Top 10 Weight
Loss and Fitness Myths
copyright 2003 by Greg Landry,
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WARNING: Don't weight train until after
you've lost weight!
No, no, no, no, pleeeeease don't believe
that headline! That's one of the many myths
associated with weight loss and fitness.
If you're interested in losing weight and
getting fit as quickly as possible, don't
let these myths throw you off track;
Myth #1 - Some fancy exercise machine-of-the-month
burns more calories than any other exercise.
FACT - One thing that many people seem
to be confused about is how many calories
are expended during different types of exercise.
For example, I receive lots of questions
regarding how many calories are burned with
fancy exercise machines or certain unusual
exercises that are supposed to burn lots
Don't be fooled by this stuff! Here's the
bottom line - caloric expenditure is directly
related to the amount of effort an activity
requires. In general, the more difficult
it feels, the more calories you burn. The
easier it feels the fewer calories you burn.
That's it! I don't care how fancy or expensive
the equipment is, the harder you work the
more calories you burn.
Myth #2 - Weight training with free weights
is much more effective than with machines.
FACT - For the purposes of general fitness,
muscle toning, and weight loss, it doesn't
matter. My suggestion is to do whichever
you are most comfortable with and are most
likely to do on a regular basis.
Myth #3 - Low intensity exercise puts you
in the "fat burning zone" and
is ideal for weight loss.
FACT - The "fat burning zone"
doesn't matter. Here's how it got started.
Your body is always "burning"
a mixture of carbohydrates and fat for fuel.
This mixture tends to contain a little more
fat during lower intensity exercise. Somebody
took this to mean that a lower intensity
workout was best for losing weight.. not
It all comes from the same "pot".
It doesn't matter if you're burning a little
more fat or a little more carbohydrate at
any particular time in your fuel mix. It
all comes from the same calorie pool. The
bottom line is, how many calories are you
Myth #4 - Exercising for 30 minutes two
to three times per week is sufficient for
FACT - That's better than doing nothing
but it's not optimal. I firmly believe that
God designed our bodies to be active daily.
When we exercise daily we are healthier,
leaner, more energetic, and the list goes
on and on.
Also, daily exercise boosts your metabolism
like nothing else can. I recommend working
up to 30 to 60 minutes of daily aerobic
exercise and three days of weight training
Myth #5 - You can lose fat from a specific
part of your body by doing an exercise for
that part of your body. For example, abdominal
crunches will remove fat from your abdominal
FACT - You can't spot reduce! You cannot
control where fat is removed from your body.
Myth #6 - You can't lose weight.
FACT - You CAN lose weight but it usually
happens much slower than you'd like it to.
Believing that you CAN lose weight is critical
to making it happen. Realize that if you
are consistently doing the right things,
it will happen. Don't get side-tracked by
every new crazy diet or exercise gizmo.
Keep plugging away at healthy eating habits
and daily exercise - it will happen!
Myth #7 - You shouldn't start weight training
until you've lost most of the weight you
want to lose because it will slow down your
fat loss, or trap your fat in the muscle,
or who knows what else.
FACT - Weight training is VITAL to a weight
loss program because it turns up the metabolic
fires that burn calories - and it tones
your muscles. You should start weight training
Myth #8 - You burn more fat if you exercise
on an empty stomach.
FACT - Exercising on an empty stomach does
not affect how you lose weight. In fact,
it may hinder it if you don't have the energy
to exercise. You should at least drink a
glass of juice prior to your workout if
you're exercising in the morning.
Myth #9 - You should always do your weight
training just before your aerobic exercise
session because you burn more fat that way.
I've even heard that you should weight train,
eat two raw carrots, and then do your aerobic
FACT - The order in which you exercise
does not affect how you lose weight. I always
recommend weight training just after your
aerobic exercise (such as walking) simply
because your muscles are warm and supple
and much less prone to injuries.
Myth #10 - You'll burn more calories jogging
a mile than walking a mile.
FACT - Caloric expenditure is 62 calories
per 100 pounds body weight per mile traveled
(walked or jogged). For example, if you
weight 150 pounds, you expend 93 calories
per mile walked or jogged (62 x 1.5). Of
course, if you're jogging, you'll cover
the distance in less time than if you're
walking. Thus, you'll burn more calories
in a given period of time if you're jogging.
Get movin'! :)
Author and exercise physiologist, Greg
Landry, offers a variety of unique weight
loss and fitness programs at his site: http://www.Landry.com/w.htm
copyright 2003 by Greg Landry, M.S.