1. Carbs are bad. Don't you dare. The body needs carbs. Be careful about eating too many empty and starchy carbohydrates like wheat (bread, cereals, cookies, pizza) and opt instead for more complex ones (brown rice, legumes like beans and chick peas, oatmeal). Fruits and vegetables are carbohydrates too and very good for us - but stick to 2-3 fruits/day to ward off sugar cravings.
2. Cardio is best for fat loss. Nope. Cardio is great for the heart. Fat loss comes from a well-conditioned metabolism - so building lean muscle tissue and eating frequent, clean and balanced meals are king. Do your strength building in a cardio-blasting circuit and you've got a hot body in the bag.
3. When you binge, eat fewer calories the next day. This will only lead to more bingeing. Think of your body re-setting each morning. Start over: eat clean, balanced meals to keep blood sugar levels stable. Your body will quickly forgive your binge. If you cut calories the next day, you'll only end up bingeing again and spurring a terrible cycle which leads to fat gain.
4. When you lift weights you need to eat tons and tons of protein. Hm. You do need at least 2 servings of complete protein per day to support lean muscle tissue. People who go protein crazy do not realize that too much of ANYTHING gets stored as fat. You can eat 3-5oz. of complete (complete protein is meat, eggs, tofu, soy or quinoa) protein 4x / day (I prefer 2-3), but the average person shouldn't really go beyond that.
5. Fat free is always best. Ha! Not a chance. Processed foods that advertise to be fat free or low in fat often have a ton of chemicals and additives that confuse our bodies and actually leave us hungrier, because they lack natural nutrients. Stick to whole foods, and choose healthy sources of fat (olive oil, avocado, nuts and nut butters).
6. If you eat too many desserts, you can just run extra the next day. Sort of. Sure, calories in and calories out is a real thing. But dumping a ton of sugar into the body isn't just a concern calorically. It leads to energy spikes and then deep crashes, resulting in an increase of cravings and a desperate need for fast energy (in the way of more unhealthy foods). An extreme way of eating and an extreme way of training simply puts the body into more stress. Aim for balance in both activity and eating.
7. Abs and push-ups every day keep you fit. Nah. Again, some experts butt heads on this topic. But, the abdominals are a muscle the same as any other muscle. Yes, your core is active in many activities you can do daily. But if you are training the abdominals and the low back in isolation (variations of crunches), you want to train the muscles to exhaustion and give your muscles 48 hours to put themselves back together, STRONGER. Hitting them daily just leaves you running in circles and keeps you from getting great results.
8. If you're on a diet, you should never cheat. Stop using those words. If you refer to some foods as "good" and some "bad", you are already breeding temptation. Allow for some rich foods to be in your diet as an indulgence, a word which has a more positive reading. Your "way of eating" (which should last you a lifetime, not just 30 days) should be predominantly healthy and nutritious, and balanced with some indulgences. Not cut into "diet" days and "cheat" days.
9. The heavier the weight, the better. Argh. The man who tells me he curls 50lbs for biceps, and then I see him swinging his back and thrusting his hips to get his poor wrists up there. Use real strength! And real strength means using proper, controlled, isolation form. Anybody can swing heavy weights. Tidy it up, and get strong the REAL way, even if it means starting from scratch at 20lbs. It's not about the number, it's about the effort and performance.
10. Light weights are better for keeping women small and lean. Women don't have the testosterone to get huge. A little definition is a good thing! If you look at female bodybuilders and worry you will look like that from lifting, remember: there is nothing natural about bodybuilding. Strength training alone can't do that - nor is bodybuilding healthy in the slightest. Train for strength, train smart, eat balanced and you will look like your best possible self. No 3lb, 50 reps waste-of-time exercises needed.