Fit For Life: Three Wellness Myths Busted

Saturday, September 07, 2013


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Wondering why your fitness plan is ineffective or progressing too slowly? Check out these fitness myths, debunked.

With all the opinions on health, diet, and exercise out there, it's easy to be misled about what works and what doesn't. It's time to set the record straight and prevent you from setting yourself back on your fitness plan. Here are three of the biggest diet and exercise myths and why they're wrong.

'Working out' a bad diet

Many think that if their diets aren’t up to par, they can just exercise a little harder and it will make up for it. If you think exercising without eating properly is enough, particularly for weight loss, it’s not. I currently have two clients that train with me, and they work very hard during our sessions–very little rest, high intensity workouts–and they come always motivated to do the program. But the weight they hoped to lose while getting more fit, is only very slowly coming off. The reason is that they do not pay close attention to their eating and drinking program. I do “preach” to them almost every time we work out, but one is a gourmet cook and fine wine aficionado who frequently entertains, so my recommendations and advice goes somewhat unheard.

Recently, this client’s friend lost 20 pounds without thinking very much about intense exercise…all through diet! Suddenly we have a change of heart happening, and a supermarket tour and shopping trip is on the calendar. I know that a few tweaks to eating habits, even when shopping at healthier markets and farmers markets will restore the path to total health and fitness at a much faster pace. So if you think exercise is enough, you could be expending time and effort for minimal results. You won’t make up for a weekend of rich foods and alcohol by running into the gym on Monday morning. If you want to get the most out of the time you spend exercising, you need to eat, rest, and recover properly!

The ‘other white meat’

Pork has been called the ‘other white meat’. Why? It is lower in fat, or carries a label that says “low sodium” or “nitrate free”. Pork products, of course, come from pigs. Ninety-five percent of pigs have been raised in inhumane conditions, are still fed what we consider garbage, along with antibiotics. The outcry and call for humane conditions that we see around beef and chicken hasn’t really included pork. As Jules said in Pulp Fiction, "pigs are filthy animals.” This holds true on the inside too. A pig has a shorter digestive system than cows, so food and digestive enzymes are eliminated too fast for ultimate filtration, leaving bacteria and toxins behind to accumulate into the meat. If you really need to eat pork products, it is essential you purchase only certified organic pork products, just as you should with chicken and beef.

Buy local (but organic)!

Just because something is local doesn't make it good for you. Whenever I visit a farmers market or roadside stand, I always ask if it is organic. Most of the time the response is, “no, but we’re local”. Well, local pesticides are just as harmful as those used in other states. Washing the exterior of the product helps, but doesn't eliminate toxins absorbed into the soil and root system. So the question you should be asking is, is the produce organic? Is it GMO free? If the answer is no, now the choice will be yours.

Most local animals are raised humanely in pastures, so eggs chicken and beef are good products. Just ask if it is free range and/or 100 percent grass fed. I believe in supporting local merchants and farmers, as long as they are up to quality standards, disclose the information, and they price their goods affordably. Supporting big-label products that come here from other countries, bypass local distributors, and sell at the same or a higher price is a big issue for me. So, I ask questions, I make educated decisions, and most of all, I don’t assume anything. You may want to do the same. Remember: don’t assume “local” means “organic”. Being an informed consumer makes you smarter in selecting your foods, and it will also serve to encourage the vendors to listen to what consumers want. That is how we have developed the local farmers’ markets, organic foods, and more. Your voice is powerful, and so are your questions!


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Matt Espeut has worked as a personal trainer for almost 20 years with clients ranging in age from 14 to 86. His focus is on overall health, strength, and functional conditioning. Holistic health and nutrition is the cornerstone of all his programs. Matt works in private and small group training available at your home or office location or at gym facilities. Matt offers his services to everyone wanting to be more fit and healthy, overweight young people, youth/collegiate athletes, and seniors. Matt has worked and continues to train at several facilities in the Providence area including Gold's Gym and CORE Studio, and he believes continued education is a must in his field. Email Matt: [email protected], check out his website at or on Facebook at Matt Espeut or on Twitter @MattEspeut.


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