Home and Table Magazine: Greater Philadelphia Edition Holiday 2017 - Page 39

First, let’s talk nutrition. Carbs make you fat. False! Carbohydrates do not make you fat any more than eating fat makes you fat (common belief in the 80s and 90s) or protein makes you fat. What makes you fat is eating more calories than you burn off in a day. Too many calories (from any macronutrient) will be stored as fat. Sugar is poison. False! Sugar in any form (this includes white, high fructose corn syrup, agave, honey, etc), in and of itself, is not harmful (there is no scientific research to back that claim up). It is, however, not good for you in the sense that it adds to your daily calories without adding nutritional value. Too much sugar can lead to weight gain or to malnutrition and their associated health risks. Cleanses or detoxes are a great way to lose weight and get healthy. False! Cleaning and removing any toxins from the body is the job of your liver and kidneys. In spite of what someone promoting their particular product or regime may say, no diet has ever been shown to aid in that. You can lose weight on them because of their severe calorie reduction, but, according to the National Institutes of Health, they can also pose health hazards. Eating local is healthier for you. Maybe. If you’re thinking local is automatically organic, it isn’t necessarily. Some local farms may not follow the guidelines to be able to claim “organic”. If you’re thinking organic is healthier for you, it isn’t necessarily. Just because it’s not organic doesn’t mean it’s devoid nutrition (research shows that non-organic foods can be just as nutritious) or that they are laden with chemicals (although, if you choose organic, you know they’re not). Some definite benefits to eating local include: knowing where your food is coming from and being able to visit the site to see their farming practices for yourself, supporting your community’s farmers and alleviating pollution that’s caused by transporting produce over long distances. Now let’s address some of the exercise myths. Sweating means you’re burning fat. False! Sweating means that your body is warm and it is trying to cool itself down. The evapora- tion of sweat draws heat away from your body. You may sweat when you are working out if your body is overheating, however you are still burning calories even if you don’t sweat if you are working out in cold weather or in cool water. Lifting heavy weights builds muscle and lifting lighter weights gets you lean. False! There’s some great recent research that shows you can build muscle lifting with any weight load as long as you lift to the point of fatigue. What does happen when you lift heavier is that you will get stronger than when you lift lighter weights. Oh, and getting leaner happens when you lift, lighter or heavier, and manage your diet. Using free weights is the best way to lift. Well, not necessarily. You have to be careful of platitudes. Free weights (which includes barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, medicine balls, etc.) are indeed great workout tools. They offer resistance that also requires our bodies to stabilize and balance, much like in real life activities. However, so does using our bodyweight, weight machine cables and elastic tubing. While not requiring stability or balance, even regular weight machines can have their place in some individuals’ workouts. What is best for you to use depends on what you have available and what your specific goals are. Lifting weights is more effective for weight loss than cardio. True! To be more specific, high intensity weight lifting is more effec- tive. Long thought to be the king (or queen) of weight loss, cardio has lost its crown to weights. Research over the last decade is clear that a shorter, higher intensity work is better at burning calories (and ultimately fat) than steady paced cardio. That’s not to say you can’t lose weight walking, running or biking. You can. It’s just not going to be as effective as high intensity weight training. As stated previously, these are just a few of the many things you may hear about diet and exercise in the media. Getting misled by myths can slow progress or even be harmful to your health. Always make sure to get the facts. Good luck. Mark A. Nutting, CSCS*D, NSCA-CPT*D, ACSM HFD, ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist 2016 PFP Trainer of the Year Legacy Award  2009 NSCA Personal Trainer of the Year Author, The Business of Personal Training, Human Kinetics, coming Feb, 2018 Mark and his wife Heather are the owners of Jiva Fitness, 230 Ferry St, Easton, PA  39 homeandtablemagazine.com | HOLIDAY GUIDE 2017