Fact or Fiction Vol. I

I have been in the fitness/personal training industry for roughly 6 years.  I have heard many peoples’ thoughts, stories, opinions and even ideas on losing weight, gaining muscle and the dreaded phrase “toning up.”  I am here to separate fact from fiction.  Let’s take a look at some common misconceptions and separate fact from fiction:

1. If you lift heavy weights, you will get big/bulky muscles.

This is a very common misconception with women especially.  Although lifting heavy weight is the recipe for getting big muscles, the key is your rest time.  The shorter the rest periods, the more cardiovascular the workout becomes, the more fat you will burn even after the workout is over.  Lifting the heavy weight while taking short breaks keeps your muscles under tension which builds muscle and the more muscles you build the more fat you burn.  Muscle burns fat!  So if losing pounds is your goal, the answer is lift heavy, take short breaks.

2. Eat less, lose pounds.

Although this myth has some truth, it’s interpreted wrong.  The common misconception a lot of clients have is if they eat 1 or 2 meals a day they will lose weight.  It is true in order to lose pounds you have to create a calorie deficiency.  If your average calorie intake is 2000 calories per day, drop your calorie intake by about 500 calories.  Now here comes the tricky part, eating fewer calories not less meals.  Eating fewer meals throughout the day won’t necessarily help you lose weight.  You may see a drop in pounds at first because of sheer calorie deficiency. However, this “diet” will have you gain body fat.  Your body needs fat and with fewer meals your body will crave food.  By eating less often, your body will hang onto and store the food you intake and keep its own reserve supply of body fat.

The best solution, eating 5 times per day spacing meals out (no longer than 3 hours apart).   I know for some super busy people this may be a challenge.  However, between your three basic meals of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you can have a snack.  A snack can be a piece of fruit, vegetables, or an easy, convenient solution, a protein shake!  Eat 5 small meals per day: breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, and dinner.  Five meals spaced out no longer than 3 hours apart.