The Myth of Food=Happiness and Exercise=Sexiness
I recently had a realization that we've been fed a lie. This lie is pervasive, persistent, and perturbing. We've been lied to our entire lives by the media, our families, our friends, doctors, food companies, exercise "experts," and all manner of well-meaning acquaintances. The lie is this: eat certain foods to feel a certain way and do physical exercise to look better. The realization I had is this is the complete opposite of the affect of food and exercise.
The food we eat has the most significant affect on our physical appearance. Six pack abs are not made through a thousand sit-ups, they're made through counting your macros. The food we eat can bloat our bellies, alter our hormones, give us GI distress, make our skin break-out, and make us look puffy, tired and sick. But, all of the messages about food is that we eat it to feel good. It's a treat. It's comfort. Have you had a rough day? Drink wine and eat chocolate to feel better. Want to celebrate a special occasion? Eat some cake and drink some champagne. Just had an epic bike ride or a big ski day? Go out for nachos and beer. Eat this to feel that.
We are told that eating and drinking will make us feel better. But, that's a lie. Physical activity makes us feel better. How many times have you dragged yourself to the gym in a dark and foul mood only to skip out the door after your workout feeling happy and unconquerable?
We are told that we can get a beach body, six pack-abs, big guns, tight buns, and "toned" (whatever toned means) by exercising. But, that's a lie. We get a beach body and all the rest of the things by eating meat, vegetables, nuts & seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar in amounts that support exercise but not body fat.
You can't out exercise your diet and you can't eat your way to happiness. Oh sure, you can try; but, the results will not be what you want. If you want to be happy and feel good, then you need to exercise (even when you don't feel like it.) If you want to look good naked, then you need change what you eat.
What should you eat? Well, a damn good place to start is to eat meat, vegetables, nuts & seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat. Coach Audy can help you get that dialed in.
What should you do for exercise? Well, a damn good place to start is practice and train major lifts: deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch. Master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc., hard and fast. Five or six days per week, mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense. Regularly learn and play new sports.
Myth: Train in your "Fat Burning Heart Rate Zone" to Lose Weight.
How many well-meaning friends and family have advised you to go running, walking, or hiking to lose weight? No matter what we fitness professionals do or say, the idea that going from the couch to a 5k is the best way to lose weight has a stronghold.
With the increased use of wearable technology like Whoop, FitBits, etc., many folks are spending time in low intensity pursuits in order to maximize their fat burning zone. The truth is there is no target heart rate for weight loss.
There is a fat burning zone, and it doesn't do what most people think. Yes, you burn more calories from fat than carbohydrates in this zone, but you don't burn MORE calories and burning more calories is an important component of weight loss.
However, we can't out exercise our diets, so to lose weight you have to consume LESS calories than you burn. But, I digress, let's get back to the fat burning zone.
Here's a handy dandy chart from the smart folks at Whoop.
When we exercise we burn both carbohydrates and fat as fuel sources. At lower intensities like when we walk, run or hike we are at a lower heart rate and our bodies prioritize fat as a fuel source, aka "fat burning zone." When exercise intensity increases like when we sprint, lift weights, pull a heavy sled, or do CrossFit our bodies burn more carbohydrates because they're easier to break down. When you're working hard at high intensity your body doesn't want to mess around with burning fat. It's denser and harder to break down into fuel.
However, according to the Whoop folks, "the percentage of fat you’re burning relative to carbohydrates is not what determines weight loss." What determines weight loss is the TOTAL amount of calories you burn. If you exercise at high intensity, like you do with CrossFit, your body burns MORE calories. Combine that with eating fewer calories than you burn and you've created an energy deficit and you will lose weight.
So why spend any time in the low intensity fat burning zone? I strongly believe that time spent in that heart rate zone has a positive impact on our mental health, much more so than it does on our physical health. Think of how good you feel after a long walk, run, bike ride or hike. How many time have you solved or forgotten all of your problems while you're out on a long slow distance jaunt?
If you really want to lose weight you have to create healthy habits like eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, prioritizing protein, getting plenty of sleep, drinking lots of water, and improving your mindset. These healthy habits set a solid foundation of a bulletproof lifestyle. Once all those things are second nature, and NOT a struggle, then the real struggle on controlling your food is not so hard.
