Diet, Exercise and Weight Loss Myths
Once again, it has come to our attention that there are a lot of misinformed people out there. We are not entirely sure from where this glut of non-knowledge is originating, nor do we want to point fingers. We have our suspicions about various publications. Nevertheless, be prepared for the latest soapbox ranting in attempt to clear the air and bring some enlightenment to the poor undereducated masses.
Myth #1. In Order To Lose Fat, You Need To Eat Less
On the surface, this may seem correct, but let's really think about it for a minute. Given, in order to lose fat, the calories ingested must be less than the calories expended. But (pun intended) there are loopholes to this grand axiom in that there are many ways to accomplish this calorie imbalance. When you exercise, you burn calories. On a simple level, if you are burning more than you?re eating, you will lose fat.
Since muscle is active, and fat is inert, the metabolic rate (metabolism, the rate at which you burn calories) is basically determined by the ratio between fat- and lean-bodyweight. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism. So, you can burn more fat by adding more muscle. In order to add more muscle, you need to eat more. Again, simply put, you can actually lose fat by eating more.
Myth #2. In Order To Lose Fat, You Need To Do Lots Of Cardio
Again, this seems right. But look at it this way: When you exercise, you burn calories. Now where these calories come from is the basis as to whether you will lose fat or muscle. Without going into a tremendous amount of science, let?s take for granted, that the body prefers protein sources over fat for its fuel. Muscles are made of protein. If you are not ingesting enough protein in your diet, and you do an extreme amount of cardio, the body may feed on its muscle and you will lose lean bodyweight. (Just look at Olympic-class runners - very lean, but very little muscles, too.) Now when you lose too much lean bodyweight, what happens to your metabolism? It takes a nose-dive. Then what? Well, my fluffy friend, the two-thousand calories a day that used to make you lose weight, is now causing you to gain fat! Hmmmm?
Myth #3. In Order To Lose Your Belly, You Need To Do Lots Of Sit Ups
Okay, a little earlier we established that when we exercise, we burn calories. Let's assume that we really nailed our nutrition plan, so these calories are going to come from the stored fat in our bodies. But, exactly where is the fat going to "burn off" first? Good question. The real answer, though, is in saying where it will not come from first. When you perform bicep curls, a lot, and heavy, to the point that your body is using calories, you, according to the logic above, are burning fat. Are you burning the fat only on your biceps? Of course not. The body does not care where it gets the fat to burn, and doing a particular exercise for a particular area does not guarantee that the fat burned will come from that area. Again, plain and simple. Following that truth, does performing a lot of sit-ups burn the fat off your middle? No way. Well, maybe it will, but not just off your middle. It's going to come off pretty much everywhere. There are certain reasons pertaining to biology, anatomy, body types, etc, that dictate where the fat comes from first, and how much where, but generally speaking, it's going to come off everywhere. The same logic would apply to the various electronic muscle-stimulating devices that are flooding the infomercials. Go, ahead, give yourself some electronic stimulation. It may be a great way (I doubt it) to exercise and tone your abs. But that is not going to guarantee that the flab is going to come off of them. About the only thing that it is going to guarantee, is that you spent too much. So, what's the best way to get the flab off of a certain area, and only that area, of your body? Try liposuction.
Myth #4. Carbs Are Bad For You
You should know by now that almost any generalized statement is a lie, and subject to my attack. Our bodies need carbs (technically "carbohydrates") to exist. They are one of the preferred fuel sources for energy. Certain carbs, eaten under specific conditions (i.e., starchy white carbs eaten less than three hours before bedtime) may cause you to gain or hold onto extra weight, but certainly, by no means are all carbohydrates bad for you.
Myth #5. Eating Pasta Makes You Fat
Being Italian, I have to wholeheartedly object to this. Eating pasta, in itself, does not make you fat. Overeating, (anything) makes you fat. Period.
Myth #6. Drinking Water With Meals Makes You Bloated And Retain Fluid
Exactly when water is ingested has no effect. And drinking too little water actually causes water retention.
Myth #7. Fat Is Bad For You
See Myth #4 above. The same logic applies. But apply it to saturated and unsaturated fats. Take unsaturated whenever there is a choice.
Myth #8. Losing Weight Fast Is The Best Way
You should know better. Losing weight fast usually means losing water and lean weight. Losing water weight in itself is harmless, but not even close to permanent. You will gain it all back very quickly as soon as the body re-hydrates itself. Losing lean weight, on the other hand, is counter-productive. As we saw above, losing lean weight will in turn lower your metabolism, and we know what comes next. (See #1 and #2 above)