There’s a lot of misinformation, rumors and just plain bad advice surrounding fitness. Such as: “The penis shrinks from steroids.” Not true. But men’s natural testosterone & sperm levels can drop, resulting in some sac shrinking. Not penis shrinking. Or “eating fat makes you fat”. Also not true. Quality fats can be much more valuable to you as fuel than carbs, as they make you feel full and are great for healthy hair, skin and nails.
As someone who has been in the business my entire life, competed on a national level and represented companies such as Met-RX and Extreme Nutrition, I hope I can help to clear a few misconceptions about something everyone should be aware of and participating in. After all, we only get one body. The choices you made today will surely affect you tomorrow.
1. “I don’t want to get big or look manly, I just want to tone up.”
Good news, ladies! You can lift as much weight as you want and you will not get big. It’s physically impossible without testosterone, which we don’t produce enough of. The women you see on TV who are big have taken additional testosterone to achieve that look. All that will happen to YOU if you lift heavier is that you’ll tone up FASTER.
2. “I’m too tired/rushed to work out in the morning.
There’s really no point if I don’t do it first thing in the day, is there?”
As long as you’re fitting it in at some point in your day, you’re all good. There’s no rule that says working out first thing in the morning is an absolute, or even more beneficial than afternoon or evening workouts.
3. “Aren’t carbs bad?”
It depends on the carb. If you’re eating small (3oz) amounts of low glycemic quality carbs like oatmeal, rice & sweet potato with meals, then no. Most other carbs…yes. Humans were designed as “hunters & gatherers”. We are meant to primarily eat meat, fish, veggies, fruits, nuts. Not bread, pasta & cereal.
4. “I’m getting a crunch machine, so I’ll have abs soon.”
Not if they’re still covered in a layer of fat, you won’t. Abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym. If you want abs, you have to whittle down your midsection by doing cardio and eating cleaner. Getting your abs to show has nothing to do with crunches and everything to do with lowering your body fat.
5. “I’m always hungry at night, but I don’t want to eat because I’ll gain weight.”
Night time eating is more about WHAT you eat, not WHEN you eat. Protein is fine before bed. As a rule, you should stop eating starchy carbs (bread, potatoes, rice, pasta) after lunchtime and switch to proteins, fruits and veggie based meals. I can’t sleep if I’m hungry, so I’ve always eaten right before bed, usually a protein shake or some Greek yogurt/cottage cheese.
6. “If I drink water I’ll flush fat.”
Drinking water alone won’t make you thinner, but it can help. Here how it works: one pound is made up of 3500 calories. If you cut out all your drinks and replace them with water or calorie-free drinks like tea, you could feasibly cut 500 calories a day (or more!) from your diet. Multiply that by 7 days a week and you’ll cut 3500 calories a week. Or, in layman’s terms, you could lose 4 pounds a month without changing anything else.
I hope these help.
A final suggestion I’d give you is to invest in small plates, so you can cut back on portions without having to look at a lot of empty plate. It’s a visual trick that really does help. Most people eat far too many calories than they can use, so those extra calories get stored…as fat.