Alison Hankins is passionate about health and wellness. She’s an avid athlete who enters every race with the goal of winning, and she brings this same spirit to her job at NuVal. She previously worked for Target Corp. and the U.S. Olympic Committee – Triathlon, staffed two Olympic Games, and was a division 1 swimmer at the University of Wisconsin. She lives in Colorado with her husband and four young children.
It’s that time of year when gyms are packed, people are looking to lose weight, and the latest and greatest fitness myths and rumors are passed between friends. On the treadmill last week I overheard two women convinced that if you wear Sketchers shoes you will lose more weight than if you wear regular old Nikes. Hmmm…
There are so many misconceptions about exercise and weight loss and it can all be so confusing. If only we had NuVal Scores for weight loss strategies– wouldn’t that be great?! Until that time comes, here are my top five fitness/weight loss myths and the truths behind them:
- Ab exercises will get rid of belly fat. You can do sit-ups all day long and still not end up with a six pack. Why? Because you can’t pick and choose where you’d like to lose fat. Crunches strengthen your stomach muscles, but won’t magically melt away the body fat specifically in that area. The best way to get visibly toned abs is to reduce your overall body fat through exercise and a healthy diet.
- You need to eat more protein. There are lots of guys at my gym who seem to spend as much time chugging their protein drinks as they do working out. And, while athletes need more protein than non-athletes, the vast majority of Americans meet their daily protein requirements without even trying, especially if you’re a healthy eater who consumes things like low fat milk, eggs, lean meat, fish, yogurt, nuts and beans. Extra protein beyond what’s needed is just extra calories.
- If you’re not working up a sweat, you’re not working hard enough. I’m a member of a Mothers of Multiples group (moms of twins) and the most common complaint about weight loss is not having enough time to work out. As I can attest, we moms of twins certainly have our hands full, but how can we afford not to work out? It’s my daily stress reliever. How about vacuuming, taking a walk, or doing 3 short 10 minute workouts at home throughout the day? They’re all great ways to fit in a workout without breaking a sweat.
- An energy bar is a good substitute for a meal. The average NuVal Score for energy bars and granola bars is 22. Most bars are highly processed and packed with sugar. I admit that I love the occasional energy bar, like Clif Bar’s Blueberry Crisp Bar (NuVal Score 28), but I think of them as a treat. No energy bar can compete with a plain old salad.
- Lifting weights will make you look bulky. I hear this one a lot. The truth is strength training will help you lose weight faster and keep it off in the long run. And, unless you’re doing extreme lifting, you’re not going to bulk up. Instead, you’ll build lean muscle mass, which is a good thing. The more lean muscle you have, the faster your resting metabolic rate and the more body fat you’ll burn throughout the day.
So, as you head off to do your Fitness Friday workout, stick to the basics: a healthy diet, weight training and cardio. Live by this plan, and you’ll get fit–even if you’re wearing plain old Nikes.
Tune in next Friday for a Fitness Friday giveaway for one lucky reader!
While some of the writers of this blog are registered dietitians, the advice given on this blog should not replace that of a trained physician. NuVal is a system designed to lead customers to the most nutritious food choices. It is not a diet or weight-loss plan. Before starting a diet, you should always consult your personal physician. The opinions expressed in this blog are the opinions of the writers and not necessarily the opinions of NuVal LLC.
Posted in: Uncategorized