Hello world! Yeah I know, no Monday Musings yesterday. I had nothing to muse over. Well not entirely it was more like a busy weekend and it just didn’t happen. But if you wanna read some of the past ones, find some here.
The life of writing involves making myself sit and be still and grind it out when I’d rather be up and moving. If there were only a way to do other stuff AND dictate my posts while doing it, that would be awesome 🙂
Anyway I thought we’d talk today about some common myths in regards to fitness and health. I heard something this past week that got me to thinking and I was gonna give it a nod in my Monday Musings but decided there was enough fodder for it to have an entire post of it’s own.
Let’s face it, in the world of health and fitness there’s a lot of things that aren’t true yet people unknowingly buy into them all the time.
Let’s consider a few in this post….
Feel the burn.
I’ve seen this quite a bit lately in different places. The whole “feel the burn” thing in regards to working out.
Now I’m not sure about you, but if something feels like it’s burning during a workout, I’m fairly sure that’s not a good thing.
Feeling a burn could indicate you have over done something or doing more than your body is physically conditioned for at that point.
This is not the same as just working hard in a session and pushing yourself within your current physical conditioning. Our bodies require time to change and adapt to what we put them through, this doesn’t happen overnight or in a few sessions when you feel like you’ve got your “beast mode” on.
If something feels like it’s burning, you really need to stop and not go to that point anymore lest you pick up and injury that sidelines you for awhile.
A gradual, consistent approach that continues to build will let you work harder and longer with less risk for injuries.
The longer you workout or the more you do in a day the better
You might mentally think you are doing something great but really unless you’re an elite athlete getting in some extra work you are simply setting yourself up for potential injury and at best being over tired, sore and not feeling great after the fact.
Stick to a structured daily workout plan, give it your best efforts and call it a wrap. Think quality over quantity. If you need to do other things consider yoga or stretching to help keep those worked muscles relaxed and loose for your next workout session.
You get no extra gold stars for excess workouts. 😉
I’ve gained weight but I know it’s muscle.
I’ve heard this when someone has been working out for like…6-8 weeks. Building muscle is work, hard work. If you’re a woman, it gets even harder. We often don’t lift heavy enough, or often enough and eat enough to build muscle in that fast of a manner. It has taken me time to build muscle, years. Although cycling and running have contributed to my muscle building, I do specific weight lifting a couple times a week alongside that.
If you want to build muscle it will take time, determination, consistency and good nutrition. Did I mention time ?
If you’re gaining weight that early on, you might be eating more than you need so adjust your calorie intake.
I’m skipping breakfast because I want to lose weight.
Do you know that breakfast really is the most important meal of your day? Your body has been fasting for hours ( think your last meal the night before) eating properly helps kick start your metabolism for the day, wards off hunger and helps prevent binging later on when you are full blown hungry. It will also give you energy for your morning. Not only that having proper fuel helps you to be focused and alert, without it you can be irritable and grouchy. Skipping breakfast won’t contribute to weight loss, but it will keep you hungry and focused on food.
It doesn’t have to be a huge meal, but one that is healthy and offers adequate protein and carbs to fuel your body and brain.
Eating lots of protein gives you more muscle.
Listen, I’m always one who will preach eating protein to you ’cause it delivers a big bang for keeping you from feeling hungry for long periods of time. Your body needs protein to build muscles and grow cells and hair and nails and all that other cool physical stuff. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues.
However, when it comes to fat loss and a better body, protein is the king of nutrients. Protein can reduce hunger and boost metabolism.
But in the often misguided fitness world, the more is better approach is often heralded as the way to do things.
Yes, you need adequate protein. Yes, if you are athletic you need more than the average sedentary person, but consuming high amounts won’t necessarily put Popeye muscles on you.
Why? Our bodies know what they need and the amounts needed and can only ingest 12-15 grams per meal. At a point, the excess protein is excreted or stored as fat if it’s surplus calories.
Building muscle is a combination (again) of consistent hard work, daily discipline, lifting heavy and good nutrition.
Not massive quantities of protein.
Try and consume your protein from natural food sources and limit manmade protein drinks, shakes, powders, bars, supplements etc etc.
The 1200 calorie diet.
Ah yes. The standard caloric intake often given to women. Men do get a bit more but it’s just as limiting.
It still amazes me that these standard diets are often assigned to people without any given consideration to their personal needs.
Eating to low amount of calories is just as counterproductive as to many.
If you are seeking to lose weight you need to have a good understanding of yourself, your lifestyle, and your physical level of activity.
