The amount of information available on the internet surrounding health and wellness is growing daily. How can you weed your way through what’s fact and what’s fiction? We asked seven of our favourite fitness bloggers to debunk the biggest diet and fitness myth out there.

Zanna Van Dijk: “High protein is the way forward”

There is currently an obsession with protein, and all the brands are jumping on the bandwagon. Bars are declaring their protein content like badges of honour. In reality, a protein bar is not necessarily a health bar. It is not a superfood. Many protein bars are packed full of added nasties and not very nutritious. Instead of focusing purely on protein, focus on the overall ingredients in a snack bar or food, and try to keep them as wholesome as possible.

Hannah Mills (Wedges & Weights):  “Light weights are good for toning”

If you want to ‘tone’ your body, two things are required – decreasing your body fat and increasing your muscle mass. For change to happen, you’ve got to challenge your body, and solely lifting light weights isn’t going to bring about any significant amount of change in your body composition. Instead, lift heavy weights, follow a program that’s been designed with your goals in mind, and be sure to fuel your body with nutritious whole foods to both get the results you want and help you to feel fabulous!

Hazel Wallace (The Food Medic): “Fructose is bad for you”

First it was fat, now it’s fructose – we are constantly searching for a macronutrient to blame for the surge in obesity and diabetes. There is nothing uniquely bad or fattening about fructose compared to any other nutrient, once it is eaten as part of a normal healthy diet.

However, when fructose is eaten in excess (i.e. on top of a normal diet), this increases our calorie intake, which in turn leads to weight gain and other health problems like obesity and diabetes. In short, anything in excess isn’t good for you and will cause you to put on weight! My biggest piece of advice would be to avoid sugary drinks and concentrated fruit juices, and focus on getting good quality carbohydrates through fruit and vegetables. 

Hannah Cluley (Hannah Rose Fit):  “Detox Teas”

I see so many companies advertising ‘detox teas’, these magical teas that are meant to cleanse and detox your insides so that you’re free from all the ‘toxins’ and promise you’ll end up with squeaky clean intestines, as well as losing weight and getting ‘skinny’. What these so called miracle workers don’t tell you, is that most of them contain senna leaf, which is used in the NHS as a laxative. I had it after my surgery last year. So that ‘cleansed’ feeling is really just you taking a laxative and feeling the effects of that. Taking this over a long period of time is actually very very bad for your digestive system! Not only this but if often stops any medication from working as your metabolism has been sped up, so if you take the pill, watch out! In short, you have a liver and kidneys, these are your body’s way of detoxing, you don’t need anything else, especially not this type of tea!

Carly Rowena: “A protein bar is a good substitution for a meal”

Although protein bars contain a higher percentage of protein than other snack bars they are still highly processed, unless you make them yourself. Highly processed food requires fewer calories for your body to digest which reduces the positive reason to eat them. Although protein bars are delicious but they are not a meal replacement, think of them as a healthier treat.

Tally Rye: “Cardio is the best way to burn fat and lose weight.”

Not true. Cardio is a tool that you can use to improve your cardio vascular fitness and increase energy expenditure, which, combined with nutrition and smart training can lead to fat loss. But it is not a magic fat burning wand. The truth is far less glamorous. The saying ‘abs are made in the kitchen’ are kind of true. You need to make sure you are in an overall calorie deficit first and foremost and the simplest way to do that is to tweak your diet. Then it’s time to look at coming with effective ways to workout, and running on the treadmill for 30 minutes isn’t the ideal choice. If you are looking for the best plan for you, consult a personal trainer. In general I would recommend a mix of weight training, HIIT and yoga are a great place to start.

Adrienne LDN: “You can’t build muscle without eating meat”

High protein diets may be in fashion right now, but the truth is that you can still build muscle by eating a veggie diet. The key to building muscle is that you must stimulate the muscles with exercise, ensure that you eat enough calories and that you get the right nutrients to support recovery and muscle growth. I know lots of very muscly guys and girls that are vegetarian or vegan, as well as some professional athletes too.