Let’s start this Fitness and Nutrition chapter by getting a few things straight, shall we? We’ve all been exposed to the wide array of fitness and diet fads. It can be overwhelming, to say the least. How do you sift through the mixed-messages to find what really works? Through my next few weeks I’ll give you the facts on some of the most common misconceptions about fitness and nutrition that I hear, starting with one of THE most underutilized methods of fitness training: Weight Training.
FACT OR MYTH: Lifting weights will make you “bulky”
Many women (especially) stay out of the weight room for fear of “looking bulky”, thinking that the key to a lean, sexy body is cardio. Spending hours on a treadmill, stair-master, elliptical machine (whatever your poison) serves a purpose, will burn calories, and in some cases keep you lean, but at what cost? I can’t imagine that many of you are screaming to have LESS time on your hands that you can’t find enough to do with your days. Quite the contrary I’d bet.
Resistance training 2-3X/wk will allow you to cut your workout time in half, burn more calories over the long term, and… ready for the best part? Lean muscle takes up less space than fat!
By weight training for muscular toning (keeping your weights light and reps high, 12-15 reps per set) you’ll create a leaner, stronger frame that’s toned and firm, rather than soft and squishy (“fat-skinny”).
More good news.
Lean muscle increases your body’s natural metabolic rate (picture your body as a car). If you were to increase the idle on your car you’d burn more fuel – so is true with your body. By keeping your engine idling at a higher rate you’ll increase your total calorie burn throughout your day and have a steadier energy level. Resistance training (weight training) causes your metabolic rate to stay elevated for hours post-workout, burning more fuel.
And where is the source of energy (‘fuel’) for your body to run found most efficiently? FAT! Compared to protein and carbohydrate, pound for pound, fat is converted to fuel at a higher energy output – providing 9kcal of energy per 1lb of fat, vs only 4kcal per lb of protein or carbohydrate, making it your body’s preferred go-to – unfortunately, because our diets these days are more carbohydrate dominant than protein and (healthy) fat driven, most of us don’t run nearly as efficiently as we could and carry excess unwanted fat.
So, how do you get your body running more efficiently, have more energy through the day, carry more lean muscle and less fat, have shinier hair, clearer skin, healthier joints and tissues, a stronger immune system and stay leaner? Sound like it’s going to be complicated? Getting all of those benefits MUST require a lot of work right? Best news of the day – it can all be accomplished by following just a few simple eating guidelines.
Coming up: “The Skinny on Fat”
If you have any fitness and nutrition questions please leave a comment here or drop me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org I’d love to hear from you!