We all swear by some wacky exercise routine or crazy diet we think will leave us feeling lean and healthy. Celebrity fitness trainer James Duigan (model Elle Macpherson has been his client for the past 10 years) sheds some light on some of the biggest myths and misconceptions of food and exercise.
• No Pain No Gain You want to train smart, not hard. You can have an intense workout but that doesn’t mean it has to hurt. Make sure you exercise with the correct goal; building muscle, toning up or burning fat.
• Exercise alone is enough to lose weight Eighty per cent of weight loss is to do with your nutrition and only 20 per cent is to do with exercise. Nutrition will not only affect your weight, it will also dictate how you look, feel and think — it has a huge effect on your mental state of mind.
• Ban all fats from your diet The body needs fat but people need to understand the crucial difference between good fats and bad fats. Essential fatty acids, found in oily fish (salmon, mackerel), avocado, nuts and flaxseeds, are the good kind.
• Stick to three meals a day and never snack in between meals The fastest way to strip fat is to eat foods containing plenty of fiber and protein, little and often. When training celebrities for a movie, Duigan makes them eat up to eight times a day.
• Never eat carbohydrates in the evening Many people believe that they won’t be able to burn off carbs at night but this is a bit of a myth. Carbs can actually help you get a good night’s sleep.
• It’s not the calories that matter, but what you eat It is and it isn’t. You must be careful about what you eat and aware of the calories you are consuming. Getting your calories from organic fruit, meats and vegetables is better than getting them from processed foods
• Vegetarian diets are healthier than meat ones Everyone is different, some people respond extremely well to vegetarian diets whereas others can get very sick. Healthy vegetarians should count themselves lucky as most people need meat in their diet.
• Lifting weights will make you look bulky Unless you lift extreme weights then there is no reason for this to happen. The best thing is to avoid training like a body builder, therefore don’t train with one.
• The best time to work out is in the morning Work out whenever you can and don’t get caught up on the idea that there is a wrong or right time to exercise. Just do what suits you and your lifestyle best.