It’s estimated that more than 1/3 of the American population suffered from obesity, and the rate doesn’t seem to be going down any sooner. Marketers are pushing out new food products every day, and they have proven how easy it is to influence the mass.
With so many obese people around us, it seems that getting a ripped physique is not an easy task, as it requires a lot of sacrifice to reach your goal. Well, I am here to debunk the myth.
Humans tend to value anecdotal advices over facts, and we will often believe what our friends say, rather than doing our own research. While you certainly have to give up your habit of eating overnight pizza with coke as your daily breakfast, you can still enjoy your weight lifting regimen without much constraint on your diet plan, if you learn how to differentiate between the facts and the lies.
Myth # 1
You don’t need to track your calories.
People often told me that they want to ‘enjoy their life’ and counting calories sounds like a tedious task. While you don’t have to calculate every single calorie of your food, you need to have a good idea of what you’re eating on a daily basis.
Let’s look at these foods:
Do you notice any similarity between them? They all contain the same amount of calories.
That’s right; if you eat 2kg of spinach a day, you will have taken 100 calories. Similarly, if you decided to go with 500ml of coke, you will have swallowed 100 calories as well. The difference between them is that spinach contains lots of fiber, which keeps you full for a long period, while coke is nothing but sugary water, and you still have to eat something after your coke to feel satiated.
Most people choose to have a ‘healthy looking’ meal promoted on the lunch menu, rather than spending the time to find out how the restaurant prepares it. The truth is that you’ll never know what kind of topping have they spread on top of your meal, and those hidden calories are what make or break your diet.
Failing to plan means you’re planning to fail. Prepare these muscle building foods in advance and you’re halfway towards your goal.
Myth # 2
I can eat anything I want, as long as I’m doing cardio.
Marketers thrive on this myth and promote the ‘latest version’ of treadmill and elliptical machine, which is nothing but another expensive piece of metal designed to earn your money. You need to understand that any sort of activity can raise your metabolic rate, regardless of the type of equipments that you choose to use, but those stubborn fats that you have burned while you’re moving around can be easily replaced if you start to binge on chips and ice cream.
Similar to point 1, if you do not have any idea of what you’re eating, you might remain the same shape for years, and possibly gaining more weight than what you thought you would lose!
For example, an hour of jogging will burn off about 500 calories, and if you decided to snack on popcorn and junk foods, you will easily eat up to 500 calories, and that will flush an hour of cardio down to the drain.
Myth # 3
Believing in fad diets.
Fad diets come and go. What’s being preached in these diets might help you reach your short term goal, but what do you plan to do after you have achieved it? It won’t take long before you start indulge yourself in those foods that you have cut off during that period, and your weight will bounce back faster than you blink your eyes.
There are 4 things that you can do to lose that weight:
a. Dietary changes
b. Lifestyle changes
If you are a healthy adult who has been cleared by your physician, then there’s no need to consider the last two options. All you need is motivation, hard work, and patience to move towards your goal.
Myth # 4
Do a lot of repetitions if you want to get toned.
That ‘toned’ look that you’re referring to can be achieved by cutting down your body fat percentage.
If you do any number more than 15 reps, you’ll be training for muscle endurance, rather than hypertrophy or strength. You need to add a certain overload to your workout so that it can stimulate muscle growth.
While there’s no clear cut answer to this question, generally exercising somewhere around 8 – 12 reps are heavy enough to promote muscle growth. Doing your exercise around this range will break down the muscle tissue, and adequate protein intake, combined together with 8 hours of rest, will ensure you gain muscle mass over the long term.
Myth # 5
Just because you do 1000’s of crunches in a day doesn’t mean that it will melt your belly fat. What it does is that it will strengthen your abs muscle, but it will always be covered by a layer of fats, unless you choose to burn them off with proper dieting and exercise. If you want to get a set of ripped abs, consider training your whole body, because the more muscle mass you build, the more fat you will lose without having to do anything.
Photo Credit : Nick Webb