Learning Fitness Hurts My Brain

New year, new you, etc. You’re trying. You’re trying to do better, so that means you’re trying to make an effort to read up on all this fitness stuff.

But it’s hard. For one thing, it seems like everything contradicts itself.

That’s kind of the problem with research itself. Results can always be skewed and left to the interpreter’s choice (e.g. 2 out of 5 doctors recommend X– doesn’t that mean 3 out of 5 doctors don’t recommend X?).

One such article adding to the confusion is this: The Case Against Sugar. It’s very long. It’s for the research porn enthusiasts. I made it about halfway through before giving up.

If you’re in the same boat after trying to give due diligence to reading, let’s just tackle (in general) the body’s digestive mechanics.

Shedding Fat

When people work out, they’re optimistically thinking that they are:

  1. burning off fat
  2. building muscle

Except, the body– as efficient as it tries to be– can’t narrow it down quite like that.

This is why doing 1,000 crunches won’t guarantee a six pack. The intention to build more muscle is a good approach. More muscle mass on your body, the more calories you burn even when sedentary. The more muscle mass on your body, the less fat you’re hoping to have.

Except, when you’re in the gym, you’re not technically building muscle. You’re breaking muscle down.

Growing Muscle

Workouts are actually a very masochistic/bullying type of signaling mechanism to your body. When you do a bicep curl and work your way to exhausting that muscle, the brain is receiving the message, “Wow, you weak. I guess this is worth keeping an eye on.”

When you get the right nutrition and rest, it’s during sleep that the muscle recovers and builds.

As much as we want to condition the body to target fat, it’s always more energy efficient for the body to burn muscle for energy. Working out and balancing your nutrition just slows down that muscle burning process– and gives more opportunity to possibly burn fat.

There’s not really a magic switch to burn just fat (some muscle is always going to end up burned).

Whew, I’m going to pause here because I think I hit information overload 6 paragraphs ago. Will follow up with another post later. In the meantime, let us know– did this clear up anything for ya?

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