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by Liz Bowen

Having fitness goals and reaching them are two very different things. Everyone that has ever worked out understands that there are many things that can stand between them and reaching those goals, but there are a number of common misconceptions that tend to get in the way for a lot of people.

Workouts can reverse the effects of a sedentary lifestyle.

A great many people are sitting at least eight hours a day at work as well as afterwards at home. Even if you work out regularly, the limited time that you spend being active cannot offset the effects of a sedentary lifestyle. That is why in order to meet your fitness goals you need to incorporate physical activity throughout your day wherever possible. The goal is to cut the sedentary time during your day to the bare minimum wherever possible. The results will be almost immediate in terms of mental focus and energy while you see faster results where weight loss is the focus of the fitness goals.

Eating protein before a workout is bad.

We’ve all heard that it is best to eat foods high in carbohydrates before working out rather than foods with protein in order to get more effective results. The reality is that protein before a workout actually helps to expend more energy post workout than carbs, which can help you reach weight loss fitness goals faster.

When you structure your workouts properly to include a fair amount of resistance or strength training, you get residual weight loss benefits that are known as resting energy expenditure (REE). In essence, REE gained through resistance training can provide additional energy expenditure up to 72 hours after completion of a workout.

According to a recent study from Michigan State University, this boost in REE from strength training can be amplified by eating protein before working out. Researchers found that participants who ate protein before exercising maintained an 8.5 percent boost in REE after 24 hours, while people who ate carbs before exercising maintained only a 3.5 percent increase in REE.

Exercising every day allows you to eat what you want.

This is a persistent misconception where the reality is that your caloric expenditure during your workout has to significantly cut into the total caloric and fat intake per day to see results. Rather than get into a total calorie intake debate, experts say a good way to calculate a safe minimum calorie-intake level is by reference to your current body weight.
Reducing calories by no more than 20 percent below your daily calorie intake is a good starting place. For most people on a reasonable diet, that will usually come out to about 250 calories a day.

By burning an additional 250 calories per day, most people can achieve an average loss of one pound in a week or a little longer. It’s always best to consult with your physician before making any changes in order to safely and effectively reach your fitness goals.

Outside motivation is more effective than inner motivation.

There have been numerous articles and studies done on the efficacy of positive self-talk in terms of motivation for workouts and athletes. Positive self-talk takes the position that both your words and your thoughts, affect your behavior. Much of the research shows that positive self-talk increases motivation and desire to improve while negative self-talk triggers the opposite result.

To use self-talk as a way to motivate yourself, you have to pay attention to the things that you say to yourself in your head. Once you catch yourself using negative self-talk, incorporate trigger words (like stop) to stop the negative thought and replace it with positive self-talk. If this doesn’t work use reason to counter the negative thought as it is unlikely to stand up to logic.

These are only a few of the ways that most of us sabotage our fitness goals through common misconceptions. Once you counter them with the right approach, it becomes much easier to reach your goals in a timely manner.


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