Busting Weight-loss Myths the NarkSide way.


Busting Weight-loss Myths the NarkSide way.
By Corey Springer AKA “Narkissos”

Monday, June 8th 2009: The NarkSide

Hi all. Another beautiful Monday is about to come to an end.

Do you know what it is?

Of course you do: RANT TIME!

I’ve been receiving more and more spam of late, from well-meaning individuals.

Well, at least it starts out as ‘well-meaning’ until I point out the blatant lack of intelligent content to

these articles which happen to grace my email inbox.

Personally, I’m tired of these copy and paste queens… so today’s article serves to take a crack at

the crap they’ve been passing off under the guise of offering ‘fitness advice’.

Let’s investigate the my top 5 weight-loss myths.

Myth #1: Lifting weights is counterintuitive when you’re trying to lose weight… because lifting weights ‘bulks you up’.

The facts?

The truth of the matter is that utlizing strength-training (in the form of lifting weights or any other high-intensity resistance-training activity) on a regular basis can actually help you maintain or lose weight.

Simply put: These activities build muscle. Muscle burns SIGNIFICANTLY more calories than body fat. This is particularly true even at rest.

Logically, if you increase your lean mass, then you’ll increase the number of calories you burn… ergo:

muscle-building activities = fat-loss activities

It would be counterintuitive to exclude weigh-training from your fat-loss program.

All of my clients, even my female clients, weight-train no less than twice per week. On average they train thrice per week.

Those who lose weight the fastest are those who weight-train four times per week.

Myth #2: “Low-fat”/”nonfat” means calorie-free or ‘healthy’.

The facts?

Foods labelled “low-fat” or “nonfat” are often lower in calories than an equal-sized portion of their full-fat alternative. On the surface, this is good… right? It can be… but it often isn’t.

Many of these foods labelled as ‘healthy alternatives’ can contain just as many calories as their full-fat alternatives… some may even contain MORE.

Some may contain added sugar, flour (and other thickeners)… or even High-fructose corn syrup.

These additives serve to ‘improve’ flavor, texture, and mouth-feel, that the removal of fat alters.

High fructose corn syrup in particular, has been noted to be MORE fattening than sugar.

Logically speaking, how can an alternative that has been made MORE fattening be the ‘healthier’ choice?

My advice?

Judiciously read the Nutrition Facts on foods to find out what the ingredients are, as well as how many calories are in a serving.

Myth #3: Eating red meat is out if you’re trying to lose weight.

I received a really annoying (and I must say, unsolicited) message on facebook just last week, which basically said this.

I replied to the young lady…and she proceeded to send me EVEN MORE ANTI-MEAT SPAM!

“Red meat sits in your gut for months!”

Really? Tell that to my 28″ waist!

The facts?

Eating lean meats supports fat-loss! Yes, red meat contains fat… but fat is necessary for fat-loss, as well as for the support of optimal hormonal output (which, in turn plays a supporting role in fat-loss).

Red meat also contains nutrients like iron, zinc and, importantly, protein.

Why is protein important?

Diet-induced thermogenesis comes to mind.

Diet induced thermogenesis can be defined as an increase in energy expenditure above that of the basal fasting level (divided by the energy content of the food ingested). Diet-induced thermogenesis

is one of the three components of daily energy expenditure… the other two being: one’s basal metabolic rate, and activity-induced thermogenesis.

Diet induced thermogenesis could play a role in the maintenance of weight.

Post-ingestion of protein-rich foods, such as red meat, diet-induced thermogenesis was much higher than that which manifests after carb-dominant, or fat-dominant food were ingested.

High protein foods, such as red meat, also convey higher levels of sateity.

Simply put, you feel more satisfied at the end of you meal.

As gastric emptying is slower for red meat than it is for fish and poultry, there’s also the added benefit of feeling fuller longer.

My advice?

Choose cuts of meat that are lower in fat and trim all visible fat. This practice makes it easy to fit red meat into any (non-vegetarian) eating style… whether it be a low-fat diet, or a ketogenic one.

Myth #4: Don’t eat after [X] p.m.

…where ‘X’ is some random time in the evening.

I have no idea where this myth originated… but I absolutely abhor it.

It’s one of those silly things that people practice without questioning… and it’s particularly counterintuitive for working people. i.e. People who generally exercise in the evening (after work).

As long as you’re awake, fuel is coming from somewhere.

This is what people seem unable to grasp.

It really isn’t about WHEN you eat… It is about WHAT you eat.

In Europe, it’s quite normal to eat after 10 p.m.

Europeans are (and have been for many decades, if not more) generally less fat than Americans.

How can this be if they’re eating after 6 p.m.?

I’ll reiterate: It does NOT matter what time of the evening you eat.

It does however matter what and how much you eat.

True, your energy demands are lower as the day progresses (unless you add activities which require high energy expenditure later in the day)… however, ‘lower’ and ‘non-existent’ can’t be used interchangeably.

Keep portions smaller towards evening, ‘cept in the meals where the primary goal is to replenish glycogen stores and facilitate recovery from exercise… i.e. the post-workout meals.

My general rule of thumb is: Consume protein + small amounts of fat + fiber if you’re up at night.

An additional piece of advice: Try to avoid snacking in front of the TV at night, as most people tend to overeat while watching television.

I find snacks such as sugar-free jello, cottage cheese (and similarly moderate protein, low-fat, low-sugar products) fit nicely in this time slot.

Myth #5: “As long as I count calories, I can lose fat eating WHATEVER I WANT!”

…Yes, and I’m the king of Persia!

This particular bit of rubbish tends to get thrown around a lot.

“Fat-loss = Calories out > Calories in”

A blatant oversimplification at best.

The facts?

It IS true that, in order to lose weight, you need to use more calories than you eat.

And it IS possible to lose weight eat without changing the types of food you eat, as long as you don’t exceed your daily caloric requirements.

However, it doesn’t work absolutely and indefinitely like that.

Foods with glucose loads can cause an impaired response to insulin, thereby making it easier for a person to get fat via high carbohydrate consumption.

You are what you eat after all… Ergo, one shouldn’t expect to eat like crap (indefinitely) but look spectacular.

It isn’t logical.

…and it won’t happen.

Corey Springer
Owner of The NarkSide
Owner of Apollo Fitness Barbados

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