I work in an industry that is filled with lies – Health & Fitness. Lies that on a day to day basis, we as coaches and fitness professionals, try to dispel and re-educate the masses on. However, we struggle… why?
The media constantly, day by day, fills the nation with false information that is backed by cherry picked “scientific” data, often from ill-informed or uneducated sources on a conspiracy theory-esc story so that YOU are left confused and struggle to find the real information that IS RELEVANT TO YOU!
I’m yet to find the reason for this. As someone who is somewhat experienced and educated on many areas of the Health & Fitness world, i stand here and gasp at the media when they publish something that is as ludicrous as believing the Easter Bunny exists. I look at most of these journalists, sources and mediums and cant help but ask the question… WHY ARE YOU PUBLISHING THIS!?! I mean, its so far from the truth the majority of the time that i can see why conspiracy theories exist… surely the world and these said media professionals cant be this idiotically stupid? Surely…?
Let me enlighten you to a few said examples that the media claim on a daily basis and the majority believe to this day! However, they are false and the real truth lies beneath a little education and effort to find the facts.
If you work in the fitness world, you will 100% have heard these before and i can guarantee you will read this and *sigh* at the notion these myths and lies are still around. We all know how absurd they are – yet 99% of the masses still believe it. Its shocking!
1 – A PILL THAT CAN BURN & MELT FAT AWAY
*History of Lie*
Back in the Second World War, Hitler needed to find a way of keeping his troops warm as they attempt to go to war with Russia. Evidently, he didn’t realise how cold it was and the extreme environment that his men would encounter. They then developed this pill, that when consumed, would elevate said individuals core body temperature and make them warm. It literally heated them up. A side effect of this, however, was fat loss.
How? Well, the body will metabolise energy from the body at different rates and sources depending many factors, and one of them is body temperature. If we increase the body temperature of the human body by a degree or two, then it will utilise body fat more efficiently as a fuel. This is called the Thermogenic effect. However, the pill was incredible dangerous and ended up killing people…. lots of people. The increase in temperature was just too great and unsustainable for the body to cope with. As a result, said drug is now banned and used as a plant fertiliser for its other qualities. Said drug is called DNP and to this day, people are still dying as it is available on the black market and within the fitness world, people think it is this magic answer to there competition desires. Its not.
*How the lie developed*
Business people are not stupid. They are successful for a reason as they usually find a niche product or service that appeals to the masses or the desperate. So, the idea that the general public can burn body fat WITHOUT training or eating right is the holy grail as a business product. Imagine… if it was to actually work, no one would ever be fat again. Its incredible. It would be more lucrative than a cure for cancer.
However, it can’t exist. Body fat can ONLY be removed from the body by consuming the energy that it stores within the cells. Think of it as a car holding canisters of petrol… the only way to remove that petrol is to burn it in the engine and use its energy to move the car. Or you pore the petrol out of the window…. liposuction – surgical methods removing fat cells.
This means that the body has to have a reason to use that fuel. We either eat less that we require (see point 3 below) or we do more activity than the energy we consume and thus the body turns to stored energy… fat. This is the ONLY way to naturally metabolise body fat from the body. Trying to do anything chemically would result in death, as we have found out above.
However, the masses are not educated on all this. The masses are desperate and as soon as you mix desperation with a lack of education, you result in a market that is lucrative to exploit by companies.
It is scientifically impossible to remove fat from the body in a chemical format without the risk of almost certain death. As we have found out, increases in the bodies core temperate will, of time, metabolise more fat cells than normal – however the knock on effects are lethal. You are better off turning to nutrition to act as a tiny thermogenic boost in your core temperature.
Ever had the meat sweats? Ir chilli sweats? These foods increase the bodies temperature, ever so slightly and safely, and will help metabolise a bit of body fat within the body. Nature is brilliant!
There is a reason we sweat when we workout or train… because the bodies template has increased and needs to be cooled down. Another natural way to increase the thermogenic state within the body.
2 – CARBS AFTER 6 MAKE YOU FAT
*History of the Lie*
Body builders in the 50s, 60s and 70s started to dictate the fitness industry from an early point. At this point, there was little to no research on how to build muscle or burn fat. It was trial and error. Over time, said fitness professionals would train a lot and eats lots to build muscle. However this then also added some body fat. In order to then lose this body fat, they noticed that by doing more cardio and reducing food helped to remove this body fat.
The reality is this – Consume more calories than our ‘maintenance BMR’ (basal metabolic rate) and the body can repair and build muscle tissue in an anabolic state – the environment to build tissue. This is called a caloric surplus. If you then consume less calories that your ‘maintenance BMR’ and the body will look to break down cells in the body in a catabolic state – the environment to break down tissue… muscle and fat. This is called a caloric deficit.
What they did is stumble across this by accident and trial & error.
