Thursday, May 7, 2009
Five Fitness Fallacies
In today's world, everyone's an expert. You know that guy who insists on telling you exactly what you need to do to fix your personal situation that he actually knows little to nothing about? Yes - we all do...because he's everywhere! You probably have one at work, in your neighborhood, a friend, etc. What "that guy" does is stir up a lot of false information.
Here are some of the top things that people believe about fitness that are just simply NOT TRUE. (And no, I'm not trying to be the expert. I promise not to give you advice on taxes or anything involving Lowe's/Home Depot...but fitness is what I do!
Fallacy #1 - Calories are the only thing that counts when trying to lose body fat or gain lean muscle.
Ratios of protein, carbohydrates and fats are also important. The key in losing body fat and getting lean is controlling and manipulating insulin levels. In simple terms, when we consume excessive calories or excessive amounts of high glycemic carbohydrates at one meal, the body’s blood sugar rises. When this happens, the pancreas secretes the hormone insulin to lower the blood sugar levels.
One of the many drawbacks of this happening excessively is, along with putting you at risk for diabetes, the body also holds onto stored body fat! A balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats works most efficiently in losing fat and gaining lean tissue. However, this too becomes tricky, because each of us tends to respond best to certain dietary programs. Listen to your body, try different combinations, and see what works best for you. Once you find it, stick to it!
Fallacy #2 - Muscle weighs more than fat.
If I place one pound of muscle on a scale and one pound of fat on a scale, they will both weigh one pound. The difference is in total volume! One pound of muscle may appear to be the size of a baseball; one pound of fat will be three times the size and look like a squiggly bowl JELL-O.
Fallacy #3 - There is one perfect workout routine.
There is no “best and only way” to workout. I receive a multitude of questions concerning what is the best cardio machine, the best exercise tape, the best routine to work the butt and so on. In reality, it’s all good if it works for you, but you don’t want to stay with any of it for too long. The body will adapt to any exercise routine in 4-6 weeks and the mind will experience boredom if you stay with the same routine for too long of a time. Vary volume of sets, time between sets, reps, exercises, cardio, DVD's. Manipulate your routine every 3-4 weeks and view CHANGE as the key constant that will lead you to success.
Fallacy #4 - The best way to lose fat is to eat very few calories.
Always consider your body from the inside out. Your body’s main objective is to survive. It doesn’t care if you want to lose body fat. In fact, it would prefer to increase fat in case of famine. Internally, the body has no idea that it’s the year 2003. It could still be 10,000 years ago for all it cares. Survival is its number one objective.
If you eat very little (less than 1,200 calories), the body perceives an emergency and will accommodate you by holding onto stored body fat. As well it should, because it has no idea when it will be fed again. So PLEASE - I'm begging you - Eat healthy and see that fat loss happens quicker when you aren't starving yourself.
Fallacy #5 - The best way to reduce the hips, glutes or abs is to perform exercise to isolate the area. FALSE!
It is physiologically impossible to spot reduce. You can’t lose only in one area of the body because body fat comes off all over the body. Typically, the first place you tend to gain is the last place you lose. Doesn’t Mother Nature have a wonderful sense of humor? Again, the route to success for those stubborn hips is resistance exercise, cardio and supplemental nutrition.
Sensing a theme here? Its all about balance and consistency. Keep those questions coming and make sure you get active today!