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Posted Jun 08 2011 12:00am
With Summer holidays almost here, all magazines are filled with nutrition articles that give you tips on how to get the 'best' beach body. Skimming through an article last night I got so pissed off I threw the magazine away. How do people came up with these 'diets' and ' tips'??? Most of them are written by people that have no degree and limited knowledge  on the subject and unfortunately most people believe what they read.  I've heard and read sooo many different things and theories and I must admit there was a time (before I started researching and reading so much on the subject) that I believed a few of them. I ve heard things from 'toasting bread makes it less fattening' to 'diet soda makes you fat because your body thinks it is sugar' and of course my favorite and most popular 'eating carbs after 7pm will make you fat'. So today I thought I 'd spend some time to 'bust' a few popular nutrition and bodybuilding myths!!

Myth no1: You can turn fat into muscles I really wish this was true! It would make things so much easier for everyone but unfortunately it is not. When you start working out, because your body is not used to exercise you might be able to burn fat and build muscles at the same time. But once your body gets used to working out then you can only do one of the two. If you want to gain muscle you will need to create a calorie surplus (i.e eat slighlty above your maintenance calories) and train hard with weights, if you want to lose fat you need to create a calorie deficit (eat below your maintenance calories), train hard with weights and do some cardio in order to add to the deficit. 
Myth no2: Protein shakes can cause liver damageWhat most people do not understand is that protein shakes are just food in powder form. The average protein shake serving has 20-25g of protein which is exactly the same as 3/4 of a small chicken breast.  Would eating a chicken breast after a workout cause liver damage? No! So why would a protein shake cause? There is evidence suggesting that a diet EXTREMELY high in protein could be toxic and could affect the liver, but our body can handle a lot of protein until it reaches those levels! Some bodybuilders can handle up to 600g of protein (30 scoops :o) per day without problem! 

Myth no3: If you don't have a protein shake immediately after your workout, your muscles wont grow! Wow! So what happens  if I forgot my shaker at home? Have I waisted an entire hour at the gym? Of course not! It is true that during a workout we deprive our body from nutrients so it is essential to have a good meal after a workout to replace those nutrients (and a protein shake is a good meal). However what is more important is getting enough protein (1-1.5g per pound), kcal and nutrients throughout the day. And this protein does not have to come from protein shakes. You can have chicken, cottage cheese, lean meats, fish, greek yogurt, beans etc.  This  is a good thread by Alan Aragon explaining the importance of meal timing. 
Myth no4: Eating Carbohydrates at night will be stored as fat Oh! So after about 7 pm our bodies stop using carbohydrates as fuel and stores them as fat??  Our body will only store macronutrients (i.e Carbohydrates, Protein, Fat) as fat if you do not use them as fuel. So if you are eating more calories than you body needs, regardless of where these calories came from ; carbohydrates, protein or fat they will be stored as fat. So why do people lose weight when they cut off carbs? Two simple reasons : 1) when someone decides to cut off carbs, they limit their food choices, having less choices, they are more likely to eat less food and therefore less calories. So they lose weight! 2) for every g of carbohydrate our body stores it also stores approximately 3 g of water. You cut of carbohydrates, you lose water. The scale will go down but it is just water weight (not fat) that will return once carbohydrates are reintroduced into the diet. What many people don't know is that carbohydrates have many-anticatabolic properties and can therefore be beneficial at night. In conclusion carbohydrates should not be restricted at night because what causes weight gain is calorie surplus. 
Myth no5: Low reps and higher weights build muscles...high reps and lower weights will make you cut When trying to cut, it all comes down to diet and cardio. If during your 'bulking' season you were lifting heavy and suddenly you start lifting less your body will assume that all the muscles you have built are now unnecessary and will eventually 'drop' them. 
Myth no6: Doing 10000 abs every day will get you a 6-pack
This statement couldn't be more wrong!! First of all by doing crunches you just built or strengthen your abdominal muscles. If fat is still covering your abs then not only will you not get  your desired 6pack but you will end up looking more bloated! A trainer once told me that abs are not made in the gym but in the kitchen. In order to get a 6pack you need to have a low fat percentage, and the key to a low fat percentage is diet. Additionally working out your abs every single day will do you no good. You will end up overtraining them, leave no time for recovery and your muscles wont grow. What most people do not understand is that abdominal muscles are just like any other type of muscles. Would you train your biceps 2 days in a row? Like most people, I used to train my abs after every gym session and was expecting to get results. After a year and 100000000 crunches the results were minimal! Since I ve started working out my abs once or twice a week they are starting to come out nicely:)

WOW! this post came out longer than i expected! Hope you enjoy it! Feel free to leave comments :)

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