Everyone has their ideas on how to lose weight. Here’s how to separate fact from fiction
Last week, Rob Baban, owner of Game 7 Fitness (http://www.g7fit.com) in Moorestown, NJ, offered us five tips on weight loss. This week, he returns to discredit a few of the most popular myths about fighting the “Battle of the Bulge.”
Mr. Baban has spent the past 10 years helping his clients fight the weight-loss battle—while separating truth from reality.
Myth 1: Men and Women Need to Train Differently
Contrary to what many marketing companies would lead you to believe, men and women do not need different exercises. As humans, we all perform the same day-to-day activities, such as walking, sitting, standing, and carrying babies, groceries, and suitcases. So it makes sense that squatting, a basic human movement pattern from the time we learn to move as infants, is equally as important and effective for both men and women.
It’s now a proven and mainstream fact that weight lifting does not immediately cause bulk or unwanted size. Women don’t need special pink or purple bands, they can and should perform the same workouts as men, should they desire.
Myth 2: Protein Is For Bodybuilders Only!
Protein has had a bad reputation for too long. An essential amino acid, protein consumption in itself will not cause you to look like a bodybuilder. In fact, it is a necessary tool in aiding with weight loss and positive body composition changes.
Protein is satiating, means it leaves you feeling full after consumption. This can help to reduce cravings for sweeter or unhealthier foods. Also, calories consume from protein are unlikely to cause fat gain, which means adding extra protein to your diet can help most to consume more overall calories without gaining body fat. In fact, protein consumption has been associated with helping create a higher metabolic rate, allowing the individual to burn fat more efficiently.
Myth 3: Long, Steady-State Cardio Sessions are the ONLY Way to Lose Fat
Long workouts on the treadmill, elliptical, and stationary bike are synonymous with weight loss. Come every January, these machines have lines for them at most chain gyms. By March, they’re covered in cobwebs. And while they are somewhat effective, for many these types of workouts are long, monotonous, and unenjoyable.
No problem. While steady-state cardio (long duration, moderate intensity) workouts have their place, incorporating higher intensity interval training along with strength training can be more effective.
Myth 4: Workouts Must be Extreme
It seems each decade has gone down in history for its own workout ideas.
- The 80s were known for VHS home workout tapes
- The 90s were known for circuit training with large isolation-type gym machines
While we can agree these weren’t the most effective ideas, they certainly weren’t as dangerous as the extreme workouts and diets the 2010s have brought us.
If you were to judge based solely on Instagram or YouTube, one might believe extreme workouts, whether it be degree of difficulty, duration, or frequency, were the only way to get in shape.
The truth is that for beginning exercisers, 2-3 workouts per week lasting 30-45 minutes, incorporating basic strength training movements is the sweet spot.
Myth 5: No Fun Allowed!
The more restrictive the diet plan and more extreme the workout plan, the lower the adherence rate is for most. For example, setting your alarm clock for a 5:00 a.m. workout might be tolerable the first time around, but it will soon become an unsustainable habit.
Instead of large changes, begin or alter your program by simply choosing one habit at a time to improve. Adding extra protein to your breakfast is solid start, as opposed to going 30 days without carbs.
Integrate your program into your lifestyle, and you will see a more fun and sustainable program, with longer-lasting results.