My Doctor said, “Don’t worry about your weight, worry about your health.” That philosophy works for a skinny guy like him, In my case, I am healthy. All of my blood work comes back in the normal ranges. But I also carry almost forty pounds over the recommended weight for my somatotype. When I was young I was generally considered a mesomorph. People thought I had a natural tendency toward muscles. That idea rubbed off on my mental attitude and I began the long process of gaining weight. How might I paraphrase that old saying: Weight gain is not noticeable until it is too much to loose easily. I am not alone – many people are trying to find the formula for weight loss – and most of us will believe about anything that seems to make the process easier.
We stumbled on this video from Real-Life Makeover about weight loss myths. It is pretty good and worth sharing:
Here is the summary as presented by these fine folks:
Myth #1: Carbs are the Enemy
Maybe we can blame Dr. Atkins and other proponents of the low-carb diet craze for this one. Experts suggest that carbohydrates play a star role in keep you energized and your organs functioning properly. The carb bad rap should rest squarely on the shoulders of “white carbs” like white bread, white rice, and sugar. These refined carbs, dietitians suggest, are more likely to pack on the pounds. Stick with whole grains like whole wheat pasta and brown rice for a healthier diet.
Myth #2: Never Eat After 8PM
The habit of under-eating all day only to overdo it at dinner time is likely where this myth came from. Eating excess calories at any hour of the day will lead to weight gain. Just remember: It’s not when you eat, it’s what you eat.
Myth #3: It’s Not a Workout Unless You Sweat
A cardio workout that gets you huffing and puffing is vital for a healthy ticker, but that’s only half the picture. Low-impact workouts, like weight-lifting and yoga, might not leave you drenched in sweat, but they’re equally important to keeping your muscles strong and your body burning calories all day long. Work cardio and resistance training into your exercise regimen and you’ll be seeing the full picture of health.
Myth #4: Weight-Lifting Bulks You Up
Most women don’t have the necessary testosterone levels to transform them into the spitting image of Conan the Barbarian-era Arnold Schwarzenegger. But if you integrate weight-lifting into your workouts and find you’re getting a little too cut, switch to lighter weights and more reps.
Myth #5: Muscle Weighs More than Fat
Here’s the deal: a pound of muscle and a pound of fat weight exactly the same amount. A pound! The difference between muscle and fat is an issue of density and volume. Muscle is denser than fat and takes up less space in your body which can give you a leaner look overall.
If these ideas are myths – then why do they have so much traction in the world of human weight loss? My notion is that people chose the diet plans that they are willing to do – rather that what is really best. It goes something like this – I’ll cut out bread and pasta if I don’t have to walk or lift weights. Our natural tendency to look for the easier softer way guides our decision making process.
My own case is representative of some of these myths. I walk/jog three miles every day. I lift weights every third day. I have only lost about ten pounds – but I have lost two inches off my waist. I tell people that I have lost 25 pounds of fat and gained fifteen pounds of muscle – I don’t know if that is true – but it makes me feel better.
As for bulking up – wouldn’t that be a nice problem to have. I have more muscle definition in my legs and arms. Some people have even commented, but I am a long way from bulking up. My every third day weight lifting involves fourteen different upper body exercises. My leg workout is almost exclusively the walking/jogging component of my routine.
So if I have lost fat, gained muscle, cholesterol and triglycerides are good, blood pressure and pulse are good, what is the problem with a few extra pounds. I should note that I am in that class of people affectionately referred to as ‘Senior.’ The problem is in my hips and knees. I had major reconstructive knee surgery in 1983. It was back in the day when the Doctor cut a fifteen in slice around my knee and then stuck his fingers in there and moved everything around. Today my knee is strong – but it hurts. The video is right about one thing for sure – my knee does not care if it is carrying a pound of muscle or a pound of fat – a pint’s a pound the whole world round.
My doctor says my exercise routing is building stronger bones, adding muscle support to my joints, and generally giving me better posture. My shoulders should not slump when I move into that category of age called ‘elderly.’ But my knee hurts. The only control I have is to reduce the amount of weight my knee has to carry.
The important points of this post are in the mythology about weight loss. I think that Real Life Makeover is an honorable site with great information.