There are quite a few myths out there when it comes to dieting and exercising.
My opinions are of course my own. I am just putting in here what I have learned on my own or have experienced. The thing is, I’m not going to list out all the things and places I have found my research. That’s too self-serving. I will present here to what is the best of my knowledge the facts. I leave it for you to go out and find the facts to either back it up, or knock it down. Hell, you’re here because you don’t want to go do all that research anyway, right?
Working out Myths:
You have to stay in the fat burning zone to burn fat. Don’t work out too hard or you’ll move out of fat burning zone and enter into the area where your body is using more carbs and less fat.
Well, that’s kind of true, but it’s misleading. It’s been twisted a little. See, you burn a higher percentage of fat in the fat burning zone, but you can burn more overall fat, if you push yourself out of that zone. Let’s say you burn 200 calories in the fat burning zone and 10% (these numbers are completely made up, just stick with me) you’d use 10% of your fat for the calories needed to keep moving, which is 20. However, if you’d really pushed yourself hard, and burned 300 calories and gotten out of the fat burning zone for part of your work out and only used 8% of your calories from fat, you’d burn 24 calories from fat in the same amount of time. You see, it’s a lower percentage, but overall more. Make sense? In other words, WORK YOUR ASS OFF IN EVERY WORKOUT!!!
HIIT training will burn more calories EPOC (post workout) than steady state cardio in half the time.
Once again, this is true, but it’s kind of misleading too. HIIT which stands for High Intensity Interval Training should be a part of your weekly regime. It’s really good at getting your heart rate up fast, and can be shorter than steady state. While it’s true you do burn more calories after a HIIT workout, most fat people are honestly not ready for HIIT. Sure you’ll get some good from it, but it won’t give you the maximum EPOC effect because, well, you’re not fit enough to get the most from it. Should you still do it? Hell yes. It’s a great workout and you need to start getting your body used to it. Now, the EPOC effect (Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) is real, however, it’s only going to add maybe 9 calories an hour to your already normal BMR. I’m not scoffing, but…well, you need to have your focus elsewhere, which I will get into here in a second.
Here’s the deal. When it comes to working out, you need to be focused on one thing: how many calories are you burning while you’re working out. Nothing else. (You also need to be building muscles so you can burn more calories when you’re sitting in a movie theater, and taking a dump, and reading a blog on the internet). The calories during your workout are the most you’re going to burn the entire day in a short amount of time. Make them count. Don’t worry about what zone you’re in. Just run, or bike, or elliptical or tabata or whatever you’re doing, as HARD and as LONG as you can. If you have an hour to work out, you need set a goal of how many calories you want to burn, not “I’m going to lift weights for 20 minutes and then walk the treadmill for 40.” Nope. Nu-uh. You get out that heart rate monitor and wrap it around your fat gut. Then start it when you start your work out. Half way through, look at the calories burned (an estimate!) and if you’re at 300 and you want to burn 600, then you know you’ve got 30 minutes to burn the next 300. When I work out, I don’t even gauge my time, I just look at calories burned. I try to hit 1000 every day. I did an hour on the treadmill 2 days ago, and burned 990. So I ran up and down the stairs of my house for a few minutes until I got the 10. I went over my hour, but I don’t go by time. You shouldn’t either.
You should also endeavor to lift weights. The heavier the better. Look up a good workout plan and follow it. Pick one you like that you won’t give up on. There are a lot of free resources about lifting on the internet. But realize, when you read other sites/blogs you’re going to get the myths above (and below) just swallow them and move on. You need to learn all this shit anyway, so get on it.
Cut your calories by 500-1000 a day to lose a healthy amount of weight each week. You should shoot for 1-2 lbs every week.