All of us have a basic level of calories our bodies need to just be alive. That means to support a beating heart, brain activity, cell growth, breathing… you know.. just the normal things. Our basic BMR ( basal metabolic rate) will be different for all of us again based on our age, sex, fitness level, jobs etc.
Try this calculator for your estimate…. https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/bmr_calculator.htm
It’s important you know what you’re baseline is and not eat calories under that.
From there, you would determine what kind of work do you do? Is it physically demanding or is it a desk job? What kind of purposeful exercise do you do? None? Light ( 1-2 days a week) moderate (3-5) or more intense (6-7)?
All of these things come into play determining your daily caloric needs. And this can be a shifting scale most days.
For instance, I know on my long training days, I’ll be burning off a lot of calories and making my body work hard. I know I’ll have higher caloric needs based on my day in general, as well as my purposeful exercise. I know I can consume more calories on those days over days where I might just run a 5K that morning to where I don’t really alter my normal eating.
I am aware that on any given day I may need more or less calories depending on my activity level.
When you have a better idea of your personal needs, you can determine the calories you need to lose weight, or maintain your weight.
Eating a big meal makes you gain weight.
OK this is one that for sure comes up around Thanksgiving. For some crazy reason people go hop on a scale the day after.
Like… why? Do you just wanna feel crappy for enjoying your day?
Listen up, if you show a gain, it’s not fat ok? You aren’t gonna toss on 2-4 pounds of fat overnight.
Yes, the scale *could* show a gain but I’m gonna just say it’s most likely water weight from all those carbs you took in the day before from potatoes, rolls, dressing, pies etc.
Carbs, if you don’t know this, are like little sponges that hold onto water. Why do you think body builders restrict carbs when they are close to competition? To deplete water out of their muscles.
I would suggest if you go back to your normal eating, getting normal exercise and check again in a couple days, you’ll have weight *loss*.
To stay in shape you only need one or two days a week.
Sorry. That might clear your head or give you a quick burst of energy but it won’t get you in shape or help with any weight loss goals.
Ideally, you should really strive to workout most days of the week for optimal health benefits.
Start with a couple days but aim to get in at least 5-6.
You can crunch your way to good abs.
Sorry… but no. I cringe when I hear people talking about doing crunches and dutifully going through the motions. The reality is it’s an ineffective way to get those abs. Instead you should be doing things in a combination of interval training, utilizing carbs wisely, getting adequate sleep and keeping stress levels low. Of course the right training moves help too. Moves like squats, deadlifts, and chin ups can contribute to that shaped mid section.
I’m eating healthy, I will lose weight.
Truth is…. you will lose weight if you take in less calories than you need in a day and create a deficit. Yes, eating healthy foods is definitely what you should strive to have in your day, but if you eat to much of anything your body will take what it needs and store the rest for fat.
Eat healthy, focus on eating just enough to satisfy your hunger, and then move on with your day. Don’t get caught in the thinking you are going to lose weight if you have no idea of your calorie consumption in the day.
Be mindful of another “trap” by drinking “healthy” liquid calories in the trendy shakes and smoothies. The calories are often astronomical in it and you’d do better eating regular food.
My son used to get a smoothie from a local place. He asked me to stop and get him one and bring it to work. Me being me, I’m standing there picking apart menu and code words that still mean sugar no matter how you try and gloss it over ( good publicity makes you feel like you’re doing yourself a healthy favor) I found the one I was buying for him and almost fainted when I saw it had nearly 1,200 calories in it. True, it was a large one, but still, that is an obscene amount of calories for something that is being promoted as “healthy” it is close to exceeding daily caloric intake.
When I told him he was shocked and stopped buying them.
Working out will turn fat into muscle.
No. You have fat and you have muscle. You can’t make one be the other. You can lose fat and you will be able to see your muscles better but you won’t turn your excess fat into muscle nor will muscle turn into fat.
Oh and another myth I’ll put in here that ties in, my favorite, muscle weighs more than fat. ( a way to justify weight gain)
5lbs is still 5lbs. muscle however, is sleek, compact and lean and fat is thick, bulky and fluffy. Having more muscle under your skin gives that “toned” look people always go on about. Toned is a weird way of saying you have some muscle holding your skin out.
And that’s about all I have to say on that topic 😉
I guess I could keep on with other points but I need to bring it to and end. If you are unsure of something in regards to health and fitness, find credible sources to gain information. Don’t go by what the bulky dude at the gym does or the girl in the yoga pants tells you to eat. Educate yourself on things so you can make the best choices for you.
Tell me, are there some myths you’ve heard that people believe in?