It really bothers me when I read articles that are telling people (and women especially) to eat extremely low calorie or no carb or all vegan. I also feel the same way about reading fitness articles written towards females that boast hitting the elliptical for 20 minutes a day to achieve that rock solid body. The people that fall into believing and following these so called 'tips' are frustrated and see no progress, and of course they aren't going to see progress eating less than 1000 calories a day while ellipticizing day in and day out! (nothing wrong with the elliptical but for someone who has a goal of weight loss-this is not going to cut it, folks!)
Everyone thinks they are an expert in the industry, and when I see someone sabatoge their diet or workout by listening to false information, it just frustrates the heck out of me! EDUCATE. We as trainers MUST EDUCATE. If you have a trainer, make sure they have a solid Exercise Science or related degree, and check out via which organization they are certified through.
Rant #1: Go on a No Carb or Very low carb diet to lose weight!
This frustrates the heck out of me because most people don't even have a basic understanding of how our muscles use the calories we eat for fuel. Protein's role is to repair and rebuild muscles and carbohydrates role is to energize cells and fats role is to provide a hormonal foundation. A low carb diet is considered under 100grams of carbs a day. Under this amount of carbohydrates we are quickly depleted of glycogen in our muscles and liver. an insufficient intake of carbohydrates during a strict diet can lead to a loss of lean muscle tissue. When you’re trying in increase muscle mass, carbohydrates help lower cortisol levels, increase testosterone levels, regulate insulin and assist in funneling protein and other nutrients into your muscles.
Your success at building muscle mass or burning body fat comes down to your glycogen levels. Glycogen is the name of stored or unused carbohydrates in your muscles.
After carbs replenish your muscles (at the muscle site) glycogen then enters your liver where this is stored and can be called upon and utilized when completing heavy workouts that need a good energy source. The bodies preferred energy is carbohydrate.
I do believe in choosing the RIGHT type of carbohydrates.
My "Go-to" Carb sources: 100% rolled oats, various fruits and vegetables, 100% whole grain breads, sweet potatoes, brown rice, whole grain pasta, squash, Ezekial wraps/bread.
**I really do not want to receive any more emails asking me if 'fruit is bad' No, fruit has been around since the beginning of time. We need fruit; it is healthy, delicious and great pre and post workout! Eat a banana, I promise you will be more than fine
Some of my favorite recipes:
Rice or noodle protein bowl with balsamic dressing
Middleeastern Millet salad
Protein Pumpkin Oatmeal
Low Fat Soy Muffins
Roasted corn and eddamame salad
Quinoa cinnamon breakfast delight
Rant #2: Eating at night will cause me to gain weight
When people are trying to lose weight, this is one of the first 'list items' I hear that they are doing; cutting out all night time eating. I am sure you have all heard of this concept, right? The idea behind this is that the later at night it gets, our bodies aren't as 'active' and slow down, therefore any food will cause weight gain.
The real truth is that time of day does not matter, it is how much food you are eating, not when you eat it-that affects weight gain. If you are reaching for a bag of chips or cookies at night out of boredom or emotional hunger, and thus consuming more calories they need in the day, sure this person may end up with some weight gain because the excess calories are stored as fat. However, if you are listening to your body, and still hungry after dinner, there is NO reason why you should not eat a well balanced snack. I ALWAYS eat something right before bed-literally within 30 minutes of bedtime.
-Rice cakes with peanut butter
-1/2 apple with almond butter
-Pea Protein shake or protein pudding with nut butter
-1/2 C cottage cheese, almonds
**I try to keep my nighttime meal more protein and fat based to aid in muscle recovery while sleeping.
I also have talked to people who because of their schedules, always workout in the evening time and by the time they get home it is 9pm or later. The question of eating or not eating is non-negotiable. You MUST replace the nutrients you've just lost. Depending on the activity, you'll need water, electrolytes, carbohydrates and protein.
Rant #3: I want to lose weight so I am going to do all cardio FIRST, then add strength training later
This statement above, I have heard more times than I can count, and It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Cardiovascular exercise is great. I love it, we all need it because the heart is a muscle like any other and needs to be worked. HOWEVER, when it comes to weight loss, cardio alone will not help you to lose the weight and keep it off. Many people resort to only cardio because its easy and comfortable. It really is a no brainer to hop on an elliptical or treadmill and zone out for 30 minutes, as well as also much less intimidating than stepping into a weight room, right? Mindless exercise. This is what I call it.
I myself used to be a cardioholic. Hours upon hours each week, with the main focus of my workouts on cardio. I lifted some weights here and there, but this was not at all the bulk of my workouts. After the first few months I got into serious weightlifting and decreased my cardio, I completely transformed my body
Cardio queen vs strength training diva.
