What’s up team!
I wanted to write another article this week busting some common fitness/nutrition myths.
There’s never a bad time for myth busting. Right?
Myth 1: You need to consume 1g-1.5g of protein per POUND of body weight each day
There is no doubt that you have probably heard from a gym bro or someone who “knows nutrition” that you should consume 1g-1.5g of protein/pound of body weight every day. Well, according to most nutrition textbooks the daily recommendation for protein intake is 0.8g per KILOGRAM of body weight each day.
I used to be a gym bro too by the way, so I am just as guilty as any. But I am changing my ways, slowly but surely.
Here is an example of what the difference is in the Bro recommendation and what Science says. For easy math we will use a 150lb person:
- Science based on the Average Joe – 0.8g/kg
150/2.2 = 68.18kg (pounds to kg)
68.18kg x 0.8g = 54.55g of protein per day
- Bro Rec A – 1g/lb
150lb x 1g = 150g of protein per day
- Bro Rec B – 1.5g/lb
150lb x 1.5g = 225g of protein per day
I don’t know about you, but, that disparity is pretty dang big! I wanted to get more information on the topic and luckily my wife is studying to be a dietitian right now and is covering protein in her advanced nutrition class.
How convenient for me!
She asked her instructor, Jason Stevens who graduated with his Bachelors and Masters in Dietetics from Oklahoma University and came to NSU after 5 years in the clinical field at Cancer Treatment Centers of America, about protein intake for me since I workout with moderate to high intensity 4-5 days per week, and train clients for 4-6 hours per day in which I am very active as well.
His answer was that I could get away with 1/kg of body weight. Still, that’s a huge difference less than 50% of the bro rec for protein intake.
To take the topic even further I tweeted the Director of Sports Nutrition for Oklahoma Athletics, Tiffany Byrd, the following:
Let’s be honest – not many of us are grinding on the level of a high-profile Division 1 football player. Even at the HIGHEST recommendation that still puts the max protein about 25% less than the Bro Rec of 1g/lb.
Another point to take from Tiffany’s response as well as my wife’s instructor is that the consumed protein should come from whole foods/complete proteins (This is protein that contains all essential amino acids, which are a must have in your diet.) before supplementing with any protein powders/bars.
One exception to the protein debate can be when you are in a pretty serious energy/caloric deficit to reduce fat mass. Increasing protein intake substantially (2-3x the recommended .8g/kg) can help prevent muscle loss (retaining fat free mass i.e FFM) and also helps with satiety.
Here is a list of complete and incomplete proteins:
And while we are on the topic of protein and the amount you should have per day I think it will be useful to post what serving sizes of protein look like and what their protein content is. Seeing it always seems to help me. Visuals are always key to me understanding something.
Myth 2: Cardio/Interval Training will offset a lackluster diet
I hate to break it to you — but no amount of cardio will help you outrun bad nutrition habits.
Will you burn more calories on the treadmill than the guy eating Lay’s on the couch? Yes.
But, if his waist is 44” and yours is 42” are you even winning that battle?
Check out this infographic from Women’s Health:
Don’t freak out on me just yet, I am not saying you can never have a treat. That would be unrealistic and hypocritical of me. I treat myself to something that may be considered “bad” 1-2x/week.
But, What I AM saying is that unless your nutrition is in check 80% of the time you will run out of hours in the day before you can burn off the calories if you eat poorly on a regular basis.
If you have one “bad” meal — get back on track and eat well for the next one. Don’t let one mistake turn into a cascade of bad decisions because you think the day or week is ruined. The only way you lose is if you give up.
Success isn’t a straight line to the top. I sent this to a client today and it is so very true.
Myth 3: You can’t lose body fat while simultaneously gaining strength & muscle
This is one of the most frustrating fitness myths in my opinion. The ones who claim it is not possible are normally those who would be considered advanced lifters who have 3-5+ years’ experience in the gym and are already at their personal goal physique. While it is true that doing both is hard, by no means is it impossible.
This is especially true in novice to intermediate athletes/exercisers.
Here are a couple of real life examples of fat loss and strength gain:
My wife, who had never exercised regularly before wanted to drop her baby weight. She came in and had zero muscle tone and was lacking in strength. I had her using density training 3x/week for 30-40 minutes and when she had dropped 30+lbs she had doubled her weights used or more in almost every exercise.
Somethings gotta give!
(Her abs are even better now — sigh, I’m jealous. Ugh)
Travis had already lost a crazy amount of weight, but, he came to me because he wanted to continue the weight loss while working on strength and gaining muscle so when he got to his goal he wasn’t left with an exuberant amount of loose skin.
Sometimes you just need to set the record straight.
If you have any questions/concerns/rebuttals comment below or shoot me an email -> [email protected]!