If there is one false rumour embedded within the fitness industry more than any other, it’s that you can eat as much as you like of certain foods. Believe it or not, you could eat only fruit and still put on weight – if you eat enough of it!
You might have heard that salmon or nuts contain good fats. Yes, they do. But, you’re still putting calories into your body, so there is such a thing as too much. Just because foods are healthy or clean, it does not mean they are freebies. Yes, there is a difference in how your body processes carbohydrates, fats and proteins, but essentially a calorie is a calorie. Whether it comes from a deep fried cheese and bacon hamburger or a lettuce leaf; it all does the same thing.
Good foods are promoted because they provide further benefits to your body, but everything breaks down and releases heat energy in the end. So, where possible, go for good fats over bad fats and complex carbs over refined ones. But, at the same time keep track of what you consume.
MYTH#2 “Eating less causes fat loss.”
Okay, we’re all guilty of it. Anyone trying to lose weight has taken the decision to dramatically decrease their calorie intake in the hope that their body would steadily eat away at the existing fat they hold. The truth is that eating less does not create the need to burn body fat. In fact, it creates the need for the body to slow down.
If you’re not eating enough, your body will hold onto body fat and burn muscle tissue. I’m sure you’ve heard it before – muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue. So, when our metabolism thinks we’re starving, it gets rid of calorie-hungry muscle tissue. Up to 70% of weight loss from eating too little is from burning muscle and NOT fat, and when we fall off the starvation wagon, there is less muscle than before to burn the excess cal- ories we begin to consume. So, weight gain is greater!
It is human nature to assume that you need to suffer in order to reach your goal. And that skinny feeling
you get when you eat three crackers, a small apple and coffee for the duration of the day makes you feel as though you’re heading in the right direction. It may feel good psychologically, but it isn’t practical. Not only will it make weight loss agonizing and impractical, you will be setting your body up for much worse. In short – eat the amount your body requires to function to its full potential.
MYTH #3: “In order to lose weight, you need to eat a diet low in fat.”
Like carbohydrates (see myth 1), your body needs fat. It is unfortunate that this essential dietary macronutrient shares the same name as a derogatory term for excess weight, but you need to disassociate the two immediately. Fat is good; it will not make you fat. A diet low in fat will interfere with the absorption of fat- soluble vitamins A. D. E and L. As they are fat-soluble, your body needs fat to utilize them. Fat is also needed for energy, growth, immunity and cell repair. So, it’s VERY important, and a diet low in fat will hinder weight loss progress. Being conscious of your dietary fat intake is beneficial, especially when you’re trying to reduce your risk of heart disease, but taking it too far will put your health at risk.
Furthermore, you should be wary of products labelled low fat. Thanks to the low fat craze of the 90s, more and more of us believe that less is more when it comes to fat. And stores stocked with low fat products are no surprise. More often than not, these products are crammed with harmful levels of added sugar, additives and chemicals to enhance taste, and often contain a similar number of calories to the full fat version. Enjoy a moderate amount of daily fat with the satisfaction that you’re protecting your heart, brain and body.
Myth #4: Snacking is always a bad idea
The good news is you don’t need to starve to lose weight. “The idea that you shouldn’t eat between meals is a myth,” says Pivonka. When you’re stomach starts rumbling, you probably hear a little voice in your head telling you not to ruin your appetite. But having snacks in between meals might actually help you eat less, and stave off the urge to overeat or binge later. In fact, dietitians often recommend that you have five smaller meals a day, instead of eating your calories all in one sitting.
One of the main reasons snacking has a bad rap is because of the choices we make from, say, vending machine that are packed with chips, cookies, candies, and other delectable — and fattening — treats. The good news is we’re not all chomping on candy bars come 4 p.m. — a whopping 70% of Americans use snacking as a way to incorporate fruits and vegetables into their diets, according to the Produce for Better Health Foundation.
If you tend to dive into a bag of chips when you’re hungry, try having nutritious foods instead –think moderate amounts of fruits, vegetables, and nuts, for example — and try to eat things you don’t normally have during mealtime. Magee, who isn’t a big milk drinker, uses snacks as a way to get her daily dose of calcium from low-fat cheese and yogurt.
Myth #5: You can eat as much as you want on a low carb diet
One of the purported benefits of low-carb diets is that you can eat as much as you want, but this is actually a very common misconception. Low-carb diets are high in fat and protein, two very satiating components of food. Because of this, participants in low-carbohydrate diet research studies are rarely given reduced calorie targets, but are instead advised to eat until satisfied, and that advice is enough to control calories and elicit weight loss. But there is a big difference between eating until “satisfied” and eating as much as you want. High-fat foods, commonly consumed on low-carb diets, are high in calories, and overconsumption is easy if you don’t listen to your body’s own satiety signals. When it comes to weight loss, controlling calories is of primary importance, while manipulating macronutrients like protein, carbohydrates and fats is important but secondary.
Myth #6:Weight loss supplements are a waste of money
There are an amazing number of effective nutritional and muscle building supplements and fat burning supplements on the market that help to maximize performance and overall health. Don’t let the exaggerated claims of a handful of snake-oil salesmen keep you away from products that amplify your efforts.
Myth #7: I Eat A Good Diet, I Don’t Need SupplementsA well-balanced diet is a good start, but it does not mean that you are meeting all of your body’s nutritional needs. Nutrient needs can change and fluctuate because of age, health, stress and intense training. Consider supplements an insurance policy, one that fills in the gaps.
Myth #8: All Supplements Are The Same QualityNot all supplements are created equal. Different companies have different standards. Some companies rely on a lower quality and purity of raw materials so they can provide a lower price. Don’t purchase supplements based on price. You may be throwing your money away. Instead, seek out the opinions of others and research the best-selling products.
Myth #9: Whey Protein Makes You FatWhey protein doesn’t make you fat. Only eating an excessive amount of daily calories can make you gain fat. Eating a proper amount of daily protein will ensure maximum muscle gains. On the other hand, if you under eat protein, you make it harder for your body to add muscle.
Myth #10: Everyone Will Experience The Same Benefits From A SupplementThis is completely false. Each individual is unique, and no two athletes train the same or eat the same. Often times you will find that creatine or pre-workout, nitric oxide supplements work better for some than others. In fact, it is often the case that one person will experience minimal benefits from one brand, but receive great benefits from another. Don’t assume that because a supplement didn’t work well for your friend, that it won’t work for you.
Myth #11: Fat Burners Are A Waste Of MoneyTruth: Most popular fat burning supplements contain a battery of ingredients that are effective at stimulating your metabolism and encouraging and assisting the body with burning fat. While fat burners are certainly not miracle products that will help you shed fat even if you are eating poorly, combined with weight training, cardio and a proper diet they assist in bolstering your energy and metabolism during long periods of weight loss.
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Toni Sweeney is a Triple Certified Ketogenic Diet and Primal Health Coach and weight loss expert who personally lost 80 pounds while making a total lifestyle change. The founder of TS Transformations, her formulas and plans has helped thousands of women lose weight and keep it off forever.