Things Your Personal Trainer Should Know But Probably Doesn’t….
Your Personal Trainer probably tells you things like “eat breakfast to stoke your metabolism for the day” or “eat lots of small meals to increase your metabolism” along with gems like “lift fast to be fast” and “Eat big to get big” . All of which I am sure are said with genuine belief behind them. Lets address why you should pick your Personal Trainer carefully and look at some of these common “Bro science” myths that are so prevalent in the fitness industry.
1) “Breakfast stokes the metabolism for the day”
It is an old one and one that is dug in very well. There is very little truth to the statement. If any at all. Your metabolic rate is not affected by food timing so much as food/calorific volume in a given time period (24 hours for a familiar example).
If you consume 2000 calories in a 4 hour window in the evening or spread throughout the 24 hour day starting with a smart breakfast, guess what?…Your metabolism will utilise the same amount of fuel with each one. 2000 calories is still 200 calories and needs the same amount of energy to digest and assimilate it irrespective of when it is consumed…unless of course you are talking 2000 calories of carbs versus 2000 calories of protein, but that’s another story kiddos.
Yes, there are good reasons to get in smart breakfasts, however, metabolic rate is not one of them
One reason that breakfast can be useful is the formation of habit: getting into good regular meal habits is a handy way, for many, to control hunger pangs which can result in poor choices. Another reason may well be to help the body stay in a positive nitrogen balance which will help build/retain muscle tissue which is important for sports/rehab and hypertrophy.
Your metabolism is actually likely to increase for a short period of time due to missed meals, not decrease. Controversial and against the grain? Certainly. Don’t let something that gets repeated frequently turn into an unsubstantiated “truth”
2) “Small meals more often is the best way to lose weight and keep your metabolism fired up”
This is interconnected with the above answer. Meal timing has little to do with speed of metabolism. Body mass is more of a concern…
the higher your body mass, the greater your metabolic rate.
So with that in mind why do many recommend more small meals over fewer larger meals? It is partly because lots of small meals that have been planned out with healthy food choices means a person is more likely to stay on track and away from bad food choices through the course of day, which will always be a win for those who struggle with eating calorie dense crap.
Smaller meals will mean that the stomach sack itself will expand to a lesser degree which, over time, will result in eating less food being consumed (less calories, means less weight carried) and a flatter appearing waist. Also a win for those concerned with such things.
3) “Lift fast to be fast”
A relic of the 60’s. Speed of barbell lifting is of so little importance to athletic performance that it saddens me that it is even still seriously discussed outside of pimple faced chat rooms. Seriously. It’s been done to death. The bottom line is this:
it is the attempt to move quickly that is far more important than the actual speed of movement
For example: Un-weighted squats can be moved at far great velocities than heavily loaded squats. If the velocity were of importance then they’d be no need to lift moderately heavy weights as they inevitably move slower than lighter ones. The attempt to move heavier loads at greater velocity is one aspect which makes weight training a valuable tool for sports performance.
Trying to move a heavy load quickly, in good form, requires so much more effort than a lighter one…even though it moves more slowly.
That’s a the end of this brief low down from your Epsom and Surrey based Personal Trainer, Ham Williams
Next time you’re told to eat small meals, eat breakfast or lift explosively….you’ll know know the real reasons behind such requests…don’t believe the hype or bamboozle.