My dear readers,
Today we are going to explore and debunk some very popular and reticent nutritional and fitness myths that are keeping you from becoming a fat-burning machine. The information presented here comes from Precision Nutrition, which I believe to be one of the few unbiased sources of nutrition information. The link to their article is at the end of this one. With that said, let’s get right into it.
1. The cholesterol myth
Eating eggs leads to high cholesterol levels
Adults are continually told that eating foods rich in cholesterol can elevate an individual’s risks of atherosclerosis and heart attacks. However, research studies consistently show that dietary cholesterol intake does not correlate well with blood cholesterol. Therefore, eating foods rich in cholesterol does not necessarily increase blood cholesterol or cardiac risk. Your body regulates cholesterol, so eating more causes the body to produce less. Conversely, eating less means the body produces more. Only a small percentage of the population that doesn’t regulate blood cholesterol well, and in these individuals, blood cholesterol can be high regardless of dietary intake.
2. The exercise volume myth
Exercising for 30 minutes 3x per week improves health outcomes.
We’ve been told that 30 minutes 3 times per week was all we needed to do to improve overall health and body composition. However, according to most research, this minimal amount of activity does very little to improve either health or body composition. New government guidelines suggest that to improve health, one should shoot for 30 minutes of exercise every day. And to improve body composition 60-90 minutes a day is required. You HAVE time for this given the fact that most Americans watch TV for about an average of 20 hours per week. So I know YOU can can make time for 4 to 7 hours of exercise per week.
3. The aerobic exercise myth
Aerobic exercise is the best kind for fat loss.
Although aerobic exercise burns a higher percentage of fat per minute spent exercising, aerobic exercise alone does not necessarily lead to leaner bodies. Recent research papers with titles like “Aerobic exercise does not lead to weight loss” are demonstrating that steady-state aerobic exercise (e.g., running, cycling, etc.) is an activity of diminishing returns because the body adapts too quickly, which means that, to really get the benefits, you’d have to keep increasing your duration. This leads to sessions that would be impossibly long in duration. So the real, most effective exercise for weight loss is a combination of high intensity interval exercise, strength training, and a small amount of aerobic exercise. Of course, nutrition is important as well.
4. The protein myth
Protein builds big muscles.
Although athletes and exercisers have believed for generations that eating more protein builds big muscles, this statement isn’t always true. Sure, if an individual is undereating protein (getting less than the recommended 1.5g/kg), then they might see some muscle growth with an increased intake. However, additional protein above this intake won’t build much more muscle, but it isn’t a complete waste, either. In fact, additional protein intake helps improve body composition by maintaining a higher muscle to fat ratio. That means more body fat is burned (win!).
So, there you have it! Now you are armed with more nutritional knowledge with which you can become a fat-burning machine!
What other nutritional questions would you like answered? Let me know in the comments section below!