July 1, 2014 at 3:01 PM ET
Fitness myths are tempting to believe, because if they were true it would be easy for everyone to get in shape! But falling for them can sacrifice serious results and keep you from finding an effective program that really works.
Here are 3 myths I hear all the time:
Ab exercises will help you lose weight in your midsection.
The only way to really trim belly fat is through diet. You can work your abs until you’re blue in the face and you won’t see results until you get rid of the belly fat—and that comes from a smart diet and cardio plan. This requires cutting out fast-food and junk food, going easy on the alcohol (sorry!) and eating lots of fresh (preferably organic) veggies along with lean protein (e.g. chicken, fish and low-fat cheeses). For cardio, make sure you're working hard enough (walk briskly, don't stroll) and aim for 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
You can spot reduce. Everybody holds their weight in different places.
And no matter how hard you try, you cannot direct weight loss to a specific body part. I may hold my weight in my lower body, but it doesn’t mean that if I lose pounds, it’ll come off that region. Again, a healthy combo of diet and exercise will help with overall weight loss and a quicker path to achieving your goals.
There’s always a shortcut.
It didn’t take you 2 weeks to gain the weight, it won’t take you 2 weeks to lose it. So toss out the idea that you want to drop 4 dress sizes in a month. Do it the right way and it’ll last. You need to embark on a steady lifestyle change… reduce the caloric intake, increase the caloric output and watch the weight fall off. The foolproof recipe: cardio, strength training, cutting out the crap in your diet and patience.
Want more of Jenna’s Fit Tips? Sign up for my weekly newsletter!