Getting and staying fit can be difficult in modern times, and all the lies, misinformation, and fitness myths out there make it a whole lot harder. Luckily, with years of research and experience to bring to the table, MasculON knows the truth, and we want to share it with you.
Each section first questions a fitness MYTH, then explains the TRUTH.
Keep in mind that breaking misconceptions (especially those held and repeated for years) requires a lot of information and an open-minded reader. Interestingly, I’d bet you have never asked for any evidence to back up these common, incorrect statements – but it will certainly require evidence to change your mind. Amazing how the brain works.
1. Does Eating Fat Make You Fat? Is Eating Fat Unhealthy?
Most people have heard that dietary fat will make you obese and “clog your arteries,” causing you to drop dead of a heart attack at an early age (and then roll since you’re so round). This idea was popularized by one study (called The Seven Countries Study) first reported on in 1963. The lead researcher was a man named Ancel Keys, who rose to scientific prominence studying fish breathing (seriously). It turns out that the study data was poorly collected, misinterpreted, and maybe even intentionally obscured. Towards the end of his life, Keys even admitted that cholesterol doesn’t cause heart disease.
The truth is that natural fat and cholesterol are plenty healthy, and in fact necessary for optimal health. No doubt you have heard of testosterone – the androgenic hormone that makes men masculine. Testosterone is one of the largest physiological differences between men and women; we produce, on average, 20 times more of the stuff than women do. What you likely don’t know is that Testosterone is created in the body from cholesterol. Our bodies need cholesterol to produce it. So quite literally, not getting enough cholesterol makes you less of a man.
Cholesterol is also needed to synthesize Vitamin D, which plays a role in nearly every biological process in the body. Low Vitamin D levels are correlated with weak immune systems, poor stress response, low testosterone, heart disease, obesity, and depression. Without adequate cholesterol, you can’t synthesize enough Vitamin D. So without enough cholesterol, not only are you less of a man, but you’re more likely to become sick, fat, and sad.
The bottom line is that you should eat the fat and cholesterol found in natural, whole foods like meat and eggs, but avoid man-made fat like vegetable oil. Yes, this means that butter is healthier than margarine.
2. How to Count Calories. Is Counting Calories Even Helpful?
Plates, bowls, and forks make eating much more convenient. Calculators, however, do not. Food is not math. Evidence shows that calorie counts for packaged and fast food are often inaccurate, and even if you do know exactly what you’re taking in, you don’t know how you’re using those calories anyway. 300 calories of protein will do something very different in someone who recently exercised than in a life-long couch potato.
(You’ll understand this much better if you read our Pillar Article on Hyperpalatability)
Research has shown that many modern hyper-palatable food products (think flaming-hot Cheetos) derail your body’s natural ability to control food intake and calorie expenditure. Amazingly, these man-made foods are engineered to be so tasty that not only do you eat way too much, your body actually reduces the amount of energy you use to make sure you gain fat. One of the best indicators of whether a meal is healthy is how it makes you feel afterward – do you feel listless, tired, bloated, and lazy – or do you feel nourished and recharged? Healthy food makes you feel better.
The bottom line is that calorie counting is useless and stressful, and there is absolutely no reason to do it. If you’re eating the right foods, your brain will naturally regulate how much you eat.
3. Are Egg Yolks Unhealthy? Are Egg Whites Healthier?
Since the low-fat craze of the 80s and 90s, “egg-white” anything has been viewed by the general public as healthy. This is simply not true. The yolk contains all the DNA and nutrition needed to make a healthy growing baby chick. The white is simply an anti-microbial protection shield to prevent infections.
Let’s take a look at the nutritional content of one egg, courtesy of FitDay:
As you can see, egg yolks are veritable nutritional powerhouses. Especially impressive is the amount of vitamin B-12, a nutrient only found in animal foods. Not listed in this chart is a very important nutrient called choline. Studies have shown that as many as 90% of Americans are choline-deficient, which can cause issues with brain development and maintenance. Egg yolks are good for your brain. Beyond that, a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association examining egg consumption directly suggested that eating yolks regularly can reduce heart attacks, blood clots, and strokes. Nutrients found in the yolk are also linked to maintenance of muscle mass and eye health.
The yolk has all the stuff that’s good for you, and as we learned above, natural fat and cholesterol are necessary for good health and masculinity. Now you can eat the yolks when your girlfriend gets egg white facials.
4. How to Get a Six Pack. Six-Pack Abs Workouts. Are Crunches and Sit-Ups Effective?
We’ve all seen countless late night infomercials promising an easy six-pack with one exercise or workout contraption. A six-pack can be had with very little exercise, as we’ll learn below – but abdominal exercises do not help burn the fat that’s covering most of our country’s abs.
It’s standard industry knowledge that “core strength” is incredibly valuable for just about any athletic endeavor. In fact, it’s so important that even standing up requires fairly developed abdominal muscles. If you can stand-up without losing your balance, you have a six-pack. If you can’t see it in the mirror, it’s because that perfect six-pack is covered with fat. The trick to having a beach-ready washboard is not strengthening your abs – it’s all about burning off that fat keeping your muscle hidden.
Exercise can be great for losing fat and staying healthy. Unfortunately, spot-reducing does not work. Sit-ups and crunches serve to strengthen your abdominals, but they don’t burn stomach fat any more than any non-abdominal exercise. Sit-ups and crunches are not a good way to get a six-pack. Neither are fancy contraptions like ab wheels and sit-up rockers. Save yourself the three easy payments of $29.95 and learn how to workout effectively to build six-pack abs.
4.5. Does Getting Six-Pack Abs Require Lots of Exercise?
Whether it’s to sell you fancy health food products or more gym memberships, there’s a lot of money to be made in keeping you from learning how to get a six-pack. It’s the holy grail of male physique, and once you’ve learned the surprisingly simple approach for obtaining and maintaining a six-pack, you won’t be very interested in buying all that crap they’re selling.
As we learned earlier, if you can stand up, you already have a six-pack. It’s just hidden under layers of fat. The best way to dispose of that fat is through proper diet. There’s an old saying in the bodybuilder world, “a six-pack is made in the kitchen.” Proper exercise helps, but diet is the most important piece of the puzzle.
In fact, most men could probably already tell you the basics of six-pack ownership: eat right and exercise. Unfortunately, as this list of myths shows, there is a lot of misinformation out there as to what “eat right” means, and lots of bad exercise advice. As we continue, we’ll explain exactly what the truth is about optimal exercise and nutrition.
The remaining 6 Fitness Myths (+1 bonus fitness myth) are only available in Lesson#1 of the FREE MasculON Fitness Email Course.
Read the Rest of the 10 Fitness Myths Article Now!
Learn the following:
- Proper Diet for Six-Pack Abs
- How to Get Six-Pack Abs Fast
- Is White Rice Healthier Than Brown?
- Should You Get a Personal Trainer?
- A Better Way to Burn Fat Than “Cardio”
- Why “Everything in Moderation” is Terrible Advice
- Is Breakfast Really the Most Important Meal?
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