Ignition Fitness

Published Mar 22, 2013 « Back

Myths Dismissed 


It has been too long since I last put something up in this section. I apologise and will do more! Over the past couple of weeks I have met more and more people from different backgrounds. Yet 90% of these people all had something in common. They all lived on the myths of the fitness world. I thought the myths I'm about to talk about were fading out, something of the past. However as my networking has shown they haven't! They're still there and stopping you from hitting your goals! 


1. Eating fats will make me fatter.


First of all lets look at what makes us fat. There are primarily two ways of getting 'fat'. Consuming too many calories - however this doesn't mean calorie counting to your hearts content. Consuming 100kcal worth of chocolate is completely different to consuming 100kcal of veg for example. The second way is causing fluctuations of your blood sugar levels through your nutrition.


Eating fats daily (in the right way of course) is so important when chasing fat loss as a goal. The main concern with fats is they carry a high calorie content (9kcal per gram vs protein which carries 4kcal per gram). Of course some thought should go into the consumption of fat, but fats should be part of your daily diet. For example dietary fats, fat soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids (EFAs). This is very import for optimal function/health, whilst also helping body fat reduction by providing that feeling of 'fullness'. 


Of course there are some fats to stay away from such as hydrogenated fats and trans fats. These are normally found in man made processed food. Steer clear from these types of foods and aim for fats from 'natural/organic' foods you'll be on the right track. 


Another thought to consider when thinking about fats. The Inuit lived on high fats for years (whale meat/blubber) and had very little heart disease. That was until they were introduced to the western diet. Once they started adding carbohydrate rich foods from the western diet heart disease spiked. 


In my opinion dietary fats should never go below 15% of your calorie consumption. This is a good rule of thumb to follow when looking at fats.


2. Cardiovascular and aerobic training is the best form of exercise to lose body fat.


Look at the photo below. Two types of athletes...one which does long duration cardio training, and one that does short sharp explosive training. Which body would you prefer?


The truth put bluntly is that mundane cardiovascular workouts are not good for fat loss. Too much regular cardio at a moderate pace will cause the adrenal glands to become stressed. This can lead to to adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue can cause a number of problems including; fatigue, impaired immune system and the inability to be able to lose fat. 


To upset the cardio queens out there even more, long steady cardio will speed the ageing process. Aerobic training increases oxidative stress. Oxidation is a process that forms free radicals within the body, antioxidants will neutralise free radicals. However if there is a build up of within the body - (this can happen from regular and steady aerobic session) the the antioxidants cannot deal with all the free radicals. This can lead to the acceleration of ageing and negative changes to your metabolism. Not what you want from training!


3. Lifting weights wont get me lean


This myth is something from the stone age. There are numerous studies and evidence to show anyone that following the correct resistance programme is one of the most effective way to lose fat.


To see all the fact about why resistance training is key for fat loss please see Why Woman Should Do Weighted Exercise For A Sculptured Body. I know the post is aimed towards women. But it is still relevant to all the guys out there.


4. I only need to eat when I feel hungry


This also isn't true. Our bodies are finally tuned machines - functional organisms; yet most of us don't seem to treat it as one. If loosing body fat is at the top of your agenda you should be feeding your body at prescribed times, every 3 hours is a good rule of thumb. Only eating when your hungry can leave you without food for long periods of time. This causes your body to over secrete the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol has many negative effects on the body. So much so that a whole other article/blog could be written about it. When cortisol is produced your body automatically wants to produce insulin, which relates to overeating. This is why you get cravings for starch/sugary meals when you skip meals. Add all this together and you get the cortisol-insulin seesaw which leads to a fat belly and love handles.

Who to trust...

These are the main myths that I come across through meeting new people. There are many many more. Next time you hear some fitness advice check it out with a credible expert to make sure you're not doomed from the start. 


Train smart, eat smart and rest smart.