Monday, February 28, 2011

Woman Are Wrong About Fat Loss and Fitness

The Dirty Dozen 
Mistakes Women Make

 The female population has tremendous leverage in the marketplace. Anyone in advertising knows this. They spend most the money and make many of the day to day decisions. This is especially consistent in the area of fat loss and fitness. Advertisers realize that body image and obesity are very emotional issues and use sensationalism and emotionally based advertisements to trigger a response in consumers, particularly the female population.
Here are some issues that need to be put to rest.
1. Women are morbidly under muscled and they focus on weight. They need to focus on a healthy degree of leanness, and then getting as strong as possible. As we age, this is particularly important, since we lose lean body mass every decade. Simply maintaining or even increasing muscular body weight may be the most important tool to stay strong and healthy.
2. Women do too many aerobic workouts. They think jumping on the treadmill will solve all their problems. This is not an either/or situation. Walking, running, biking, skating, etc. are enjoyable activities. They are more efficient for burning calories than sitting on a 3000 dollar arm curl machine doing carefully controlled repetitions. However, there is ample bang-per-buck rewards from lifting weights and building strength in an appropriate manner. The concept of "weights for men, aerobics for women" is entirely without base.
3. Women don't do "big" exercises. They avoid squats, dead lifts, presses, rows, and other big pushes, pulls, and leg drive exercises. They instead focus on "toning", whatever that is, and isolating small chunks of flesh with the hopes of altering it's shape by some mystical means. Squatting will change your lower body and get you out of "Mom" jeans and into Brazilian ones faster than all those silly fitness magazine exercises combined.
4. Women don't train to get strong. If you saw them in a gym with big hair in 1985 chances are they are lifting the same weight today in 2011. This shows a fundamental lack of understanding about PROGRESSIVE resistance exercise.
5. Woman can't do the most fundamental body weight exercises. With the current infection of exercise A.D.D., people jump from one craze to another faster than Charlie Sheen looking for the restroom at the House of Blues. Mastery of the basics works in economics, ballet, fly fishing, and yes, exercise. Woman need to be able to do men's push ups, and pull ups. Don't pick up those dainty pink dumbbells until you can do a pull up. Remember there are only two reasons you can't do fundamental push ups/ pull ups. You are either too fat or too weak.
6. Women view passive flexibility as fitness. Quite often women view their yoga instructor or their dance instructor as being fit because of the extended range of motion surrounding their joints. This ease of motion translates in the uninformed as "being fit". Great ranges of motion require great strength to maintain integrity and create movement. It's a smoke and mirrors act. Flexibility is but one component of fitness and not the only one. A simple backstage tour of any ballet company will present itself with ballerinas relaxing with cigarettes in the most flexible of positions.
7. Women don't train their neck. That long thing that holds up your head. When it becomes weak and inflexible it can create headaches and makes you highly susceptible to injury. On top of that, the forward projection of the head due to driving posture and computer work is not the most attractive thing in the world. Generally speaking, an aging neck is second only to the mouth in terms of visual impact in our image conscious world.
8. Woman don't train their grip. One of the most fundamental and powerful tools is our hands that grasp and an opposable thumb. Use them wisely. Actually focus on picking up heavy stuff and challenging your grip.
Let's continue are list with some simple diet issues.
9. Woman don't eat enough good fat or adequate protein. The most satiating component of a diet is protein. The word actually means, "of first importance". One gram of protein per pound of body weight is recommended. This is essential to maintain muscle and bone mass and for other functions in the body. It will make any fat loss program more effective as well. The same thing goes for dietary fat. It's very concentrated so be careful with portion control, but adequate fish fat or Omega 3 fatty acid is one of the most important components in our bag of tricks. Other great sources for healthy fat is monounsaturated sources like olive oil, macadamia nuts and oil, avocados, and other nuts/seeds.
10. Women consume too many grains. I'm not in the "no grains" camp, but women frequently view light eating as couscous, pasta, rice, crackers, bread, and bagels. They need to be focusing on lean proteins, low fat dairy, vegetables, fruits and just enough grains as to not gain body fat. There are of course, people who should avoid grains all together, but that should be determined by a Gastroenterologist, and not Amazon's Pick of the Week Diet Book.
11. Women tend to avoid red meat. No one is suggesting that you should be eating 3 pounds of Ox tongue at a sitting. Lean, preferably grass fed, red meat is a great source of protein and iron. If you combine it with Vitamin C rich foods, you really get lots of bang for your buck.
12. Women consume too many supplements. They need a multi vitamin/mineral, fish oil, Vitamin D, and probably Calcium and Magnesium Citrate. Of course you won't build up your bones unless you pick up heavy stuff. Forget fat loss pills, cleansing pills, detox pills. They are junk at best and harmful at worse.

There you have it. The Dirty Dozen. Read them. Re-read them. Then apply them.