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The 3 Non-Truths of Fitness


Health, general wellness, and fitness are topics that I love to talk about. Staying fit or getting fit is generally a top focus for most people. Getting and staying fit is hard enough already but when you factor in the lies we are told it’s even harder. I want to tell you about what I think are 3 key myths of fitness that we are so sadly told as “truth”.

 

Non-truth (lie) # 1 – The scale indicates your fitness. The scale is not THE indicator of your fitness! You can’t look and someone, skinny or not, and assume they are or are not healthy and fit! The number on the scale is only a partial indicator of fitness. 

 

The scale doesn’t take into account your body composition. Body composition accounts for the underlying components of your weight: how much of your body is fat, how much is muscle tissue, and how much is bone, water, hair, and the like.

 

As you gain fitness, you may find you weigh more, and yet you feel better in your clothes!  When your diet and exercise are in order, muscle begins to replace fat, and your density increases, leading to a higher scale weight despite improved biomarkers and smaller body measurements. So, ditch the scale and focus on how you feel and your body composition. 

 

Non-truth (lie) #2 – You can gain fitness with comfortable workouts. Doing the same “easy” movement day in and day out will not gain you fitness. Don’t get me wrong, any kind of movement is good for you but in terms of fitness and health, you need to “stress” your body. 

 

To improve your fitness, you need to work at it. You must run faster, lift more, and demand more work in less time than before.  Your body adapts to what you do – and the more physical demand you put on your body, the better physical adaptation you will get. The bottom line, you need to seek discomfort with your workouts. 

 

Non-truth (lie) #3 – A calorie is a calorie so it doesn’t matter what you eat. Yes, the definition of a calorie is the definition of a calorie but a calorie from chicken or broccoli has a fundamentally different hormonal effect in your body than a calorie from ice cream or chips. Or calories from a handful of nuts has a different glucose response than a glass of fruit juice. 

 

We want to consider the three macronutrients – carbohydrates, protein, and fat. We need protein for muscle, carbohydrates for immediate energy, and fat for slowing digestion and increasing satiety. 

 

What we eat does matter when it comes to: the nutrients we need to heal and repair, to have available energy for exercising, and for our body's ability to recover after that hard workout. I suggest to forget about counting calories and learn to balance your macronutrient intake – make sure to include a good protein, carbohydrate, and fat source at each meal.  Simply put, the closer the food is to its natural state the more health benefits our bodies get. 

 

As a Health and Wellness coach, it’s my job to educate my clients on fact from fiction. It can be very complicated but I always try and get back to the basics. When you focus on whole foods and include protein, carbs, and fat at each meal, and you include intensity and diversity into your workout routine then you won’t even need to weigh yourself. You’ll have the energy you need, you’ll gain fitness, and you’ll feel great. 

 

Lida Johnson, Certified Health & Wellness Coach, Certified Nutritionist, and Personal Trainer.   www.HeadToToeCoaching.com or Lida@HeadToToeCoaching.com  203.260.2880.

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