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The Fit 5

MF's weekly roundup of user-submitted questions

For all of our fans who shoot us questions on our Facebook page, this one is for you. Each week, we will tap into our pool of editors and experts to help with any questions or challenges you are having with your fitness regimen. This week, we asked Sean Hyson C.S.C.S., Group Training Director for Muscle & Fitness and Men's Fitness magazines, to answer some of your questions. Be sure to read up on all of Sean’s articles here on MensFitness.com or in Men’s Fitness and Muscle & Fitness magazines each month. You can also catch Sean on Twitter

1.) The Ab-Solute Truth — asked by Umberto Ali Is the crunch/sit-up really an effective exercise or useless for toning abs?
“Both exercises will work the abs but the sit-up is tougher and activates more muscles. If you don’t have lower-back problems, do sit-ups.” — Sean Hyson
 
2.) Overnight workout query — asked by Peter Jones I work a graveyard shift — should I be exercising and eating any differently than people who work during the day?
“As long as you can get a restful sleep for eight to 10 hours a day, it shouldn’t matter. While it’s not the body’s natural rhythm to be working during night hours, you can adapt to it. Seeing that you get enough rest during the day will help.” — Sean Hyson
 
3.) Is Protein Powder a Must?— asked by Michael Landstrom I quit protein powder a year ago because of expense and wasn't sure if it was a waste of money. I work out four times a week. I eat a decent amount of protein from food, but not the quantity in grams I would get with a protein shake. Am I shortchanging my recovery by not taking the powder? I eat nuts, chicken, and dairy, but not in huge amounts.
“Protein powder isn’t a must. You should only consider it if you have trouble getting the amount of protein you need (about one gram per pound of your body weight) from food, or when it’s not possible to eat food. A good powder can make getting protein more convenient, and may even cut down on your grocery bill since you won’t have to focus as much on consuming whole foods. It’s up to you.” — Sean Hyson
 
4.) What's up with the ketosis diet — asked by Anmar Sultani Is the ketosis diet method effective and does it have side effects? Is it recommended?
“A ketogenic diet is an effective way to lose fat. There is no evidence that it’s dangerous in the short term (inside of six months), but it is a restrictive diet that will require a lot of discipline. Lower your carbs to 50 grams per day—lower may be even better—and don’t skimp on fat. Eat plenty of green veggies, too. Constipation can be a side-effect of low-carb diets if you don’t make an effort to get enough fiber.” — Sean Hyson
 
5.) The night shift conundrum— asked by Matt Edgar How do people like police officers (I am one) who work midnight/overnight shifts lose weight? What is the best way to diet and what times should you eat? Should you exercise in the morning before you go to bed or later in the day when you wake up?
“Try a low-carb diet as suggested above. The best time to exercise is any time you can do it consistently, so if you work nights, you might try to get it out of the way before your shift.” — Sean Hyson
 

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