Is Sitting the New Smoking?
Sitting is something we do A LOT! By some estimates we sit up to 10 hours a day. All of this sitting has impacted our health. In fact, some folks say sitting is the new smoking.
According to Daniel Lieberman, an anthropologist who studies human fitness, there are 2 factors that make sitting a problem. The first is the time we spend too much time in uninterrupted sitting, Lieberman says:
"Just getting up every once in a while, every 10 minutes or so â just to go to the bathroom or pet your dog or make yourself a cup of tea â even though you're not spending a lot of energy, you're turning on your muscles.
âSecond, according to Lieberman, sitting in a chair, with a back, is a relatively new practice. Up until the last few hundred years when we sat it was on the floor, or on benches or stools. Chairs with back rests were used only by nobility and the rich. In many part of the world sitting on the floor is still common. When I lived in Japan I sat on the floor all the time. â According to Lieberman
"The reason it matters for our health is that a seat back essentially makes sitting even more passive than just sitting on a bench or a stool because you lean against the seat back and you're using even fewer muscles, even less effort to stabilize your upper body.
Sitting is a common practice in all societies that Lieberman has studied. You can reduce the deleterious impacts of all the sitting by getting up and moving around, spending some time standing, and sitting mostly on a bench or a stool.
You can listen to the entire podcast below.
Do you have a myth you want me to investigate? Tell me in the comments.
The Myth of the Cleanse
YAY! It's a NEW YEAR and I am hearing more folks talk about doing a cleanse or needing a reset to help us rebound from 2020 and all the sideways choices we made.
Let me just put this up front.
You don't need to "cleanse" or do a reset.
Just start by increasing your fruits and vegetables at every meal and drinking more water.
When I decided to bust the myth of a cleanse today I wasn't sure I would be able to do it in less than 250 words. There's just so much to say about the fallacy of cleansing.
First, let's just apply some basic biology. You already possess an amazing cleansing and detoxifying system in your body. This system features (FOR FREE:-) your liver and kidneys, and to a lesser extent your lungs and skin. The PRIMARY job or your liver and kidneys is eliminate biochemicals from our body.
Yep, it's true!
Our lungs and skin also have a role to play through ventilation and and sweating. Our body is an amazing and adaptive collection of organs, organelles, and tissues and it's in our best interest to quickly and effectively shuttle undesirable biochemicals out of our tissues.
Second, and this usually stumps most people, what it is EXACTLY you're trying to rid yourself of.
Most folks, and especially the people who are trying to sell you the magic cleansing product, will answer with the dreaded T words, toxins. Well, which ones? What kind? How do you know what's toxic?
Anything, even WATER, is toxic if it is ingested or inhaled in the wrong amounts. When someone drowns they die of inhaling water in toxic amounts. You can even die by DRINKING too much water. It's called hyponatremia and it's a real problem.
Often, a cleanse is usually accompanied by a fast (24-48 hour fasting is the most popular) thus the cleanse has some weight loss element.
Let's think about what's really going on here. We need a "re-set" because we've been making a series of lifestyle choices with regards to food, alcohol, sleep, and exercise and we just want to start over.
Well, you can do all of that FOR FREE with your next meal. Then you can do it again without any special product or magic drink at your next meal. It's called choice and we all posses the ability to make one.
If you're attracted to the fasting element, then just try that. Fasting costs you nothing and yes, you will probably lose some weight.
One thing that I can advocate that will help you re-set is to drink water. Water, the universal solvent, is amazing in its ability to lubricate the detoxifying systems of your body.
Water will help your kidneys and liver do all of the amazing cleansing they naturally do so well.
Water will fill your belly so you don't feel so hungry.
Water will make you pee which means your kidneys are doing their job. Water will help you poop which means your digestive system is doing its job of elimination. How much water? Let's start with 1/3 to 1/2 your body weight in ounces. If you weigh 140 pounds then try drinking 46-70 ounces of water. You know what's best of all? Water is free:-)
Do you have a myth you want me to bust? Tell me in the comments!
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