Fat after 30 & other myths

Something I take for granted is that there is soo much misunderstandings about just about everything – health, diets, weight loss, exercise, raw foods, etc.. Its very common for someone to have a question and find two radically different answers to it. I’m going to dispel some of the most common myths around:
Myth #1 ~  Muscle weighs more than fat – Let me ask you to do one thing – repeat that over and over again until it does NOT make sense! How can muscle weigh more than fat?? A pound is a pound, right?  You’ve heard the old adage about which weighs more a lb of feathers or a lb of bricks – neither weighs more – the same as muscle and fat!  This brings up yet another myth that muscle will turn into fat. O M G – that one is the most insane; how exactly can two different fibers in the body morph into each other?? And if that was the case, why doesn’t fat ever turn to muscle?? I believe this myth largely came to be due to the structure of muscle, which is dense & hard;  in effect stronger in comparison to fat which is soft, squishy, looser; so hypothetically if you were to take out a portion of fat and replace it with muscle you would in fact be able to fit more muscle in that area due in part to its denseness – but don’t mistake it for weighing more or coming to be due to some great metamorphosis of the fat that turned it into muscle! Ohhh if it was that easy! Now, lets be clear, the more muscle you have the leaner you will look and the less fat you’ll naturally have as muscle burns calories, which will reduce fat!
Myth #2 ~ As we age (specifically women) our metabolism slows down – Ok Ladies, sit tight for this one – I’ll let you in on a secret – there is NO such thing as metabolism!!! Is it something that you go to your doctor and ask to be taken out? Does it cause disease or health issues similiar to the heart, liver, kidneys, etc?  NO – the reason being is that the “metabolism” is NOT an organ!  It is what has been a “get out of jail card” for doctors instead of dealing with issues they will tell you – “No, you’re ok – as you age your metabolism just slows” What has become to be known as the “metabolism” is actually a series of organs that control metabolic processes in the body and makes up the endocrine system. There are 7 in total: Thyroid, Adrenals, Pineal, Pancreas, Ovaries, Thymus and Pituitary; each one has a specific purpose and typically if one slows down or malfunctions, it will pull the other ones down.  The good news is that each one can be strengthened and balanced in order to run at peak performance and that means – no weight gain with age!
Myth #3 ~ Cutting Carbs helps with weight loss – IN reality – cutting out anything you consume in excess result in weight loss! Carbs are NOT the evil-doers that protein promoting diets claim them to be.  It is the choice of carbs chosen.  Processed food, junk foods, sugary foods (all CARBS) will increase weight so of course if you were to eliminate them you’d lose.  BUT this is a case of don’t throw out the “baby with the bathwater” ~ All carbs aren’t bad, our brains in fact run on glucose that comes from carbs!!! Choose the right ones and you’ll be good to go.
Myth #4 ~ Vegetarians eat fish – Ohh this one is a biggie, so much confusion over the different terminology of eating habits.  Nothing distresses me more to see restaurant menu’s with “vegetarian entrees” that include Pasta in a cream sauce with shrimp or Salmon as the main dish! Or how many “vegetarians” have I met that eat cheese sandwiches!  Vegetarians do not eat dairy {including cheese, milk, eggs, yogurt or whey protein as whey is from dairy!}, meats, poultry and fish; they will typically consume tofu or other beans as their protein source. A balanced vegetarian diet should include unprocessed foods such as whole grains, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and fruit.
Myth # 5 ~ Vegetarians & Vegans have nutritional deficiencies –This has got to be the biggest fallacy ever!  There is NOTHING  in meat or dairy products that can not be found in vegetarian/vegan items.  In general those following a non meat eating way of living are more health conscious; while “junk” vegetarian foods exist, more and more people are shunning soy in favor of unprocessed healthy vegetarian foods.  Nutrients often sited as being lacking in vegetarian/vegan diets are protein, iron, calcium & b12; all of which can easily be found abundantly in  foods such as Hemp Seeds, Spirulina, Chia seeds, sea vegetables„ beans & nuts/seeds and an array of green leafy vegetables such as kale, chard & spinach. More important to note is vegetarian sources of protein are more easily assimilated by our bodies – which means our body absorbs them better!
Myth # 6 ~ More is better! –  The typical thinking goes something like this – if a small amount of something works, 5x’s that must work even better.  This applies to  everything from Exercise to Water consumption – moderation is key!!! Rarely is this one true I can’t think of one example where an excess of something is actually beneficial. I myself suffered for years the many ill effects from overexercise – in excess, exercise/weight lifting/cardio will all drain the body, exhausting the organs in addition to creating free radicals!  People have suffered from drinking too much water, eating too much protein, taking too many herbs! My advice – Easy does it.
Myth # 7 ~ All or Nothing – Sadly this mentality also exists. In a world where raw vegans are chastised for for having some “cooked food slip ups” or people beating themselves up for not completing a juice fast to carnivores thinking they like meat too much to ever give it up to eat healthy.  In a “perfect world” one can subsist on a {hopefully unprocessed} diet that includes both green juice and fish (sorry, I just couldn’t say meat although that would be a perfect world for some!) So, raise up your glass of wine (preferably organic!), have a piece of chocolate but also try to include other life enhancing practices into your daily life and you will definitely reap the rewards.