The world of nutrition is full of conflicting advice, at DROPiT21, we have studied nutrition to a high level, yet even we find that some of the stories that hit the headlines (usually the more sensational ones) can be very confusing. In the image above there are some examples of the typical questions that are bounded around the internet with a variety of differing opinions – offering yet more advice. It all seems very inconsistent and it sure adds to the uncertainty. So who do you believe?
Our advice is to follow perhaps two or three fitness professionals online with similar values that you believe in. Read what they have written and be subjective. Look into the research yourself and form your own opinion, you’ll find that not every sensational news headline is as clear cut as they seem.
With this thought in mind, we would take this opportunity try to debunk a few of the “myths” we’ve seen online recently in a bid to demystify some of the misinformation.
1. YOU NEED TO GO ON A DIET IF YOU WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT.
It is true that if what you’re doing right now isn’t working then you need to change your diet, but going on a “diet” is a short term fix and won’t help you to understand how different food affects your weight.
It’s very easy to fall in the trap of yo-yo dieting, moving from one faddy diet plan to another and although whatever you have tried will work to some extent in the short term, it’s not sustainable. Most people want a quick fix, something that will give them “instant” results but if these really worked then then we wouldn’t still have an obesity problem.
Think sensibly, build a well balanced diet, full of a variety of whole foods – fruit and vegetables, good quality protein and get yourself moving, even if it’s just a walk! It’s very true that you can’t out train a bad diet so don’t make the mistake of thinking you can eat whatever you like and increase exercise, every now and then it won’t make a difference but every day? You’ll just end up feeling ill and won’t achieve those sought after results.
2. LOW FAT OPTIONS HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT.
Unfortunately this is not the case! When manufacturers cut out the fat, they usually replace it with sugar to make it taste nice and these products tend to be heavily processed. Low fat food normally places a much higher toxic load on the body than the alternative full fat version. Any food containing natural fat should always be chosen over a low-fat version.
Your body needs fat to aid various bodily functions, cutting it out completely can lead to avoidable illnesses. If you want to learn more about what you should be eating and why, check out our blog about Macronutrients. http://www.dropit21.com/what-are-macronutrients-why-are-they-so-important/
3. SATURATED FAT IS BAD FOR ME.
Demonizing fat has been one of the nutrition myths we’ve heard for quite a long time. Just because you eat fat does not mean you’re going to get fat. Like we have mentioned above, fat is a very important part of a well balanced diet. Of course, if you overeat any food regardless of whether they are carbohydrates, protein or fats you will put on weight.
Fat is more calorie dense than the other macronutrients, with each gram of fat containing 9 calories compared to protein and carbohydrate’s 4 calories so it’s easy to see how the confusion has come about. This just means you must ensure you eat smaller portions rather than cut it out altogether. If recent headlines have left you feeling confused about what fat you should be consuming and what to avoid, check out last week’s blog on saturated fat. http://www.dropit21.com/saturated-fats-are-they-bad/
4. YOU NEED TO EAT 5-7 SMALL MEALS PER DAY TO LOSE WEIGHT.
The thinking behind this nutrition myth was that by eating more frequently, you will be able to keep your metabolism speeding all day long, burning more fat – aiding rapid weight loss. There are no studies that have proven this to be true. If you eat more frequently, it could certainly help to control hunger but it has been proven that it will not rev up your metabolism.
You can eat 2-3 meals each day or 5-7 and still burn the same number of calories. Meal frequency does not dictate rapid weight loss, it’s still a case of needing to be in a calorie deficit to lose fat, it makes no difference how many meals you split those calories up into. It probably is more sustainable to aim to eat 3 decent sized meals per day than numerous small meals for the majority of people. It’s important to remember that everyone is different and eating smaller portions may work better for you.
5. WILL I PUT ON WEIGHT IF I EAT LATE AT NIGHT?
Have you ever heard that you shouldn’t eat past a certain time of day or you will gain weight? You may have been told that you shouldn’t eat after 7 p.m. or we will pack on the pounds. This is a common misconception. Our bodies need fuel constantly, not just when we are awake. When we’re sleeping, our bodies continue to burn calories to circulate blood, breathe and fuel our brains. Studies have consistently shown that night time eating does not cause weight gain if you stay within your body’s daily caloric needs.
6. EATING HEALTHILY IS TOO EXPENSIVE.
We hear this all of the time and although it can take a little organisation and effort, eating healthily does not have to break the bank. We should be questioning why junk food is so cheap…invest in yourself as your health your most priceless possession. Here are a few tips;
- Eat seasonally: Fresh produce that’s in season is always cheaper. Stock up and freeze some of it. Buy frozen vegetables, which have nearly the exact same nutritional value as fresh, in fact frozen peas have been found to retain more vitamins and minerals than fresh.
- Vegetables and pulses are generally less expensive than meat and poultry, bulk out your meals with vegetables and try less expensive cuts of meat. Chicken thighs, for example cost less than breasts. Quality is more important than quantity when it comes to protein so make sure you go to your local butcher and ask for their advice, you’ll probably find you save money compared to shopping at supermarkets.
- Buy in bulk. This is especially cost-effective when shopping for nuts and seeds.
- Stop buying junk food. You may be shocked to see how much money you save by getting rid of the junk.