Quick Hits: Teach a Person to Fish… at the Gym

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This is our first update in a new style: Quick Hits. Quick Hits will be shorter entries I can write on the fly, usually without illustrations. The goal is to get content out more regularly so there isn’t as long a gap between Detailed Drills or opinion pieces. Hope you enjoy!

Teach a Person to Fish

So there’s a saying “give a person a fish, you feed them for a day; teach a person to fish, you feed them for life.” It’s a good saying – don’t just take care of someone, give them the tools to take care of themselves.

I was at the gym today and realized you can treat your body the same way regarding fitness goals, in particular weight loss.

When a lot of people try to lose weight, they follow the “calories out must exceed calories in” model, which simplifies away the nuances of how the human body’s metabolism works, but overall it makes more sense than a lot of trendy diets.

So what does this have to do with teaching someone how to fish?

Well, going to the gym, hopping on a treadmill, and burning 500 calories is the equivalent of “give a person a fish.” Yes you burned 500 calories today, but it has little effect on tomorrow.

Strength training builds muscle which increases the amount of calories your body burns at rest. On average, one pound of muscle burns 50 calories a day – even when you’re just sitting there! You’re “teaching your body how to burn” aka “teaching it how to fish.”

Also, fish is a really good source of lean protein.

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