8 Common Health & Fitness Quotes That Need To Die

August 28, 2023 | 14 Comments

If you’ve been in the fitness game for any amount of time, then you’ve probably heard a quote or two.

These quotes might range from the genius (“Eat less and move more”) to the stupid (see below).

But today I’m here to put an end to some of the most commonly used health & fitness quotes in the world. These quotes have been perpetuated for years, brainwashing the minds of individuals. It’s time to let the truth reign free.

1. “If it tastes good, spit it out” – Jack LaLanne

breakfast weight loss
So are you telling me I have to spit this out?

I love mangoes. They’re fucking delicious.

I also love steak, sweet potatoes, eggs, and oranges which are all foods most people would agree are “healthy.”

They all taste good. Oops, did I say something wrong?

Is my body going to burst into flames because I ate food that tasted good?

While I respect Jack LaLane for living such an active and fitness oriented lifestyle up until his death, I cringe every time someone uses this quote.

I’m sure LaLanne meant for people to “spit out” more processed foods like chips and cookies, but still…it’s one of the most poorly worded quotes in fitness.

A more accurate quote: “If it tastes rotten, pre-chewed, or poisoned spit it out”

2. “If you’re not, squatting you’re not training”

Who the hell came up with this?

Unless you’re a competitive powerlifter, I don’t understand everyone’s obsession with squats.

Some people seem to have a cult-like mentality with squats, but there are other ways to build up your legs.

Beyond just squats you have: split squats, Bulgarian split squats, leg presses, lunges, and an endless list of single leg exercises.

As humans, squatting up and down is a very natural movement and I believe that everyone should be able to at least squat with their bodyweight, but as for the necessity of super heavy squats – not so much.

A more accurate quote: “If you’re not training your lower body, you’re not training”

3. “An apple per day will keep the doctor away”


Mother…fucker, an apple a day will not keep the doctor away.

The only thing eating an apple gives you is some fiber, Vitamin C, and antioxidants. And don’t get me wrong, these are all good things.

But it’s completely ignorant to believe that eating an apple (or any healthy food for that matter) will prevent you from getting sick, especially if the rest of your diet is bad.

Eating healthy foods like apples could potentially decrease your chances of getting sick, but that’s all it does – decrease the chances.

A more accurate quote: “An apple per day will make your breath smell like apple”

4. “Not all calories are created equal”

A calorie is a unit of energy. It’s a unit of measurement.

Just like 1 pound is 1 pound, no matter what.

This is an undisputed fact. If you can prove me wrong, go ahead. You’ll probably win a Nobel Prize or some shit if you do so.

What people mean to say is “Not all macro-nutrients are created equal.”

By saying this, you’re saying that not all macros (fats/carbs/proteins) are created equal and this is 100% true.

But of course, saying that “not all macros are crated equal” doesn’t sound as sexy and doesn’t sell as well so it will probably never catch on.

A more accurate quote: “All calories are created equal, not all macro-nutrients are created equal”

5. “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper”

Do I even need to say it?

While the concept of tapering down your calories can definitely work for weight loss and overall health…to tell people that it’s the only way is foolish and ignorant.

Concepts like skipping breakfast and intermittent fasting are foreign to these people who believe this.

Personally I like to skip breakfast, eat lunch like a mouse, and eat dinner like Kobayashi.

A more accurate quote: “Eat however the fuck you want to eat”

6. “Losing weight is 80% diet and 20% exercise”

When it comes to weight loss, it’s more accurate to say that it’s 95% diet and 5% exercise.

The main purposes of exercising while dieting is twofold – to maintain muscle mass and mental relief.

You should exercise so you don’t lose any of that sexy muscle that shapes your body and because frankly, you’re going to feel like shit if you don’t start moving around.

As for the calorie burn you get from exercising – it’s a bonus.

A person who loses weight on 2000 calories per day almost never does so by eating 3000 calories and burning 1000 calories through exercise. Burning 1000 calories per workout is incredibly hard (see below). It’s much easier to just eat 2000 calories than it is to run 10 additional miles.

A more accurate quote: “Losing weight is 95% diet and 5% exercise”

7. “You can’t out-exercise a bad diet”

I was hesitant to put this on the list because for the average person, it’s completely true.

