. Lose weight, stop drinking alcohol, quit smoking, find a new job; the list of potential new year resolutions is endless. And, if you really want to set yourself up for success in conquering your new year goals, you’re going to have to replace the fads and fitness myths with proven methods.

Because we’re on your side, we’re sharing 7 fitness myths that you can leave behind in 2021.

Myth 1 – You can spot reduce fat on any area of your body

Humans store fat in different areas and whether it appears on your stomach, butt, or love handles, unfortunately there’s no way to ‘spot reduce’ specific areas through exercise. Sure, exercise is great for burning calories and building muscle, but no type of exercise is intelligent enough to affect specific fat cells. If you come across a PT or exercise claiming to spot reduce, run quickly in the opposite direction.

Myth 2 – Working out more often = results

As a society we’re taught to never switch off. Rest is for the weak and we’ll sleep when we’re dead. Well, we’re calling BS on all the above. If you wait until you’re on your death bed to rest, you’re wasting a whole lot of opportunity to achieve your health and fitness goals. Your body needs time to rest, recover and grow muscle. The best time for this is during a rest state. We’re not talking about anything crazy here, just one day a week at the absolute minimum. If that feels weird, aim for an active recovery day where an outdoor walk or light swim is your exercise of choice.

Myth 4 – Training in a fasted state burns more fat

You may have heard that training in a fasted state enables your body to tap into its fat stores as an energy source. This simply is not true. Body composition changes associated with exercise in conjunction with a low-calorie diet are similar regardless of whether an individual is fasted prior to training. It all comes down to preference. If you’re struggling to reach maximum effort during a workout or fatiguing throughout the day as a result of training in a fasted state, make a habit of eating before a workout. A simple carb and caffeine combo normally works a treat. Think; a coffee and banana.

Myth 5 – Restricting calories on a rest day is a good idea

After a strenuous training session, muscle protein synthesis and glycogen resynthesis are elevated for 24-72 hours. That means your body is still recovering and growing for 1-3 days after your gym session. So, there’s a need for you to still be refuelling. Don’t starve your body of the important nutrients it needs to recover. More importantly, don’t put yourself at risk of hanger. It’s never worth it.

Myth 6 – Carbs make you fat

Firstly, it’s important to know that the only way to lose weight is via a calorie deficit. That is, eating less calories than you burn through exercise and maintaining your lifestyle. Unless your daily carbohydrates cause you to eat an excess of calories, they’re not going to make you fat. The same rule applies for fats, sugar, protein and any food you eat. All in moderation is truly the motto to live by here.

Myth 7 – Believe everything you read on the internet

Plain and simple. If you’re looking to implement a new theory into your life, don’t believe the first thing you read on the internet. Do you research, ask the experts, and then form an educated decision. Life’s too short to be fooling around with fitness myths, fads and incorrect advice.