TOP 10 NUTRITION AND FITNESS MYTHS

October 13, 2018 Roberto No comments exist

 

There is currently an information overload that contains a lot of false information. People tend to read one article or follow one media outlet and believe everything they say. We need to become better fact checkers. Research based articles will say fruits, vegetables, lean protein, sleep, and exercise for longevity while another magazine is endorsing the newest diet that consists of eating a tapeworm. It’s best to avoid crazy fads and instead establish healthy habits.

 

Anyway, here is the list without any FAKE NEWS or false information. Just pure facts!

1.WEIGHTS AND STRENGTH TRAINING MAKE WOMEN BULKY

False. Men and women should both strength train. Testosterone and a surplus of calories make women and men bulky.  Women have about 10x less testosterone than man so testosterone shouldn’t be a concern unless you’re taking steroids. Weight training will help build lean muscle mass, and gives you that defined/ toned look. It will also improve your bone mineral density, energy levels, mental health, and make you a much stronger human being. This is very important as we age so we can keep living an independent lifestyle.

A very important variable to consider while training women is the menstrual cycle and the hormone fluctuation that comes with it as this can affect their workouts and fat loss progression. This may lead to a loss of strength, coordination, carb cravings, and water retention. More of all this another time, but something that’s important to know.

 

2. DOING ENDLESS CRUNCHES WILL GET YOU ABS

Abs are made in the kitchen, but some of us seem to have replaced the kitchen with endless core work hoping that it will make up for it. Getting your abs to show takes a lot of hard work and dedication. You will have to sacrifice some foods and potential outings if you have trouble with food discipline. Honestly, abs aren’t for everyone. And that’s fine. If you really do want to get a 6 pack then good on you, but  just know what you’re getting yourself into: hard work and discipline. And instead of doing endless core work to improve your body composition, you would be better off focusing on regular strength training and big compounds movements ( e.g. squats, lunges, deadlifts). These exercises will utilize more muscles and burn more calories compared to an isolation exercise such as a crunch.

Crunching with previous flexion based lower back pain will lead to more low back pain. Flexion based lower back pain refers to low back pain that is triggered when you hunch or flex your spine. I totally understand that people like to do direct core work because of the feel good factor, which is fine, but jut don’t over do it and spend half an hour on your core. And please don’t get on the Bosu. If you are going to train your core then incorporate some anti-rotation and anti-flexion exercises as well. Also, you’re better off spending that half hour on the air dyne or Skierg because you burn more calories and it looks 10000x cooler!

TL;Dr: It’s fine to incorporate core exercises but don’t make it the staple of your program. Get in your kitchen, do compounds movements and Skierg instead!

 

3. CARBS ARE EVIL AND SO ARE FATS. AND APPARENTLY SO ARE EGGS, RED MEAT, SALT AND EVERY OTHER FOOD OUT THERE.

Sorry to break it to you but neither carbs or fats are the cause of your weight gain. An excess amount of calories is the reason for your weight gain. The western diet that consists of  sugars, processed meats, and refined grains is also not helping you out and the faster you get off that, the quicker you will see results. Our fear of fats dates back to the 50s and now we’ve gone to another extreme with popular diets bashing carbs. Carbs are essential and you will eventually burn out without them. More on fats below:

Condensed Nutrition History Lesson 1: Fats

Back in the 50s, literature came out blaming saturated fats and cholesterol for heart disease in the 20th century. Researchers believed that other cultures experienced lower levels of heart disease because of their lower levels of saturated fats that came from meats and dairy. They failed to acknowledge that other cultures were also eating fewer calories, less refined carbohydrates, moving more, while also eating more fruits, vegetables, and fish. And then during the 70s, people began eating more carbohydrates, and consequently more calories, in order to avoid the “deadly’ fat macronutrient. They also incorporated more trans fat, which is deadly. This time era is often blamed for the start of the obesity and diabetes pandemic that we see today. The low fat campaign, which had very little scientific backing, intended to reduce heart disease ended up causing an increase in obesity, diabetes, and heart disease…..

Condensed History Lesson 2: Early day diet gurus John Kellogg and Horace Fletcher convinced Americans in the early 1900s that cleaner, wholesome carbohydrates in the morning (e.g. cereal), was far superior to protein. Both had a dislike for protein and their end goal was to replace protein in the morning with breakfast cereals. Dr.Kellogg was also a Seventh-day Adventist  who believed that protein promoted masturbation and proliferation of toxic bacteria in the colon. Right. So Americans became scared of protein, of course, and replaced protein with cereal in the morning. It’s now 2018 and we’re still eating sugary cereals for breakfast that are advertised as “healthy”. Read the 30 ingredients next time you eat cereal and you will see that it’s far from “healthy”.

 

 

4.SKINNY TEATOX WON’T GET YOU SKINNY. AND NEITHER WILL FAT BURNERS OR ANY OTHER NEW GET-LEAN-QUICK-MAGIC-PILL.

Finding the quick fix seems to be human nature. We’re always looking for the next magical diet or exercise that will take care of all our problems overnight. Whether that’s Skinny Teatox, smoothie diets, fat burners, and so on. But in reality, people don’t get rich overnight, athletes don’t become great after one practice, and musicians don’t become world class at their craft after their first week playing. The truth is that everything takes consistent work and many people don’t want to hear this. They would rather spend months and years of yo-yo dieting instead of establishing healthy nutrition and exercise habits. The magic pill is consistent work.

And in regards to fat burners, the only supplements that have been clinically been shown to work time and time again are creatine, protein ( the quality kind), caffeine, and omega 3s. Everything else is equivocal and still needs more research. Moral of the story: There are not shortcuts so save your money and just put in the work.

