5 weight loss confusions

weight loss confusions

When you start losing weight, you will learn new things. And over time, you will notice that there is conflicting advice. Here are 5 weight loss confusions that you can avoid to stay on the track to reach your goal.

I wrote 2 articles (Part 1 and Part 2) about fitness vocabulary to know the basics of fitness.

Confusion 1 – Do sugar and carbohydrate get fat?

There are two things to influence a lot of people to use a diet: a clear description and a fascinating plot. This combination is a strategy based on the use of emotions by marketers. That’s why people buy a diet low in fat, low in carbohydrates or low in sugar.

There is an example of the combination:

“People say that you are not healthy because you eat a lot of junk food. That’s not true, you’re not inattentive. You are trapped in fraudulent science and processed foods”.

Let’s see if there is a difference between different trend diets:

  • This scientific study is about Ketogenic low-carbohydrate (KLC) and Nonketogenic low-carbohydrate (NLC) diets. The result is that to lose weight, there is no difference between the two.
  • This study focuses on diets containing various amounts of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. The result is that low-calorie diets help to lose weight, no matter the quantity of the three.
  • This study is about the difference between a low-fat diet and a low-carbohydrate diet. The result of this 12-month weight loss diet research shows that there is no difference. Dietary effects on weight loss didn’t include genotype patterns and baseline insulin secretion. Unfortunately, It was not possible to see which of these 2 types of diets was useful for whom.
  • This study shows that there is no reason to exclude added sucrose in weight loss diets.

With these several studies, you can learn some principles:

  • Overeating can make you fat. It’s not a unique food.
  • If you eat more calories than you burn, you will gain weight, even if you ingest healthy food.
  • If you eat fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight. It doesn’t matter how much sugar or carbohydrates you ingest.

Confusion 2 -Can I burn fat in a specific part of my body?

There is confusion created by magazines or newspapers. You can see training plans that aim to thin the thighs or fat of your arm or other body parts.

The reality is different. Scientific studies show that training a specific muscle boost blood flow and lipolysis. In fact, lipolysis is the process of decomposition of fat cells into energy. The study is here.

Work a muscle burn calories and gain muscle. It helps to burn fat that covers the muscle but not in large quantities. The study is here and here for abs exercise $.

Confusion 3 – What is the best choice to burn fat: lift weight or cardio?

Most of the time, when people want to lose weight, they do cardio like biking, jogging or other.

Cardio is a part of the process, but it is not enough. Study here.

Studies show that a lot of people gain more weight when they start cardio. Study here .

Here the reasons why cardio is not enough to weight loss:

  • It burns only the calories of the last meal – when you do 30 minutes of cardio, your body uses the last calories you eat. To reduce your weight, it is necessary that your body also burns the calories you store. You need to reduce the amount of fat you store in your body.
  • Body adaptation allows you to use fewer calories for exercise – Studies show that the body over time uses less and less energy to do an exercise. The consequence is that you burn fewer calories and stagnate (plateau). Sometimes people do more cardio to get over the plateau. This seems like a good idea, but it causes muscle loss and a decline in metabolism. Here the study .

Scientific studies show that it is a nice method to keep muscle and lose fat. Unfortunately for the majority of people, weightlifting has a bad reputation.

Research from Duke University revealed something interesting. It was with 196 overweight women/men between 18 to 70 years old separated into three groups:

  • Group 1: Three days of one hour of weightlifting training per week
  • Group 2: Three days of cardio per week. 45 minutes at an average level.
  • Group 3: Three days of weightlifting and cardio per week.

Something surprising happened after eight months. Group 2 lost the most weight but also lost the most muscles. Group 1 lost the most fat and gain muscles. This means that the combination of weightlifting and cardio has different effects. This makes you lose less weight because of muscle gain. Also, this makes you lose more fat because of several physiological causes. Here is the study.

Confusion 4 – Does a diet can disturb my metabolism?

There is a term that is often used when people talk about diet, it’s metabolic damage. Metabolic damage means that there is a disorder in diverse physiological structures. The consequence is that your body burns fewer calories than you need in relation to your body weight. It can take weeks or years to fix it.

The confusion comes from stories where someone has failed to lose weight. For example: “He gained weight with a very low-calorie diet and an intense workout program”. Because of these stories, a lot of people believe that a diet can disrupt their bodies.

Take a look at the scientific field. Some studies show that a long period of very low-calorie diet affects metabolism.

Click here for the study .

When you reduce your weight by 10%, your metabolic rate can drop. For example, a diet with few calories, little protein, and no weightlifting program.

These metabolic adjustments can continue after the period of weight loss. This is real for people who use radical diets to lose weight. It is possible to stop these changes by eating more calories, more protein and lifting weights.

Click here for the study.

Confusion 5 – Can a diet put the body into famine?