Muscle burns more calories than any other bodily tissues meaning the more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism will be. The reason being, when you lift weights, you acutally are breaking down the muscles and the body uses energy to repair them. Weight training helps you to lose weight and in addition, will completely help to transform your body composition leading to a firmer, tighter appearance.
In addition to weight loss, stregth training will make you less prone to injury due to the fact that it helps to protect your joints and improves balance. Strength training builds stronger bones so you also reduce your risk of osteoporosis. Strength training will increase your stamina and endurance and will make you even better at the sports you enjoy and daily activities!
Don't know where to begin with strength training? Check out my exercise/workout tips page for dozens of workouts (strength training, cardio, mixed) and a whole section on exercise info
Some of my favorites:
common gym mistakes and proper form
30 minutes, now what?
Train and MEAN it!
Get out of your workout rut
Metabolic workouts (efficient workouts!)
Suns out guns out workout
Lower body blast workout
Post workout Nutrition
Rant #4 But I don't want to bulk up! I want to 'tone'
I hear this more often than you can imagine. Women come to me and want a workout program but this is exactly what they say. You want to change your body, you want to rev your metabolism, you want to feel strong-I tell all women to lift heavy (this is all relative, as what is heavy for one may not be heavy for another) When I say heavy I mean to pick a weight that allows you to keep proper form and breathing throughout, yet you are still struggling through those last 2-3 reps in the set.
When we see huge big muscles on others, this is the result of years of intense training in the gym, following a rigorous schedule, strict diet and extreme dedication. I have found that women tend to avoid the weight room like the plague because they think the only way to lose weight is to stick to the cardio machines. Many are either scared of 'bulking up', don't know what to do or are unaware of the benefits of strength training in achieving a healthy, fit physique! Trust me, you can weight train until you are green in the face-you will not look like Arnold Schwartzenneger!
Another factor and one that needs to be realized and is not under direct control of an individual is the actual amount of muscle fiber that there is to potentially develop. Women, on average, have 30% less muscle fiber to develop than a man does, which means a woman's ability to get bulky, even if she wanted to, much more difficult than a man's. Another thing a woman needs to realize is that any training effect can be reversed and "detrained" if that is something that is so desired. No training effect is permanent, it needs to be regularly stimulated if it is to be retained or improved upon.
Next time, you see a picture of a woman with a large amount of muscle mass just understand that a minimum of about 10 years of vigorous training and dieting went into that body (maybe with the help of other supplements) and unless you want to strive to make that same kind of commitment, then you have nothing to worry about
Rant #5: Machines are "safer" than free weights
I acutally got into a discussion with someone about this topic the other day because she noticed that I was not using most any machines for her workout and rather used the dumbbells, barbells and cables
Some people say that using machines is mindless and much safer, but the truth is that even on machines, it is important to understand proper set up and form. I have seen numerous times someone using for instance, the chest press machine but the handles are way too high which puts them at risk for shoulder injury. I am not saying that machines should be avoided all together, they certainly have their place, but I will rarely (unless there is a special case) put a client on a full machine based workout for a number of reasons
When you are exercise you are training your body to be better at things you do each and everyday. You are training to live injury free with less pain and to definately feel better, not worse. When you perform any exercise you want to ensure that you are moving through a full range of motion to make that exercise as effective as possible. Free weight exercises utilize more muscles than machines do due to the the fact that you have to use other stabilizer muscles in your body to assist
Example: A dumbbell Curl vs a Bicep curl machine.
DB Bicep curls: Standing upright, you begin the movement by contracting your biceps (flexing the elbow) to bring the DB's upward and repeat for desired reps. As y ou begin to flex your elbows, your legs, back and abs are immediately firing and working to maintain posture
Machine Bicep Curl: You are in a seated position, not engaging any stabilizer muscles or the core and Moreover, your arms are placed on a pad, upper body remains stable while you are simply pulling the handles upward. The machine has effectively limited the muscles used in this exercise to the biceps, as well as the muscles in your forearms and fingers as you grip the handles.
Without artificial stabilizers of a machine, you also engage your core muscles, which are your body's natural stabilizers. In this sense, when you use dumbbells, every exercise also becomes a more comprehensive total-body workout. Free weight training causes your body to engage in its more natural strengthening tendencies.
Dumbbells allow you to use a larger range of motion as well. You are using your body's natural pattern of movement thus making DB training way more functional and balanced. YOu want to train to get better at activites of daily living? You must train using dumbbells that mimic movement patterns that you do each and everyday.
DB also allow for more variety and efficiency because they allow us to multitask exercises such as a shoulder press and a squat combination. This leads to increased heart rate, fat burn and a much more challenging exercise. It also prevents boredom!
Let it out...what is your fitness or nutrition RANT?