Five Diet and Exercise Myths that Need to Die
Here they are: 1) Long Cardio Workouts are the Key to Weight Loss; 2) Diet and Exercise are Equal When it Comes to Losing Weight; 3) It Doesn’t Matter What Time of Day You Exercise; 4) Diet Foods Will Help You Lose Weight; 5) You’re Destined to Gain Weight as You Get Older. These are myths that need to die!
The indefatigable Dr. Mercola recently wrote an article entitled 10 Exercise and Diet Myths that Won’t Go Away, five of which I want to share with you.
I’ll present the list with a brief commentary. If interested, I suggest going to Dr. Mercola’s original article for the details.
Myth #1: Long Cardio Workouts are the Key to Weight Loss
More effective than long, sustained cardio-focused workouts are shorter, more intense exercises. For instance, rather than jogging on the treadmill at a nine minute per mile pace for your entire ½ hour cardio workout, use the treadmill for 20 minutes and breakup your constant pace with a minute or more of fast running.
Myth #2: Diet and Exercise are Equal When it Comes to Losing Weight
Diet is three times more important than exercise when it comes to losing weight. This is observable. Look around at your fellow gym members who have been there forever, work out hard, may even have big muscles, but they’re covered in a fine, thick layer of fat.
The first thing to expunge from your diet should be fructose. Fructose is hidden in virtually every processed food and tricks your body into gaining weight by confusing your metabolism as it turns off your body’s appetite-control system.
Myth #3: It Doesn’t Matter What Time of Day You Exercise
Dr. Mercola opines that although any time you exercise is better than not exercising at all, the best time to exercise is in the morning. I’ve read studies that suggest that the best time to exercise is generally unique to each individual. For me it might be the early evening… for you, the morning.
The issue here is that finding out the best time to exercise is not easily determined without a lot of trial and error. Thus, the best time for you should be the time of day you’re ready, willing and able to exercise.
Myth #4: Diet Foods Will Help You Lose Weight
If by diet food, you mean artificially designed low-fat food, forget about it! Garbage like Splenda and aspartame may have zero calories, but your body receives this “sweet” taste, it expects calories to follow, and when this doesn’t occur it leads to distortions in your biochemistry that may actually lead to weight gain.
Myth #5: You’re Destined to Gain Weight as You Get Older
This is not destiny, but habit. As most of us age, we become less active. Two things then gradually happen over the years: 1. We lose muscle mass, and 2. We add fat.
Your body will naturally lose muscle mass after 40 years of age unless you actively perform the exercises that retain, or grow muscle – resistance training, such as calisthenics or weight lifting. As the lean muscle tissue is lost, the body burns less calories that are required to feed the muscle; however, most of us don’t reduce the amount of calories that we eat. The result – less muscle and more fat.
My body is a 1956 vintage and I have not gotten (much — ha!) fatter or lost muscle mass, so I know it’s not inevitable. I regularly exercise, particularly doing resistance training, and I eat healthily. To learn more about my diet, check out my post, Diet, Food and Nutrition.