Training Myth: Caffeine Prevents Fat Burning
In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Caffeine increases the amount of fat that gets liberated from the fat cells, allowing it to be more readily burned for fuel. There’s nothing wrong with having a morning cup of Joe, but to maximize caffeine’s fat-burning effects, take it about an hour before you work out. Research shows this can make you stronger in the gym and lessen muscle pain during your training – both of which will allow you to work out harder.
But, of course, calories count too. If you’re overeating, don’t expect caffeine to make you leaner, especially if you’re adding calories from sugar or half-and-half. Drink coffee black and stay away from the lattes and mochas!
Training Myth: Protein is For Weight Gain, Not Weight Loss
As body fat begins to be burned, the body starts to rely on an alternative source of energy – protein. It’s at this point that you need to significantly increase your protein intake or else your body will turn to its own muscle tissue for energy. Start losing muscle tissue and your metabolism will drop sharply. And when your metabolism drops, fat-burning decreases too, which undermines the whole point of being on a leaning-out diet.
When getting lean is the goal, women should aim for 0.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight a day, while men should be consuming 1 gram per pound. To give you a comparison, a proper portion of chicken breast (4 oz) contains about 30 grams of protein. So keep your metabolism revving by getting enough protein and you’ll create a lean, mean calorie-burning machine!
Training Myth: Skip Breakfast to Lose Weight
One of the biggest nutrition training myths people believe is they think they can cut calories from their diet – and lose weight – by skipping breakfast. BIG MISTAKE! Without a doubt,
But more importantly, when you wake up hungry and skip breakfast, levels of the protein hormone leptin, which regulates appetite and metabolism, can change, thus encouraging the body to hold onto its fat. Skipping breakfast also facilitates a catabolic (lean muscle wasting) state, which also causes the metabolism to slow.bypassing breakfast is violating one of the golden rules of getting in shape. Think about it: you’ve been sleeping for seven or eight hours, which basically means you’ve been fasting.
So after you wake up, make sure you get your adequate protein and carbs. Even if you’re in a rush, you’ve got time for a bowl of oatmeal, a protein shake or at the very least, a glass of milk.
Training Myth: Fats Shouldn’t Be in Your Diet
Fat has gotten a bad rap because of its high caloric content per gram, however, there are many benefits of having fats in your diet.
There’s only one type of fat you want to avoid at all costs: trans fat. This man-made fat is not only bad for your health, but it can increase lean muscle breakdown and fat storage. The fact is, you need about 20-30% of your total calories from fats, as research shows active people with lower fat intake have lower testosterone and energy levels.
So be sure to consume monounsaturated and omega-3 fats, with foods such as avocados, nuts, olive oil, salmon and trout. The reason? These fats aren’t readily stored as body fat, they are easily burned for fuel during exercise and they stimulate fat burning.
Mark Broadfoot, Apprentice Trainer