Posted by: thefitacademic | July 1, 2011

Myth-Busters

I’m driving north-bound right now for the 4th of July weekend to see friends and family and hopefully have  a lot of fun. While I’m gone I’ve got a couple fun posts to keep you entertained. But no worries, I’ll be back before you know it!

Have you ever heard of the Cut The Fat Podcast? I’ve talked about it here (explaining why I eat meat), here (giving the 6 principles of Fat Loss), and here (8 reasons why we fail at weight loss). Well yesterday I listened to another great one all about “The Good, Bad, and Ugly” of the Atkins diet (very low carb, high protein)…which is, in theory, they way I try to eat (though I eat way more carbs than Atkins ever allowed! I love them so much!)

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The thing about Atkins is that it had to be revised over the years. Originally Atkins gave no mention to the types of meats you should eat. Anything and everything was allowed. But today we know that some cuts of meat are healthier than others. And we know that a diet consisting of nothing but bacon, cheese, and eggs is not healthy (at least not without including other things!) The diet has since been revised accordingly, to stipulate the types of meat that are best (lean cuts, etc.) and those to stay away from (higher fat meat, meat that’s been cured with sugar, etc.)

Well, it must be Myth-Buster’s day because after listening to the podcast I ran across this article:  10 exercise myths that won’t go away.

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10. The cardio machine will tell you how many calories you burn.

False! Although cardio machines give a rough estimation, there is no way for it to be exact, and it typically over-estimates the number of calories burned. At any rate, it should NOT be relied upon!

9. Women who lift weights become bulky.

Are you kidding me? I think most of the people in blog-land know this to be a misnomer. If you’re still unsure, just check out Sable’s blog!

image (Source)Yikes! But that’s just not realistic. It’ll never happen simply from lifting weights, alone, and most women couldn’t look like this if they wanted to!!

8. Heart rate monitors let you know how hard you’re working.

This may be a little controversial, because I know a LOT of bloggers who depend on their heart-rate monitors. But, just like the flawed calorie counters on the cardio machines, heart rate monitors aren’t 100% accurate. Your best bet is to rely upon yourself and your own perceived exertion. Your estimate is surprisingly accurate!

7. Your weight is the end all, be all.

This one is really what the Cut-the-fat podcast is all about! Everyone says they want to loose weight…but is it really weight you want to loose? Or do you really want to loose the FAT and have a more toned physique? These two things are very different! You may be improving your overall fitness, and even gain a pound or two! You shouldn’t be solely relying upon the scale to measure progress!

6. Low-intensity is the best way to burn fat.

I think a lot of bloggers know the importance of interval training! Though low-intensity exercise definitely has its place, it should not be relied upon for fat loss!

5. Protein shakes are perfect for post-workout snacks.

Protein shakes (unless they’re homemade) are going to contain lots of artificial and processes crap in them. Also, they’re basically a meal-replacement, but many people use them as “snacks.” Beware of the added calories!

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4. Spot-training is perfect for toning particular problem areas.

Although it might be nice to just do 1000 sit ups and suddenly have rock-hard abs, that’s not the way fitness works. You have to focus on the whole body, not just a single area, to see real, lasting results!

3. If I exercise 30-45 minutes a day, I can eat whatever I want.

Yikes! Hopefully no one thinks this is true! But, you may be unaware of just HOW MUCH what you eat plays into how you look. You could exercise 2 hours a day and if you eat junk food, you are still going to look….un-fit??? Is that a word? The point is, it is very important what you put into your mouth…no matter how much exercise you do.

2. No pain, no gain.

You have to be aware of the difference between normal exercise discomfort and real pain. See Caitlin’s tips about telling whether the pain you are feeling is normal or not.

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1. Stretching prevents injuries.

This is the biggest myth that I continued to believe until just within the past year or so! Studies are increasingly reporting no effect of stretching on preventing injury. Instead, it seems like static stretching could actually even cause an injury. Now research is suggesting that its best to engage in dynamic stretching prior to exercise (swinging arms in circles, jogging with high knees etc)., and to leave the static stretching for post-exercise relief.

Have you been “fooled” into believing any of these workout myths?

What are your thoughts of low carb/high protein diets?

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Responses

  1. Wonderful post! I have several people I’m going to share this with 🙂
    I’m not really into the low carb/high protein thing. I think it might make some people look good on the outside, but it’s not healthy for your insides! Too much protein is bad for the kidneys and other organs, I think. But I’m sure you’d have to eat waaaaay too much protein for a really long time to harm your kidneys.
    I think that eating quality carbs is where it’s at! I get most of mine from fruits and veggies and less from grains. But- this is just what works for me 🙂 I love that you get your protein from natural stuff like meats and yogurt and beans!

  2. I totally hate low carb/high protein diets! First of all.. I LOVE carbs and second of all we need em to live! Idk why people deprive haha 😉

  3. I work out for 45 minutes a day and eat whatever I want 🙂

    The diet myth that bugs me is when people don’t want to eat before they workout because then they’ll “burn fat” even though there is NO science behind that.

  4. What a great post!! I agree with all of these. I think the most important thing people need to realize when it comes to diet/exercise is that there’s no magic involved. It’s hard work and conscious eating – plain and simple! If that isn’t working — people should really see an endocrinologist.

    *stepping off my soap box*

    That said — everything in moderation works for me 🙂

  5. I hate low carb/high protein diets. They are so inefficient for people especially athletes. Athletes are need carbs and if you don’t have carbs and are trying to lose weight you won’t have the energy to do so!

  6. all these fads come and go, i hear ya! i think the best way to look your best is to do what makes you feel your best.
    🙂

  7. That woman is TERRIFYING!! LOL! Would not wanna meet her in a dark alley O_O

    I had no idea Atkins had been revised! All I ever knew about Atkins was the version my mom did in….god like 2001 haha!

  8. Goodness that picture is soo scary!!
    These are a great reminder, thank you for sharing these. I hate the low carb/ high protein diets… you can’t last on something like that

  9. I’m really interested in myth #10. I can’t figure out whether or not I should be stretching, and to be honest, most stretching bores me…so I just do yoga a few times a week and leave it at that. I keep reading conflicting reports about the importance of stretching before or after exercise.

    • I know, right? The stretching thing is confusing!

  10. […] American diet, which consists largely of grains. This low(ish) carb diet is somewhat inspired by Atkins or Southbeach, but no where near as […]


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