Are You Really Still Asking These Questions About Fitness and Weight Loss?
I often find myself in social settings dreading the very LA question of ‘So, what do you do?” First of all, I dread the question because it makes one default to defining a person by their work, but more than that, I know there is a greater than average chance that when I tell someone I am a fitness professional I will be spending the next lord-knows-how-long listening to that person’s weight loss issues, the pain in their ankle, the newest nutritional craze and workout regime ~ which is the BEST THING EVER IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE and then be asked for approval or to defend my disapproval.
Now don’t get me wrong – I actually do enjoy discussions about nutrition, fitness and wellness. But parties are usually not the best place to disseminate information. Just like you wouldn’t ask the surgeon across the table to evaluate the operability of your hiatal hernia between your endive salad and the entree, it’s best not to ask a fitness pro to do an evaluation of your diet and exercise routine or give you free advice while munching on crudité. Anyone worth their salt will suggest you make an appointment for a consult where you can discuss all you want.
That being said, I’d love to address several questions I seem to get all the time while I’m not standing at the buffet. So grab your baby carrots or your chips and guacamole, ignore the cute blonde by the pool and give a listen cuz I’m gonna spill some info.
Question 1: Won’t I get bulky if I lift heavy weights?
I cannot tell you how many women still in this day and age still think that if they lift more than 2 pounds they will suddenly look like Arnold. LADIES. Listen up. You will NOT get bulky from lifting weights. It’s like me worrying that if I play basketball on a regular basis I will suddenly become 8 feet tall. Most of us fairer sexed individuals do not have the raw materials to get super bulky. Our hormones and basic body structures are not set up to pack on the muscle mass that you see on the cover of Muscle and Fitness Magazine. Yes, there are women who compete and have impressive bulk but body-building is their full time job and very often they are supplementing in order to produce those results. So relax. Pick up a dumb bell ~ it won’t kill you and it could very well tighten up that sagging arm flap. Plus, it’s the only way you’re going to get the real body composition change you’re looking for.
Question 2: I do an hour of cardio every day, why aren’t I losing weight?
This is a question I hear a lot and the answer can be as varied as the individual asking it. First of all, if you are only doing cardio your body will adapt very quickly to that energy expenditure and re adjust your metabolism to account for it so your calorie burning pay off is going to slow down as your body gets used to the workout. If you don’t add in some strength training (see above) and some interval work you will never see the changes you’re going for in your body. The hard truth is it’s not the amount of exercise, it’s the right type of exercise for the individual at the right time.
Question 3: Do I have to eliminate all carbs in order to lose weight?
Short answer: NO. Although refined carbohydrates are not your friend when it comes to weight loss and overall health, eliminating all carbs is not an effective or appropriate way to approach your eating. Unfortunately there is no one size fits all answer to healthy eating. Every individual is going to require their own individual nutritional plan, which means being aware of your body and working with a professional who can help you assess your best plan.
Question 4: I have been doing X for 8 months and I hurt my back. My friend is now doing Z and swears by it, should I do it?
People usually HATE my answer to this question but I’m going to lay it all down on the line here folks: NO. You shouldn’t do Z. You shouldn’t do anything until you learn how to use your body correctly. There is really no ‘bad’ exercise protocol. However there are plenty of people who should not be doing a particular exercise because their body is not capable of moving safely in the patterns that protocol requires. Even yoga can be detrimental if you can’t move correctly and are not working with someone who can help you correct your weaknesses. That detriment is raised exponentially by the intensity the sport or exercise you choose to participate in.
Question 5: I know everything about nutrition and exercise but I’m still not getting the results I know I should get. What’s wrong?
I would encourage you to change the question here. There really isn’t anything wrong in this situation, there is just something missing. Knowing proper nutrition and workout strategy is great! Congratulations on distilling all that information and finding the truth! What you’re missing is most likely accountability. You can have all the knowledge in the world and still not be putting it to use. The most successful people in the world all have mentors or coaches. It’s not the lack of knowledge it’s the lack of accountability in putting that knowledge to use that’s tripping you up. Get a friend or coach to support and challenge you and your success will grow by leaps and bounds.
I hope some of this helps you as you navigate the world of fitness and weight loss. At the very least it will make you a better party guest….
All the best,
Body McKanics Fitness