Ever consumed a large meal of carbohydrates and felt sluggish? Sure… haven’t we all! So did everyone else in the 50s, 60s and 70s. This idea that a large meal, mainly compromised of a large carbohydrate percentage, made us ‘feel’ sluggish developed into this notion that it would store body fat. Over time, the uneducated mindset put 2 and 2 together and created 7! It wasn’t the carbohydrates that made us feel sluggish or ‘fat’, it was just the sheer quantity of the food. Eat 1kg of meat in one sitting and you’re going to feel sluggish.
*How the lie developed*
Through trial and error, also, people found out that when they ate a smaller meal before bed, they ‘FELT’ lighter and leaner the following morning. When in reality, all that was happening was their bowel storage was less AT THAT TIME OF THE DAY, due to a smaller meal being consumed.
Combine all these issues and you can then see how people thought that a large carb dense meal, at night, would make us feel sluggish, more bloated due to mass within out intestines, and the notion that we were getting fatter. So, the opposite must be true to remove fat… eat less carbs at night…. right?
Carbs before bed do not make you fat. Consuming too much of anything will make us store body fat.
The ironic fact will surprise you. Eating carbohydrates before bed will indeed HELP YOU BURN MORE BODY FAT…. assuming you are eating less that your ‘maintenance BMR’. How?
Carbohydrates have a great relationship with a hormone called Serotonin within the brain – our feel good hormone. When stimulated, we feel happy, which is why everyone likes carbs! It literally makes us feel better temporarily. Its the same hormone that is released when we laugh and hug people. However, when over stimulated the body will feel a bit tired, which in turn helps reduce stress, which endures a great nights sleep and helps the body metabolise MORE body fat.
So, assuming that you are eating WITHIN your BMR range, you will in fact lose MORE BODY FAT by eating CARBS LATER IN THE DAY! This is fact!
3 – EATING LESS AND DOING MORE IS THE KEY TO FAT LOSS
*History of the Lie*
We can again thank the body builders of the 50s and 60s for this one and then really thank the media for growing it into an unstoppable beast. As mentioned above, there as this idea that consuming less and doing more would burn more body fat, and although this is true to some extent, there are massive variables to take into account. One of them is a biggy – your metabolic rate.
Your metabolic rate is essentially how fast your engine can rev… if we use the car enology again! Some engines can rev super fast and others are a little slower. This is largely defined by your genetics… however, just like taking your car in for a service, we can improve our cars engines by tweaking elements of it if we know how. Just like a car engine, the more petrol it can burn in one go (the litre of the engine) then the faster it can go. The EXACT same is relevant to the human body. The more fuel we put into the body, the faster it will burn – assuming we then do something with that energy.
A 6 litre bugatti veyron is a useless supercar if it keep filling up the engine but don’t drive it. I hope you get my analogy here.
So, over time we can develop, improve and grow our engine size by manipulating our food intake, our food types and also our exercise regime. This means, in a round around way, that if we consume more, and do more, we can in fact create a FASTER ENGINE TO BURN FAT!
*The sad reality of this lie*
The very sad reality is this… the body is an amazing evolutionary machine. It will adapt to its environment to ensure that it can survive. This is called homeostasis. Homeostasis really means the bodies ability to down regular and up regulate (get slower and faster) depending on factors like food and output. So essentially, if we go back to when we were hunting animals (which wasn’t that long ago), we would consume LARGE amounts of food in the spring and summer months and then go long periods of time in the autumn and winter months when food was sparse. In order for the body to survive as well as it has done, the metabolic rate can increase and decrease with such extreme environments allowing it to utilise food and fuel so well.
This means that when we consume less food, our engine will slow down over time. Combine that with also doing lots of exercise and all of a sudden you have a machine that adapts to burn that fuel so efficiently, at such a slow rate, that it will LITERALLY SLOW DOWN the rate it consumes and metabolises fat. So DOING MORE and EATING LESS is NOT the answer to your long term fat loss goals.
The answer is to create a strong metabolic engine and to do this we need to DO MORE AND EAT MORE, over time! We need to take the ford escort engine we are all born with and grow it into the bugatti veyron we all desire.
Understand the BMR and your metabolic rate a little more and you will realise that consuming more food than you are used too, will enable you to train harder, for longer, and thus burn more body fat.
So there we have it, the top 3 biggest myths within the industry, how they begone and the truth that lies behind the medias scaremongering tactics.
Why they do this, i still don’t know. I could easily conclude that there is a hidden conspiracy theory where the government profits from such desperate individuals, but that would be a little far fetched. I mean, who would ever believe that allowing huge corporate entities to spread lies, so the masses purchase more products, so they pay more tax to the government… who would ever believe that! 😉
Daniel Wheeler – Director of Life Changing Fitness