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Myth busters: uncovering the truth about fitness and nutrition - Part 2

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

Social media has made nutrition myths extremely common in todays society, making it challenging to discern fact from fiction. In this blog post, we'll delve into two prevalent nutrition myths: the belief that artificial sweeteners are worse than sugar, and the notion that you can spot reduce body fat.

Artificial sweeteners have faced considerable scrutiny, with claims that they pose greater health risks than sugar. However, this is a myth. Artificial sweeteners can serve as a valuable tool for reducing overall sugar intake. These sweeteners are low in calories and do not cause the same blood sugar spikes as sugar does, making them suitable alternatives for individuals with diabetes or those aiming to manage their weight. In a practical sense, if you take 2 sodas a day and replace them with diet soda, you can save anywhere from 250-400 calories a day. This can add up to a huge amount of calories not consumed over time, which can either help you lose weight or maintain your weight easier.

Many people yearn for a magic solution to target specific areas of their bodies for fat loss, such as the abdomen or thighs. Unfortunately, this myth holds no truth. The human body stores fat systematically, and it is not possible to selectively burn fat from specific regions through targeted exercises alone. To reduce overall body fat, a combination of regular exercise, proper nutrition, and a calorie deficit is necessary. Engaging in full-body workouts and adopting a holistic approach to fitness will yield the best results. The slight caveat in this is that if you can increase the size of a muscle underneath body fat, that muscle may over time appear larger, giving you a leaner appearance. Seeing noticeable muscular changes takes a very long time however, and the changes may not be substantial enough to give you your desired result anyways. Everyone is at the mercy of their own individualized body fat distribution genetics, and targeting specific exercises to a muscle will not preferentially lose fat in that area.

By understanding that from a weight loss perspective, artificial sweeteners are vastly better than sugar, we can easily reduce calories if you are someone who enjoys sweets (ie. diet soda instead of regular, artificial sweeteners in your coffee instead of sugar...). It is also important to remember that our body loses fat from all areas at once, and based off how much you individually store in each area, some parts of your body will get lean faster than others. There is no way to change your body fat distribution, so if you'd like a specific body part leaner, you simply need to keep losing weight until you have your desired look.

Kurtis Proksch

Head Strength Coach

KPCC Coaching

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