There are so many myths about diet and exercise. I wanted to discuss my top 5 that I think are popular with today’s society. If there is something else you want me to cover please let me know and I will talk about it and give you the truth!
Back in the 1980s low fat diets were all the rage for people seeking to lose weight when the government made their new dietary recommendations. Only recently have studies come to say this was a big mistake. Dr. Michael Alderman said these low fat diets might have helped the national rise in obesity and diabetes and referred to them as an “uncontrolled experiment on a whole population.” Low Fat diets are now becoming more accepted as a relic of the past.
Fats are essential for functioning major organs like the brain, heart, and healthy skin, as well as absorption of vitamins and minerals. A moderate amount of fat in your diet can help you feel fuller longer by dulling the glycemic response from your meal, suppressing ghrelin (the hormone that makes us feel hungry), and simultaneously releasing peptides that makes us feel full which was found from a study done by the American Journal of Physiology, endocrinology and Metabolism.
Low fat diets advocate for higher intake of vegetable oils which increases chances of heart disease and inflammation. It also reduces saturated fat intake which can be helpful to the blood lipid profile. It also reduces the amount of animal meat consumption which is high in protein such as meat and egg; high protein diets see better success for weight loss.
A popular myth perpetuated in a lot of fitness circles is that eating more frequently throughout the day will help you boost your metabolism and curb hunger, thus helping you lose weight quicker. Some of these people are promoting 7,8, and even up to 10 meals per day. Not only is this extremely inconvenient and not a part of a sustainable lifestyle, but it’s suboptimal for weight loss. If you are constantly getting a supply of glucose from very frequent meals, your body is actually less likely to tap into fat stores because it has less of a need to. After snacking on carrots you normally aren’t hungry. Feeling hungry is not the end of the world. Feeling hungry is how you know your metabolism is working properly and confirms that you are human. Grazing will degrade a person’s metabolic internal clock when it comes time to eat. When we are allowed to eat freely and continuously we begin to eat more for stimulation and reward instead of meeting our bodies’ needs.
At the same time we do not want to go for a long period of time without eating either because that can result in a full on binge as well. We know that the best method is to eat every 3 hours to maintain a steady supply of nutrients without starving yourself. For most people this breaks down into 5 meals a day; you can think of it as breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with two timely snacks or lighter meals in between.
This is a big one, “Carbs are the root of all evil especially at night before bed.” The truth is carbs are not evil and are used for energy and you actually need them throughout the day.
Our bodies do not have a discriminating internal system that says, “If you eat any carbs past 8pm it will automatically be stored as fat.” The idea of this comes from people thinking that your metabolism slows down at night and that’s not true. Just because we are sleeping and our body is resting does not mean that your body stopped burning fat. In fact, many studies suggest that your body is very active during sleep and could be a peak fat-burning time.
Carbs are best consumed before and after your workouts but that does not mean you are limited to those times. Carbs don’t make you fat, too many calories in total will make you fat! You cannot trump the laws of thermodynamics! If you stick to your daily macronutrient goals you’ll be fine.
Cutting carbs is a useful tool for weight loss, IF you know what you are doing. Being reckless and cutting almost all carbs from your diet is not ideal nor healthy. A sudden drop in sugar/carb intake will trigger an increase of the hormones adrenaline (feeling good in times of crisis) and cortisol (the stress hormone associated with weight gain). The adrenaline spike may feel good but it is a short ride. When you cut that much sugar out of your diet at once the levels of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol are raised (the same hormones released during the “flight-or-fight” response). This creates a sense of well-being but also causes many other negative health ramifications. The rise in adrenaline initially provides that good feeling but it is short-lived. Eventually you will start to feel tired, run-down, stressed out and your cravings for sweets will increase. And after your willpower is spent resisting sugar from all directions, you’ll be far more likely to give in eventually and binge. And that binging, if allowed to persist it could lead to a damaged metabolism, weakened immune system, accelerated aging and even eating disorders.
Just like cutting carbs, cardio is a useful tool for weight loss and maintaining cardiovascular health. Again, IF you know what you’re doing. Cardio could actually hinder your results by causing muscle wasting if you’re not careful and you don’t weight train. Building muscle will do much more for you as far as fat loss and keeping the fat off. If you do reckless amounts of cardio or ONLY do cardio you’ll lose muscle, which actually lowers your metabolism. Less muscle = slower metabolism. Your primary focus for fat loss is your caloric intake. Don’t be a cardio bunny who spends hours a day on the dreadmill when there is a better way!
A lot of people see others that are fit and have great physiques and think that it takes insane amounts of time, energy, and commitment to look good. The reality is that it does take commitment but nowhere near the amount people think. There exists a way to implement fitness into your life regardless of how busy you are. FitBody Fusion has created and utilizes a unique methodology that
- Equips you with the tools and knowledge you need to succeed
- Pinpoints your fitness goals and the state of your metabolism
- Accelerate your metabolism and optimize your body for a sustainable fitness lifestyle
- Transform your body to get the results you want and maintain them after the fact
It’s primary goal is to help people create habits and incorporate them into your busy lifestyle. It’s not a silly 12 week shortcut to a six pack program. It’s a program that you can learn and use skills and tools through all the ups and downs we all experience in life. You can take classes at FitBody University to learn more about this method. Click here for more info!