A lot of people see a diet like deprivation or a famine. They tell a lot of stories such as: “Be careful with your calorie reduction, don’t be too radical. This can slow down your metabolism and make it more difficult to lose weight.

The best way to avoid metabolic damage is to have a slight reduction in calories. When there is a reduction in calories, your body responds by stopping weight loss.

There is a study on human metabolism, click here.

This research began in 1944, at the end of the Second World War. At that time, there were many hungry people in Europe and it was important to help them in the healthiest form. 36 people chose to starve in the same state as the prisoner of war camp.

For six months, the volunteers performed several hours of manual labor and ate about 1,500 calories a day. They walked also 22 miles a week. It was difficult at the end of the experiment because some men had almost starved to death. They only had skin on their bones.

There is a surprise, their metabolism was not devastated. When the volunteers lost 25% of their body weight, their metabolism also lost 20%. In contrast, scientists expected more than a decline of 20 percent after six months.

The second step of this experiment is to help the 36 individuals to regain their normal weight. This recovery plan lasts 12 weeks. The average metabolic rate was 10 percent lower than predicted by scientists.

This research shows that the “famine mode” diet is not true. All the volunteers continued to lose weight until the end. Of course, the speed of losing weight decreased but not stall.

When you see someone eats 1500 calories per day and have a workout program for six months and lose weight. Why are you skeptical about the efficiency of a basic diet?

I hope it helps you to stay on track to have a better body.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Muscle Memory

muscle memory

I read a Nerd Fitness article  and there is good stuff.

Muscle memory is an action execute with a lot of repetitions physically or mentally. The body will learn to execute this action more effectively using less brain power.

Your muscles don’t have brain but rather your brain learn to create a procedure list to execute tasks as quickly and efficiently as possible. The majority of the time you do these tasks in mode « procedure » of your brain and this become automatic. It’s like cache memory in your computer or smartphone.

When you play at the first time to a video game, you must learn how the controls work (and you’re really bad). You must learn to :

  • Look left and right

  • Use gun/sword

  • Jump and rolling

  • Move, avoid enemies

  • Attack, defend, cast spell

After several hours of gaming, your muscles begin to memorize. After several days or weeks, you do these things effortlessy.

  • Defeat a boss with combos, rolling, attacking, defending and spell casting.

Muscle memory isn’t only for video games. This helps for several things : driving, cut vegetables, play a musical instrument, etc.

When we decide to be healthy in the real life, this concept of « automatic response » is an important element.

Unfortunately, this can have bad effects :

  • If you spend several months to learn badly to do squat, it’s very difficult to stop this bad habit and relearn the squat in the right way.

  • If you learn to play a song in a bad way (or another activity), you learn to your body « it’s the good way to do it », even if it’s the bad way.

  • When you are busy at school/work and take candy and soda to manage stress, you brain will be train to say : »it’s the most effective way to be happy ».

We really talk about to build habit. Muscle memory can help us to understand how and why we failed in the past and how to do to change it

Muscle memory in the life

muscle memory

We’re creature of habits. The things we do everyday like the way we walk, the way we talk, the way we sleep (or not), things that make us happy or sad are the result of hundred and hundred of repetitions of these activites.

When we try to create new habits, it’s a lot, a lot of work.

For exemple, rather than going to McDonald’s, we must remember of :

  1. Go to the supermarket

  2. Take vegetables and chicken

  3. Go home and prepare vegetables

  4. Cook chicken

  5. Prepare the table

  6. Eat

If you don’t have these habits rooted in your brain, just read this list can be exhausting.

Look this exemple : rather than stay a home to watch the TV, we decided to learn squat :

  • Get under the barbell

  • Tighten the shoulder blades and place the bar correctly on the trapezoids.

  • Inhale deeply and go down

  • Knees lined up with toes

  • Explode back up with proper form

You saw these 2 cases, there is a lot of change !

Automatics things like going to McDonal’s or watch TV, come easy. We’ve always done them and thex require little effort. It’s like a second nature. The second part (new habits) require a lot of amount of effort (don’t worry, you can do it). I tell you, there can have barriers or closed doors the first few times but you must not give up.

After all these repetitions to have healthy habits, I can confirm that train and eat heatlthy is a second nature for me !

How to build

how to buid

In the Malcolm Gladwell’s book « Outliers » , he talk about the concept to master. In his research, he found the the most experts spend around 10 0000 hours to master their professions.

The most important is to not to spend 10 000 hours to practice. It’s to spend 10 000 hours to do the good practice.

Play the same song on piano in the wrong way during 10 000 hours will only allow you to play with eyes closed this song in the wrong way.

Work actively on your technique with a coach or a teacher to focus on imporving all aspects of playing the piano.

To build this muscle memory in our life, we don’t need to spend 10 000 hours of practice living healthy but we need to practice. Without do regulary a healthy activity, you will never feel your new healthy activity like a second nature.

