By Andrew Wolf, M.S. ED. Exercise Physiologist
Corpulence was once a sign of wealth and position but years of changing tastes and startling new information about the risks of a generous waist line have conspired to create a premium on thinness. The problem with us as humans is that it is not in our nature to be thin by choice. Over millennia of human evolution the individuals that could eat beyond the point of satiety were the ones who made it through the lean times and, here we are, able to and programed to eat beyond what we need. Couple our human nature with a desire to be thin and a little misinformation and viola, you have weight loss myths that muddy the waters and hold back real progress for many.
Myth #1: Are there certain exercises that target my trouble spots?
I probably get asked this question 2-4 times a week here at Miraval. The answer is an emphatic no. We all have what I call a “fat hierarchy”. When we gain weight we put it on in an orderly, genetically determined way and when we take it off it does that in reverse. This order is part of who you are and cannot be up ended.
Myth #2: If I have an ample muffin top or a larger than life caboose it means my resting metabolic rate needs to be sped up.
Metabolic rate generally declines very gently as we age but this is pretty normal. When I performed resting metabolic rate testing the one thing I remember was the disappointment on the faces of people when I told them that there RMR was normal. They expected my to tell them that they had an incredibly slow RMR and that I had the secret formula to spice it up. Your RMR is finely tuned to how big you are. Bigger people have higher RMRs and smaller people have lower RMRs. Maintaining muscle mass as you get older helps blunt the loss in RMR with age but the notion that we need to speed up our RMR is not usually the answer.