Fitness Myths – Myth #1

“Fasted cardio burns more fat.”

It doesn’t matter what time you do cardio. Morning, midday, evening, night – burning calories is burning calories, “ok RICK.” Don’t stress out about what time you do your cardio, just do it you slacker. At the end of the day burning 400 calories on the treadmill is burning 400 calories on the damn treadmill. Your body doesn’t care what time you burn these calories; your body just wants to be loved.

Theoretically, it does make sense:  when there’s no food in your stomach, then you can burn fat stores instead of carbs. Well, there are two problems with this theory; first of all, if that were the case, you would also burn some muscle, not good. The other problem is that weight loss is about your total macro energy expenditure vs. total energy consumed in calories per day, and per week.

At the end of the day, you are expending more calories than if you had been sedentary by doing cardio. The timing of your cardio is completely irrelevant when it comes to basic fat loss. Fit your cardio in when it works for you. Don’t stress the timing, just get it done.

Fitness Myths – Myth #2

“Turning fat into muscle.”

This is one of the most frustrating myths in the Health & Fitness industry; I cringe when someone asks me how to turn fat into muscle. Fat has an entirely different biochemical makeup. Muscle tissue and fat are not interchangeable. Fat can only be stored as energy or burned as energy; fat can’t turn into muscle, it’s impossible.

The closest thing to this is the fact that you can lose fat in a weight loss phase, and then go on a lean muscle gaining phase where you regain muscle in place of the fat. Eventually, over time you can have more muscle and less fat, but you can never directly replace one with the other.

Please don’t go gaining a bunch of fat because you want to turn it into muscle. Doing so will only make it ten times harder on you when it comes time to get lean and lose the fat.

Fitness Myths – Myth #3

“Sweat is fat crying.”

When you’re a fitness baby, and someone posts a fit girl picture with this quote written over it on your Facebook news feed, you become super amped up! Yes, time to go make my fat cry.

Marketers are great at making sweating out fat look incredibly sexy to consumers. The truth is fat doesn’t cry when you sweat. Sorry, fat is probably laughing at you for thinking it’s crying. The only reason that athletes use sweat suits is to make weigh-ins; as soon as they weigh in, they consume water and get all of that weight back in a couple of hours.

Here is something you may want to know: when someone claims they lost 25 pounds in 30 days, over 10 pounds of that is from water manipulation and a couple pounds of that is probably from lower food volume. Less than half of the 25 pounds lost was actual “fat loss.”

Sweat is one of the body’s natural defense systems that deploys against heat to keep body temperature regulated. When your body is actively working to regulate its temperature in extreme heat or extreme cold, your body does burn a little more calories to regulate its temperature.

The truth is, sweat doesn’t have any direct connection to actual fat loss. It’s just your body’s cooling mechanism. One could argue that there is a correlation, but I would argue that just because something correlates doesn’t mean it causes.

Fitness Myths – Myth #4

“When you eat before bed, food stores as fat.”

This is not true whatsoever. Eating food before bed doesn’t make you fat or store your food as fat. It’s all about total calories and macronutrients for the day. It’s more about how much rather than when.

The reason that this philosophy even became a thing is because there were studies conducted on overweight people. These overweight people typically snacked the most at night; some binged, but they all over-ate at night. This doesn’t mean eating at night is bad, it just means that their overall caloric intake was way too high and the extra snacking or binging at night contributed to the surplus of calories these people were in.

Personally, I like to eat little or no breakfast, a medium sized meal for lunch, a small snack pre-workout, and a giant dinner feast. I have done this for years and lost tons of cumulative weight doing so. This approach helps me never to go to bed hungry. Going to bed hungry is the #1 cause of binge eating or the binge and purge syndrome.

In my opinion, thinking breakfast is crucial and late dinner is bad is setting everyone up for failure mentally. Eating at night is actually very helpful for most people because nobody likes to go to bed hungry, don’t be about that life.

Fitness Myths – Myth #5

“The 30-minute anabolic window.”

I hate this myth because people get so stressed out about getting their protein shake in. The thing is, there is no need to stress – the anabolic window lasts days, not minutes. If you lost your gains and muscle from not eating protein immediately after your workout, we would all be in some serious trouble.

The “anabolic window,” so to speak, can last anywhere from 1 to 3 days and in some cases even 4. Basically, if you work out more than 2-3 days a week, you’re living in an anabolic house; forget about the damn window! You’re inside the house of the window.

With this said, there are some exceptions to this when it comes to dieting and being on a caloric deficit. If you have just finished your workout and you feel beat and you need fuel, EAT, just do it! But don’t worry about losing your gains if something stops you from eating a post workout meal immediately after your workout.

The leaner you get and the longer you’re on a caloric deficit, the more beneficial it is to schedule meals pre and post workout purposefully. When you are in a caloric deficit for a prolonged period and you get really lean, your energy levels will be a little lower.

When losing weight and getting lean, maintaining gym performance is crucial, so you want to schedule your meals in a way that provides you with the most energy for your workouts.

(excerpt from The 21 Myths Of Fat Loss: 21 Dieting and Weight Loss Myths you Believed)

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