But at the same time, this quote is technically false.

First, let’s define what a “bad diet” is.

For most people, a bad diet is a diet where you eat anywhere from a 500-2000 calorie surplus in crappy foods.

And for these people, burning 500-2000 calories in the subsequent workout is incredibly unrealistic.

But that’s not to say it’s impossible.

Have you seen the way pro athletes train? If you’re a professional football, soccer, basketball, or tennis player the you could probably afford to eat in a 2000 calorie surplus.

These guys train like crazy. They literally burn thousands of calories, day in and day out. But it’s their life…their job.

Pro athletes are dedicated to training for hours per day. As for the common dude who wants to lose 20 pounds, not so much.

So can out-exercise a bad diet? Technically, yes. But the chances of it happening for most people is incredibly low.

A more accurate quote: “You can out-exercise a bad diet, but the chances are well…shit”

8. “Abs are made in the kitchen”

Ah yes, the infamous kitchen abs quote. I’ve lost count of how many I’ve heard this.

But here’s the truth – abs are not made in the kitchen, they’re made in the gym…in your workout.

The stuff you do in the kitchen, the foods you eat do one thing and one thing only – help you lose body fat.

Losing body fat doesn’t “make” your abs. Losing body fat reveals your abs.

But the stuff you do in the gym – the pull-ups, ab rollouts, cable crunches, deadlifts, and hanging leg raises…this is what actually builds and “makes” your abs.

Ab exercises give your abs definition and density. Without this, you’re just a skinny guy with abs.

And remember the old saying, “A skinny guy with abs is like a fat girl with big tits, it doesn’t count.”

A more accurate quote: “Abs are made in the gym, they’re revealed in the kitchen”


Do you have any common health & fitness quotes that you can’t stand? Let me know in the comments below.

Photo credit: mhaithaca

14 Comments - Leave Your Thoughts

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  1. Great post Keith. How about “No Pain No Gain”. This is true that you will have some soreness the next day after a muscle building workout but I bet most people that workout think that it’s suppose to be painful to get any results. Definately don’t want to do exercises that are painful.

  2. Great angle to take, with “No Pain, No Gain” definitely needing to be on the list. However, I think #s 5 and 6 have merit and need to stay in circulation. Fun rewording of the others, though!

  3. “If it tastes good, spit it out” – Jack LaLanne

    Jack can go to hell. I hate this quote with a fiery passion, it’s not our fault your dumbass doesn’t know how to cook good food.

  4. Hehe…I had a lot of fun reading this post!
    Especially at the last part, the one with “A skinny guy with abs is like a fat girl with big tits, it doesn’t count” 🙂

  5. Bad list bro, you even contradict yourself (6-7)
    And abs are made in the kitchen is true, for one simple thing: you didnt understand the quote. This means if you train (no matter how hard) but dont diet right you probable never going to see abs.
    And 4: bro! cmon, if you are talking about calories you are talking about macros, dont be a noob. and of course 1000cal of fat and 1000 calores of prot. are in both cases 1k calerios, but 1000 of deep fried chicken its not the same of 1000 calories of brocoli, dude cmon learn your nutrition!

    1. “This means if you train (no matter how hard) but dont diet right you probable never going to see abs.”

      True, but it also means if you focus entirely on your diet and don’t train your abs, you prob never going to see your abs.

      Did you even read the #4. I clearly state in the end, “By saying this, you’re saying that not all macros (fats/carbs/proteins) are created equal and this is 100% true.

      But of course, saying that “not all macros are crated equal” doesn’t sound as sexy and doesn’t sell as well so it will probably never catch on.

      A more accurate quote: “All calories are created equal, not all macro-nutrients are created equal””

    2. i agree with mostly everything on this list. He’s just being a realist. I eat whatever i want, i’ve never dieted. Even before my bodybuilding competition i ate baskin robins and the competitors were just staring at me.. but i still had the most shredded legs. work out the right way and turn your body into a fat burner. diet is for health, working out is for changing your body. both working out and “diet” will changes body fat percentage, but diet WONT give you muscles, that’s just plain stupid.. and your abs are a muscle.

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