the blog

Tell me lies, tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies!

April 15, 2021

From our Friends

I think the most under-valued part of being a kinesiologist is helping people navigate the myriad of health information out in the cyber-world (and in the “grapevine”). Many of my clients come to me with questions and confusion about how to do a home workout, how to diet properly, how to practice good overall fitness, and even how and when to stretch! The internet can be an enormously useful tool or a depressing vortex of half-truths and anecdotes. Anyone can take an idea – type it into the search bar – and come up with 51,500,000 search results in under 0.66 seconds. Now that’s crazy! The worst part is, you have no idea what’s true and what’s not. So, with that in mind, I feel it is necessary to answer some of the big health questions out there and debunk parts of the internet:

What’s the best diet?

The answer to this one is actually plain and simple: the best diet for you is the one you are going to stick to. There is not a single diet out there that is considered ‘better’ than another. The only thing all diets have in common is “calorie deficit.” Losing weight is about calories in versus calories out. Burn more calories than you consume, and you will lose weight. Plain and simple. Anybody that says otherwise is selling something.

What’s intuitive eating and can I do it?

Intuitive eating is about listening to your body. It takes time, practice, and focus but – yes, you can do it. It means you eat when you feel hungry and you eat foods based on what your body is telling you it needs. Recognizing these signs and messages is the hardest part, but it can be done. Some people do it when they want to lose weight and hate calorie counting, others do it to help maintain their weight.

Should I stretch before my workout?

You should definitely warm-up before your workout – but static stretching beforehand can cause unwanted injury. A strength and conditioning coach I once knew used the analogy that statically stretching cold muscles is like trying to flex dry spaghetti noodles before you boil them; they are solid, breakable, fragile, and capable of being broken in half. Doing a proper warm-up with some cardio and dynamic stretches properly prepares the muscles to do the hard work you’re going to ask them to do. Static stretching can be reserved for after the workout once you are warm and sweaty.

Do muscles turn into fat if you don’t use them?

No. They are two completely different tissues. I find that the confusion comes from not recognizing that if you’ve been in a calorie surplus and then stop exercising, you will put on weight. The confusion comes from thinking that this is muscle tissue becoming fat tissue – this is not the case; it’s just excess calories / carbohydrates being stored as fat.

How do I get abs (like a 6-pack)?

As my university professor used to say: abs are made in the kitchen! This means that if you want abs, you must be lean enough (which happens through calorie deficit), and then work towards building ab muscle the same way you build other muscles. It takes time and dedication – but it can be done!

What do you think about intermittent fasting?

I think that if you’ve never tried intermittent fasting and want to, then you should (unless you’re diabetic, in which case I would not recommend it). Some people love it, and some people hate it. It all depends on your body and when you feel hungry, as well as your lifestyle around traditional eating times.

Which cardio machine do you recommend for home use?

It depends. The answer is whichever machine you like and are going to use the most. If you want to do cardio at home, then pick one you know you will enjoy and would get a lot of use out of. Don’t just buy a Peloton because it’s “the thing to buy” right now. If you love it and use it, then the investment is probably worth it.

Does foam rolling work?

Again, it depends. If you think foam rolling works or you think it’s valuable, then it works for you. If you don’t think it works, then try something else. The science doesn’t back up foam rolling as a “proven” method for relieving muscle soreness – however – the mind is a strong tool. Personally, I still foam roll even though I know the science doesn’t strongly suggest that it works.

Find the joy, be kind, and we’ll chat again soon.



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