Thursday, April 23, 2009

Don't Believe the Health Hype. Five Fallacies Debunked

A change of pace from Dumb Little Man with commentary by Eutychus...

1. I should exercise in my “fat burning zone.”
A special zone that allows me to burn more fat? Perfect! So you accelerate, check your heart rate, then decelerate and peddle cautiously to ensure you never leave the fat burning zone.According to Michael Brazeal, Director of Fitness and Exercise Physiologist at the California Health and Longevity Institute at the Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village, California, you’ve been misled.
If my heart is beating at all during exercise I figure I''m doing pretty well. No thoughts of "fat burning zones" ever darken my minds door.

2. If I focus on abdominal exercises, I will lose inches off of my waistline.
Remember the video of the woman in the pink leotard trying to trim her waist by being violently jiggled by a vibrating belt machine? Guess what? It didn’t work then and it doesn’t work now.
I'm sorry the image of the jiggled woman in a pink leotard got me way off track here..

3. If I do too much weight training, I’m going to look like Schwarzenegger.
Many people like having a toned body, but don’t want a bulky one. As a result, we are suspicious of weight training, scared that the end result will be an overly muscled, Amazonian physique ideal for winning body building competitions. According to Brazeal, that’s a fallacy. “Due to hormonal differences, very few people are capable of achieving exaggerated muscle hypertrophy which is an increase in muscle mass caused by resistance training. Unless you are on some type of supplement, you are not going to bulk up,” says Brazeal. This is a real relief for me as this is the real reason I avoid the gym. (ahem) That and the fact that my dad died at 55 while jogging... but I digress.

4. If I eat meals from the low calorie menu at a restaurant, I’m being responsible.
Just as decadent chocolate desserts tempt us, so do the words guiltless, low fat, low calorie, and heart healthy when they’re printed on the menus at our favorite restaurants. But relinquishing control of what you eat is always suspect no matter how convincing the marketing campaign. I can honestly say I have never been tempted by the words guiltless, low fat, low calorie and heart healthy. Those words might as well be tasteless, boring and "why would I come to a restaurant and eat that." Low fat?- that's like washing your feet with your socks on.

5. If I want to lose weight, I can’t go wrong by eating lots of salads.
The salad myth is wrong for two reasons: salads can be just as high in calories and fat as any other meal (especially when ordered at a restaurant) and your body can feel deprived when it doesn’t receive meals that incorporate all three major food groups. This can cause you to munch relentlessly later on. Two words- "Salad shooter"- nuff said.

The entire article and the rest of the reasons can be found here. (without my commentary)


Euripides said...

I suppose this sort of thing really leaves out the four food groups: pizza, ice cream, steak and chocolate. Ah well.

eutychus said...

6. pizza, ice cream, steak and chocolate are mandatory food groups.