Thanks to the thread about the Cardio Myth. It got me thinking about these myths and my experience with several diet and exercise myths.
Cardio Myth: I've seen a lot of these articles recently. Putting the bad journalism aside I think there has been a myth in society that if you just exercise you will lose weight and be healthy. This may be because doctors find it easier to sell exercise rather than low calorie to patients. And exercise has a lot of additional benefits so selling exercise and helping a patient to stabilise their weight may be setting the bar pretty low but it's better than unbridled weight gain and no exercise. The problem is that the patient thinks they will lose weight and it's just not possible to lose weight if there is no calorie deficit as has been pointed out by several people on the cardio myth thread. Regardless of how you achieve the deficit it is the fundamental piece of math that creates weight loss.
For me I spent years being active yet not losing weight. And it was simply a case of not restricting my calories to a level that equaled a deficit. Once I finally tracked my food on SP I saw that there was really a very good and simple reason for why I didn't lose weight walking hills for an hour 3-4 x a week. I ate those 1200 calories in extra food. After all that's only an extra slice of bread a day or full fat milk products or an extra hot chocolate or even heavily buttering my morning toast! I didn't need to eat fast food, processed food or anything specifically unhealthy. So I fell victim to the exercise myth!
Now I have a very different problem, I run, a lot. I can burn 5000 calories a week easily. I burnt 3000 on one run on Saturday. But the body doesn't like low calorie when you exercising at this level. It wants to eat, carbs, lots! After 6 months of plateauing I'm restricting again since I am in off season and only exercising to about 3000 calories week. I hope to be able to stay satiated with more moderate exercise spread out across the week with nothing in the higher heart rate zones. Not sure how successful I will be but I've made it 4 days now on 1700 calories a day. This is my sweet spot for calories.
I think that cardiovascular exercise is fundamental to my health and wellbeing. I love being fit, toned and lean. I need to exercise (cardio and/or ST) to achieve these benefits. Dieting alone will not give these but exercise alone will not create the weight loss (and I mean fat loss) that is part of a healthy and well body. They are intertwined and not really separable in my humble opinion.
Strength Training Myths: ST is another interesting element. I build muscle easily and can lift heavy. I hear all the time that it's impossible to gain too much muscle. But we all are different and I can say that I retain and build muscle much easier than many. It's a shame I don't want to go into body sculpting! I feel that though there is a ST myth that women will bulk up lifting heavy, this may actually be the case for a small number even if it's a myth for the majority. I like "New Rules..." and do lift heavy and I also can easily hit 18-19% body fat which I realise many women find nearly unachievable. Genetics, pure and simple. Mesomorph body type, maybe?
Protein Myth: Protein is fundamental to building and maintaining muscle. I won't refute this. I eat animal or vegetable 'muscle' to keep and build my muscle. But I think for me the myth in quantity needed is what I have had to bust. I can eat about 1x my weight in protein and maintain and build muscle. I seem to be very efficient with protein. Secondly my body hates the thermogenic effect of protein. Sure, it satiates and it takes a lot longer to digest but it feels like concrete in my system (and it comes out like concrete...). I lose all spring in my step when I try to hit 1.5 or higher (my body weight). But I realise that this is my body type and my level of comfort. I like faster moving carbs and fat. I like protein and my body likes it best in the legume variety but I eat everything. I love steak every once and awhile. Yum! But I can eat mostly vegetarian and stay lean and strong.
The My Way Myth: I guess it comes down to the fact we evolved as humans in many different and varied environments, we learned to eat what was at hand, and our bodies adapted differently. Since we are now a melting pot of nationalities we get throw back genes and random mixtures of evolutionary adaptation. Just as our outsides are very different, so are our insides.
Viva la difference!
| Body Fat %: 21.7