Dr. Michael Mosley is known as the “brains behind” the popular 5:2 diet. He claims that we’ve all been taught to believe countless myths surrounding physical activity, and they’re hampering our morale and health.
“A lot of people think that when you exercise, you can eat what you want – and that the gym will make you happy,’ he told ITV’s This Morning. ‘But this is wrong.’
Dr. Mosley discussed four main popular topics of discussion regarding the brain, our physical fitness and all the things that aren’t necessarily true. Buckle up, there are some harsh truths, but they’ll help you see what it really takes to treat your body right.
1. GOING TO THE GYM CAN MAKE YOU FAT
The key problem is that we reward ourselves with ‘treats’ after exercise – or have the ‘I’ve been to the gym, so I can eat what I want mentality’, says Dr Mosley.
“Exercise is a good way to keep weight off – but it’s not a good way to lose it. Going to the gym will burn calories – but way less than we think.
1lb of fat is 3,500 calories – and fat is more energy-dense than dynamite’ – so to burn 1lb of fat you’d need to run about 38 miles,” said Dr. Mosley.
“A muffin contains around 500 calories – so you would have to run for five miles or walk for 10 miles to burn it off.
And when it comes to a latte – which has around 150 calories – it would be 1.5 miles of running or a three-mile (hour long) walk.
That is why people never lose weight going to the gym in the long-run.”
2. NOT EVERYONE GETS FITTER WITH EXERCISE
“There was an experiment which followed 100 people exercising for 30 minutes, five days a week. While 20 percent became significantly fitter, most didn’t change that much and 20 percent saw no change at all – they just didn’t have the right genes.It is true – some people have a genetic make up that means they just can’t lose weight. It can very demoralizing and these people feel like a failure.”
He added that gym bunnies tend to be the 20 percent of people who see significant improvements in their fitness.
3. EXERCISE DOESN’T RELEASE ‘FEEL GOOD’ ENDORPHINS
“We’re always being told this, but again, there is no scientific evidence for it. The endorphin molecules are simply too big to cross the blood-brain barrier. I personally find exercise doesn’t boost my mood at all. And while studies have shown exercise can relieve symptoms of depression, this is more to do with being out in the fresh air. It’s about getting out, clearing your head – whether that’s walking the dog, playing golf, whatever,” Dr. Mosley said.