Just like training there seems to be beliefs around specific ideals of nutrition that simply don’t make any sense. In today’s world its so easy to access information through smart phones and PC’s that people can get bombarded with information. What happens then is they misinterpret the information or have plain and simply read something that was not true and then form their own beliefs based around it. Couple that with someone getting temporary results following these mechanisms we then have people who formulate unhealthy relationships with food and themselves.
We are going to cover the most common myths and misconceptions about nutrition and rationalize why they are not effective so you can have a better idea about nutrition, and have more variety/flexibility in your diet.
- If I drop carbs I lose fat: This is by far the most popular belief amongst my clients, in particularly females. If we look at the fundamental law of fat loss it is to be in a slight calorie deficit or to burn more energy than you consume. Like everything dropping carbohydrates has a trade off, most of the time workout performance will decrease as there is not readily available glycogen for fuel. If your workout performance drops so does your adaptations from your training. Decreasing carbohydrates in a chronic calorie deficit can also down regulate leptin levels which regulate hunger, metabolism and ultimate effect fat loss.
- Don’t eat carbs after 2pm,6pm,8pm etc: Not eating carbs in the PM is old news, all it does is manage someone caloric intake (fundamental for fat loss) without them having to do anything precise. The truth is your body doesn’t know what time of the day it is, it can digest carbohydrates just like any other macro-nutrient. I’ll ask you this if you caught a plane at 8pm local time and flew to a country where the local time was 10am does that mean you can have carbs? Seems kinda silly when you put it like that. Like I have said time and time again carbohydrate intake is about balance, over consume and you have problems, under consume and guess what? you have problems.
- If I eat fat I will get fat: There has been a shift in the demonizing of dietary fat but it is still lurking around amongst the nutritionally ignorant. The fat free ages are dead and people need to understand how important the role of healthy fats play in human physiology. The truth is that body fat and dietary fat are not the same and your body doesn’t magically convert the fat that you eat into body fat instantly. How do we gain fat? When we eat more than we burn chronically. Dietary fat plays a vital role in regulating the human hormonal cascade, it also plays a vital role in cellular health and vitamin absorption.
- Vegetarian instantly means healthy: Just because a meal is “vegetarian” or because someone is a vegetarian just instantly mean its healthy. Complete nutrition profiles are what people should be looking for as a sign of health. Looking at a balance of carbs, protein and fats, as well as fulfilling micro nutrient requirements. A bowl of fried chips is vegetarian, I know of people who class that as a meal. Is that healthy? I think not.
- Brown is better than white: Whether its sugar, rice, potato, bread or whatever, the color doesn’t dictate whether its healthy or not. Rice is rice and potato is potato, the argument here is looking the the glycedmic index of the food. However most people eat these foods with other food types like fats and proteins which lower the GI. Another thing to consider is that GI should only be looked at if someone is pre-diabetic or diabetic. This is a very simple way of looking at it but lets not complicate things by looking at the color of our rice!
- If its paleo or wholefood based eat as much as you like: We at STCfit are all about food quality and wholefoods however there are always exceptions. Those protein bars you baked from paleo.com, that meat and nut breakfast you have every morning or that protein smoothie with banana, honey, peanut butter all contain calories. If body composition is your goal it is not an open slather when it comes to any type of food. Just because something is made up of natural ingredients does not mean that the energy yielded from that food will disappear.
There are so many more that could be discussed but these are the most commons I tend to come across. At the end of the day it comes down to being educated and also being curious of the outlet that is delivering the information. Always ask for an explanation, never take anything in absolutes, make sure the information it rationale and backed up by several sources if possible and always be willing to change. Research and information is always evolving, we cannot stick with ideals that become outdated and superseded.
See you in the gym
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