You need to :

  • Take one or two new habits you want to create. No more !

  • Make things easy to do this activity. Minimize difficulties between you and this new life activity that you want build. Find a way to complete this activity using the minimum of willpower.

Exemple :

  1. Take one or two new memory : Rather than to completly change your training program to stop to use machine and start to use barbell/dumbbell, change just one exercice. Instead to do Leg Press, do squat. After 3 weeks when you feel good with squat, you can change another exercice.

  2. Minimize difficulties for the new activity : Do you want run every morning ? Sleep with your running clothes, put your alarm clock across the bedroom and put your running shoes next to the alarm clock. You are half ready, right ?

  3. Remove the need to remember what you need to do : I rename the alarm of my smartphone « Meditation ». When I wake up, my smartphone tell me to do my meditation.

  4. Eliminate the need to use the willpower : I spoke of willpower. We all know we need to eat healthy and do more exercice but we don’t do it. Then when we try to rewrite our DNA and our second nature, we must be strategic.

    If you are always tired after school/work and you miss your training, maybe is better to do your training in the morning before to go at school/work ?

    If you struggle with unhealthy foods during stress moments, do a « purge » and throw out unhealthy foods from your house. It’s harder to eat junk foods when you must go out to buy one.

    If you struggle to stop to pick foods from fast foods before you go home, change streets. Choice different streets to go home, streets without fast-foods.

The essence of all that has above is the practice. You train your brain/body as an integer to build healthy automatic habits.

Momentum is a powerful thing : If you can’t do all these healthy habits when you life become crazy. Take one or two healthy habits you can do and continue to practice. By this way, you don’t need to start back at square when your life will return to normal.

What new habits you want build and what tactics you use ?

-Steph

P.S. Do you want a free training program ? Click here 

Fitness History – United State – The Roaring 1920s and the Great Depression (Part 11)

united states roaring twenties

The increased interest in fitness dissipated throughout the decade. A similar pattern is always repeated in the history of humanity after a war is won. Is that the society to relax, enjoy life and make fewer exercises. The Roaring 1920s earned this name because of this reason, the society was the most frivolous than any other in history until now. The priorities were eating, drinking, partying and other forms of entertainment.

In October 1929, the stock market crash signaled the beginning of a decade of economic depression. The economy has failed to recover until the United States entered World War II in 1941. With many other aspects of life, levels of physical condition fell during the Great Depression. The benefits that physical education programs have done through legislation that followed the First World War were short-lived. The funds for these programs were limited and were eventually exhausted because of the weak economy.

united states roaring twenties

Despite the setbacks suffered by the fitness during the Great Depression, Jack LaLanne, who came to be recognized as a pioneer of the modern fitness began his career as a media fitness instructor . Throughout his life, LaLanne preached the values of lifestyle fitness. In the 1950s, the « Jack LaLanne Show » began to be broadcast on television, 25 years before the shows of Richard Simmons and Jane Fonda. LaLanne developed fitness programs including aerobics, water aerobics and resistance exercises. He has also presented numerous pieces of exercise equipment including the first cable machine, the secure system for squat called « Smith Machine » and the first machine « Leg extension ». Although LaLanne is often named as the inventor of the movement « Jumping Jack » history suggests that the real inventor was John « Black Jack » Pershing, a tactical officer at West Point in World War II. Although LaLanne preceded the movements of the modern fitness by some three decades, its ideology and its exercise programs had a good approach as demonstrated modern research.

World War II

Throughout world history, military conflicts have had a major impact on the state of fitness. The Second World War and its consequences for the United States were not different. Essentially, the modern fitness movement has evolved under the influence of the Second World War and the Cold War.

world war 2

The United States are entered World War II with the bombing of Perl Harbor on December 7, 1941. With this declaration of war, he came to the need to prepare soldiers. However in recruitment, it became embarrassing found that many people were unfit for combat. When the war was over, it was reported that almost half of people prepared should have been refused or were given a non-combat position. These disturbing statistics helped gain more attention to the importance of fitness in the country.

There have been significant contributions in the gym during the 1940s, especially from Dr. Thomas K. Cureton from the University of Illinois. Cureton has introduced the application of research to fitness, which improved the recommendations of exercises to individuals. Cureton hasn’t only recognized the many benefits of regular exercise, he strived to extend the knowledge of the human body with the help of fitness. He wanted to answer questions such as « how many exercises to be healthy ? » and what types of exercise are most effective. But most important was that Cureton wanted to know how physical fitness could be better measured on an individual. Among his contributions, the most important were the fitness test development for cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength and flexibility. His research has resulted in several recommendations for improving cardiorespiratory fitness, including the identification of exercise intensity needed to improve fitness levels. His suggestions became the fundamental basis of future exercise programs.

That’s all for today. Soon the rest of the fitness history

-Steph