 

 

5. LACK OF CARDIO IS THE REASON YOU’RE NOT LOSING WEIGHT

Increasing your physical activity will of course help you lose weight because you’re burning extra calories. But if you eat poorly and refuse to change the way you eat because you convinced yourself that the extra half hour session of cardio will make up for your weekend binges then good luck. That old cliché of “you can’t out train a bad diet” is unfortunately very true.

 

6. “CLEAN EATING” IS THE WAY TO SUCCESS 

It’s really not. What does that even mean !? Seriously. The phrase ” clean eating” seems to have put people into this psychological rut where they feel like everything they eat has to be “clean” and not doing so means they’re a failure. The whole “clean eating” movement has changed the way people think about food. We start categorizing food into good and clean, and other foods into bad, which gives us guilt. You shouldn’t have to feel guilty for eating a piece of cake. Our eating culture, food psychology, and relationship with food is already dysfunctional and we don’t have to make it worse. If you eat well 80% of the time and the other 20% of the time consists of an occasional pizza then you should be fine.  Life shouldn’t be about asking yourself whether or not a food is “clean”.

 

Clean eating is dumb

 

7. YOU NEED TO FEEL THE PAIN AND LEAVE EXHAUSTED AFTER EVERY WORKOUT FOR IT TO BE CONSIDERED A “GOOD” WORKOUT.

Many top athletes wouldn’t be where they are today if they trained to complete exhaustion every practice. And these are top level athletes, let alone Suzy who works 9-5 in a downtown cubicle. I believe TV shows like the Biggest Loser has given people this false perception of what training should look like. How you treat and train people should be done completely opposite of what you see on the Biggest Loser. Pushing your body to it’s limit every training session is actually very counter productive from a fat loss and strength perspective. If you train to the point of exhaustion then you won’t be moving much the following day. And if you’re not moving then you won’t be burning too many calories.

In reality, you will have some days where you don’t feel like training or some days where you will be a bit more tired. You push through and do what you can on those days, and come back better next time . Athletes have good games and bad games, and you will have good days and bad days. Everything is not always sunshine and rainbows.

 

8. GETTING YOUR KNEES TO GO OVER YOUR ANKLES DURING A SQUAT WILL LEAD TO AN IMMEDIATE LIGAMENT TEAR

Contrary to popular belief, people have squatted below parallel with their knees going forward, and they lived to tell the tale. I’m not saying that squatting below parallel is for everyone or that your knees should be going past your knees every time. It’s just that the internet seems to freak out every time a knee goes a millimetre over the knee. We’re too black and white. We need to take into consideration that everyone has different anatomy, mobility, flexibility, and injury history so everyone’s squat form will look a little different.

Trump Telling them it's fake news

 

9.YOU CAN GET BY WITH LITTLE SLEEP AND IT WON’T AFFECT YOUR FAT LOSS GOALS

I have a love hate relationship with sleep. Most of the time I hate sleeping because it means I can’t do more things, usually work related things. As of late, though, I have learned to love and appreciate a good night’s sleep. Sleep is pivotal and the side effects related to sleep deprivation are scary. Everyone functions on different amounts of sleep but most people need around 7-9 hours. A very, very small percentage can function on 6  hours or less regularly. I thought I was one of those people because I can definitely do alright on 5.5 hours but I also definitely burn out after a while.

Sleep is also very important from a fat loss perspective. Being up for longer hours means you will probably eat more because you’re awake for a longer period of time. It also alters your hormone levels by increasing your hunger hormone (ghrelin) and suppresses your appetite hormone (leptin). Poor sleeping patterns also lead to an increase in a stress hormone called cortisol that also increases your appetite. Most notably, sleep deprivation also increases your risk of Alzheimer’s. I should probably start learning to love sleeping more…

TL;DR: Sleep well on a regular basis to avoid exhaustion + increased calorie intake because hormones, and Alzheimers.

 

10. 20 YEAR OLD FITNESS EXPERTS DON’T EXIST.

Personal training has such a low barrier to entry. It’s actually mind blowing. Trainers work with real life people with very different personalities and ambitions. It’s anatomy, biomechanics, physiology, psychology, coaching and more. There should be a proper education system that teaches trainers instead of these weekend courses. Prescribing exercise as opposed to more pills. Maybe one day.

Truth be told, I’m not an expert but I continually learn and work to improve myself. The word expert is thrown around too much and there are far too many 20 year old social media “experts” with the magic formula. This magic formula may have worked for them, but it doesn’t mean it will work for everyone else. I’m all for self belief and confidence, and a bit of arrogance, but going around marketing yourself like you’re the Michael Jordan of the training world when you’ve trained for 6 months is delusional. On the other spectrum, there are trainers who like to throw around their years of experience. Experience is critical, of course, but what good is experience if you’ve been training people improperly for 20 years. In this case, I would rather go with someone who has less experience but is open minded and committed to learning more.

 

FINAL WORDS – DON’T BE TRAPPED BY DOGMA 

This is a comprehensive list of 10 common things I hear from clients and friends. I could keep going, but we’ll save that for another day. At the end of the day, it’s always good to keep an open mind and question information on the internet, and in everyday life. We read one article far too many times and believe all the information to be true without fact checking. We need to ask ourselves if the claim is logical and if there is additional research backing it up.  And more importantly, we need to ask ourselves if we’re following a certain train of thought because we chose to on our own or are we just following society’s dogma (e.g. cereal every morning). Always research and question!

 

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