Right. If you’re 100 pounds overweight, that means you’re going to have to be in a 500 calorie deficit for almost two years. Anyone who says this should be harangued (notice I didn’t say hanged!). Look, there is no “healthy” amount of weight to lose per week. Your goal shouldn’t be on how much weight you lose anyway, it should be on how you look. Your weight is just a tracking mechanism. You ever watch the Biggest Loser? Those people lose 10-15 lbs per week all the damn time! And guess what? It’s a healthy plan. They’re working out and eating correctly under medical supervision! You can lose a lot more than 2 lbs a week, especially when you are first starting out. I once lost 12 lbs in a week. Was it water weight? Maybe, but who gives a fillet O’ fuck? I kept it off and drove down more after that. Your weekly goal is to lose as much weight as you can while SUSTAINING your plan. If that’s 1 lb, so be it. If it’s 15. Bad ass.
You must not go too low in your calories or your body will go into “starvation mode” and start to catabolize your muscle tissue for energy.
This one kind of ties into the one above and they are both components of lies the food industry wants you to believe. It is also something most fitness people will tell you too. Whatever. It’s all based upon the Minnesota Starvation Test, and this time I am going to give you a link: Starvation Mode See the deal is, the entire myth of starvation mode and you can’t lose any more than 2 lbs a week started with this test, but as you can tell, it’s not aimed at fat people like us. They had all fit people. Also note that in the experiment, the men didn’t start losing significant amounts of muscle until their fat was all gone. Yes they lost some muscle mass, but you can counter this by what I said above: LIFT WEIGHTS. By doing that, you will not lose muscle mass, but you will lose fat. Trust me. It works.
If you’re not losing pounds it’s probably because you’re not eating enough.
That’s some funny shit. So there’s this tiny little window that I can’t below and can’t go above to eeek out that 1 fucking pound a week? Please. So if my BMR and TDEE say I should be eating 2032 calories and I only eat 1400, then I need to up it by 120 just to make sure…how silly. And if I don’t lose weight then, should I go up again? How high? And when do I stop? When I am ONE calorie under my TDEE number? How about a “no”. If you’re not losing weight, and you’re following your diet, then you need to lower your calories. Hell go on a fast for 24 hours. You’ll lose weight then (that shit is a guarantee from me to you). There is no “healthy amount” of food to eat (on the lower side) nor can you eat too little in one day. (Over a period of time…maybe but you don’t need to worry about that RIGHT NOW, remember you’re not getting into details yet. You won’t need to until you start to get closer to your goal size!) Scientists are learning that animals that have caloric restrictions for their lives tend to live longer. Well, those don’t always correlate to humans, but whatever.
Here’s the deal. Eat whatever you can that is healthy, but eat as little as possible (for now). Do what is BEST for you! If you need to eat more in the morning, DO IT. If you can skip breakfast because it’s no big deal, DO IT. You can have more for dinner then!! Log what goes into your mouth. (Here’s where I make my quick nod to intermittent fasting. The best site I know of for this is: Lean Gains.) Know that if you have that biscuit at breakfast, you will have to not eat that extra piece of chicken for dinner. By tracking it, you will know this. If you don’t, you won’t. My suggestion for you would be to eat as little as you can every day, and work the hell out. Lift weights at least two days a week, preferably three. (I only do once every four days now, and I do my entire body at once.) You don’t have to spend hours in the gym, lifting will only take 15-20 minutes if you do compound exercises like dead lifts, squats, bench press, chin ups, etc. Oh, and always lift BEFORE cardio. Lifting causes your muscles to release the energy in them, so when you start your cardio, your body has to use more of your fat stores to keep going. Also, when you lift, TRACK how much you lift every week, and push yourself. You won’t get anywhere if you lift 20 pounds every week. Your body will just say it’s done. But like I said, pick a lift plan you can live with and follow it. Oh and to the fat women reading this now and thinking, “I don’t want to get all bulked up by lifting weights.” Sweetheart, you got more things to worry about than that right now. Get your fat ass up and grab those dumbbells.
The more of these myths I come across, the more I will post.
The thing is, you have to find something that works for you and is sustainable. Period. I am showing you what I’ve learned. But you still have to put it to practice.