Will cardio burn muscle?
FIT TIP: To put it simply… NO!
High intensity cardio will not burn muscle for 99% of the population! In fact, programs incorporating high intensity cardio work incredibly well with weights training.
There are 4 states we want the body to achieve: fit, strong, flexible and relaxed. Many regular gym users will focus on just the one: strong. Ignoring the full 4 states will cause issues for your body, but there is a common misconception about cardio that bodybuilders have held for years.
If you are a professional bodybuilder with less than 6% body fat, AND you are not eating carbs, your body may convert protein from the food you eat into energy for fuel, rather than repair and maintain muscle tissue. But if you don’t meet both these conditions, you have nothing to worry about!
The fear is often based around the fact that cardio will help to remove fat from the body. Fat is 3x the size of muscle, so as the fat disappears, the body will visibly shrink. Many bodybuilders have worked hard for months or years to ‘bulk up’ and to begin to shrink is a horrible thought!!
If your goal is to get as big as possible, which will include fat as well as muscle, then by all means stay away from cardio.
If you’d rather just look ‘buff’, get a 6-pack, and have all those lean hard muscles on show, then cardio is a recommended addition to your exercise regime… and will provide the ‘fit’ state for your body as well
Low Carb High Fat nutrition, does it work?
FIT TIP: Do you want to eat real food (as much as you like) and improve your health and weight? It may sound too good to be true, but LCHF (Low Carb, High Fat) has proof from modern science that it works.
There is no weighing your food, no counting, no bizarre “meal replacements,” no pills. There is just real food and common sense.
A LCHF diet means you eat less carbohydrates and a higher proportion of fat. Most importantly you minimize your intake of sugar and starches. You can eat other delicious foods until you are satisfied – and still lose weight.
A number of recent scientific studies shows that LCHF makes it easier both to lose weight and to control your blood sugar. And that’s just the beginning, the list of benefits is massive.
- Eat: Meat, fish, eggs, nuts, vegetables growing above ground and natural fats (like butter).
- Avoid: Sugar and starchy foods (like rice and potatoes) and eliminate wheat (bread, pasta, crackers etc).
Eat when you’re hungry until you are satisfied. It’s that simple. You do not need to count calories or weigh your food. And throw away any industrially produced low fat products.
So how does an LCHF nutrition plan work? Carbs are broken down into glucose for energy, which requires insulin to transport to the cells of the body. Too much insulin flying around the body can lead to insulin resistance, and your stomach will become inflamed and you will begin to store fat viscerally around the stomach and trunk. Fat is broken down into ketones, which is a perfectly viable energy for the body but without the need for insulin to transport it, and therefore a much healthier and thinner stomach!!
Seriously, try it for 2 weeks and you’ll notice the difference
The problem with very low carb diets
FIT TIP: Removing carbs from the diet has been linked to fast weight loss, with advocates assuming therefore that all carbs are fattening and the enemy of weight loss. This has some partial truth:
Eating carbohydrates — especially highly processed ones like white bread and white rice — quickly boosts blood sugar, which triggers an outpouring of insulin from the pancreas. That surge of insulin can rapidly drop blood sugar, causing more hunger. Low-carb proponents claim that people who eat a lot of carbs take in extra calories and gain weight. Limiting carbs in favor of protein and fat is supposed to prevent the insulin surge and make you feel full longer.
The problem lies here. To make up for the lack of carbs in the diet, the body mobilises its own carbohydrate stores from liver and muscle tissue. In the process, the body also mobilises water, meaning that the early pounds shed are water weight. The result is rapid weight loss, but after a few months, weight loss tends to slow and reverse, just as happens with other diets.
Many heart foundations caution people against following the Atkins diet (in particular) because it is too high in saturated fat, which can be hard on the heart, kidneys, and bones. The lack of carb-rich fruits and vegetables is also not ideal, because eating these foods tends to lower the risk of stroke, dementia, and certain cancers. The South Beach and other, less restrictive low-carbohydrate diets offer a more reasonable approach.
The main issue with carbs is that they are not all created equal. Highly refined sugary products are carbs with no nutritional value and very high in calories. Fruit and vegetables are carbs with a huge vitamin and mineral component, and low in calories.
The lesson here? Don’t remove carbs, our body needs them! Just remove the processed ones, and lower the percentage of carbs consumed during the day