Three Lies From Fitness Quacks

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So if you hang around on the internet long enough, you’ll run into a whole bunch of different crazy health and fitness “concepts” that are really just straight-up lies.  Usually these things range from innocent tips intended to get you to browse a website/like a Facebook page, all the way to insidious stuff like making you shell out tons of money on fake solutions to problems.  Today we’re going to attack three of these lies head-on, to help inoculate you against this quackery!

Reduce Fat In “X” Area

A lot of people that get into fitness and nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle do so because they want to lose weight.  This isn’t all that surprising, in many countries obesity is on the rise, and let’s face it, we all want a six pack.  Because of this, you’ll frequently come across various exercise routines, diets, and personal habits to reduce fat in a certain region of your body.  Some people even advocate wrapping glorified plastic wrap around your stomach to burn fat there!

Here’s the bad news: It’s impossible to spot reduce fat.

If you want to reduce fat deposits in your stomach, arms, thighs, or anywhere else, you need to reduce your overall body fat percentage.  This means the good old fashioned methods of caloric reduction combined with a regular workout routine.  Losing weight, but not in the area you want?  Unfortunately, that means you just need to burn more fat.  Your body decides where it wants to pull fat from first, and you can’t control that.  You just need to force it to keep going until it runs out in that area and shifts to another.

There is some good news, however.  While you can’t reduce fat in a specific area, a well-rounded strength training routine will increase your muscle mass under that fat, which means that when you shed it, you get that awesome “toned” look.

Want some more info on losing weight the right way?  Check out Macros and You!

“Cleanses”

Rrrrrrrggghhh.  I hate these so much.  The idea that you’ve got “toxins” in your body that make you overweight/lethargic/unhappy/what-have-you.  Listen, when it comes to toxins, you’ve got two options: One, the everyday not-so-great-for-you chemical compounds that come from the stuff you eat and the digestive process that breaks them down.  These are fine, normal, and go away on their own through the filtration systems of your liver and kidneys.  This includes stuff like alcohol and various acidic compounds.  You don’t need to do anything to get rid of them except keep living.  Then, you’ve got non-organic compounds that bio-accumulate (stick around in your body,) like methylmercury.  These can be more serious because your liver can’t get rid of them.

And neither can that kale-garlic-lemon juice smoothie.

Listen, I’m a big fan of eating healthy.  Huge fan, in fact!  I’m all about lots of fiber, vegetables, lean proteins, etc.  But listen to me: if you switch your diet to this, and see a difference in weight loss, energy level, mood, and other awesome stuff, it’s not because “toxins” are being magically lifted from your body!  It’s just because you’ve switched from sticking cheapo junk fuel in your body, and upgraded to super unleaded gasoline (or hell, it’s the 21st century, you went out and bought a damn electric car!)  THAT’S IT.

Stop buying cleanses.  Stop.  Stop it right now.  Never again.  NEVEEEERRR AGAAAAAAAAIN.

“X” Food/Juice Burns Fat

This is similar enough to the concept of a “cleanse,” but different enough to deserve its own category, especially since I see it pop up a lot on social media.  It’s loosely rooted in the idea of thermogenic food – that is, food that is low calorie but also requires more calories than some other foods to process, thereby reducing the overall caloric load of the food in question.  Now, that area is questionable enough, but I’ve seen it taken even further lately.  Let’s be clear on something.

Drinking apple cider vinegar, lemon water, or hot sauce isn’t going to make you lose weight any faster than just drinking good old fashioned water.

And to go further, eating some particular food just because it’s got a higher thermogenic value than another might end up helping you make better food choices sometimes, but it’s for the wrong damn reasons and it’s leading you down a slippery slope of nutritional quackery.  Leans, greens, and beans, people!  That’s your mantra!  Again, check out Macros and You! for some damn good suggestions in that department (if I do say so myself.)

 

That’s it for your regular dose of fitness fallacy inoculation!  I think next time, we’ll tackle silly fad exercise routines and why you don’t need them!

Live boldly, change the world, and continue to be awesome!

Dan “DaRatmastah” Wallace

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