There is so much misleading, and downright incorrect information out there about nutrition and weight loss.
With the evolution of the Internet and the information age, nutrition information is at our fingertips. While we are drowning in information, we are starving for wisdom.
Everywhere you turn, whether it is a blog, watching a video clip on You tube, reading an online fitness magazine, or skimming through a new diet book at your local bookstore, nutrition advice is a contraction into itself.
Only eat these types of fruits!
Don’t eat after 7pm!
Only eat 1200 calories a day!!
Only eat for your blood type!
And the list goes on and on and on.
So many of us are left wondering, what is the truth? What advice should I follow?
What seems credible and what is a bunch of baloney?
Well, I’m here to help you set the record straight, and bust 4 common nutrition myths I hear daily from my clients, on the internet, and the things I come across when reading various fitness and diet books.
So let’s roll up our sleeves, debunk some myths, and begin to discover the Truth behind Nutrition.
Myth # 1
This is a myth that has persisted for a long time now, and has become quite prevalent in the last 10 years with the emergence of the Paleo Diet, Gluten free trend, Low Glycemic Diets, etc.
For losing and maintaining a healthy bodyweight cutting out and even drastically reducing carbs is one of the worst things you can do.
Carbs are your primary energy source. They are like gasoline for your car. Reduce your carb, and you will have low energy, feel light headed and sluggish, and wont have the energy for intense exercise and workouts needed to help you lose weight.
Carbs also play an active role in maintaining proper thyroid function. So if you remove carbs you will slow down your thyroid output, and decrease your metabolic rate over time.
Lastly, complex Carbs provide many vitamins and minerals you won’t be able to get from other foods like protein and healthy fats. So by removing them you miss out on these key nutrients.
The best complex carbs to eat are brown rice, brown pasta, whole grain bread, yam, quinoa, lentils, oatmeal, etc.
Myth # 2
Don’t eat after 6pm
This has got to be the most misleading and biggest nutrition myth out there!
Eating late at night is perfectly fine, provided it is used in the proper context.
Here are some important points to remember.
- If you still have calories left in your day to eat, or haven’t had your last meal, then eating late at night is recommended! As long as you don’t go over your daily calories you are fine to eat whenever you want, and at whatever time fits your schedule. Ensure all meals have a balance of lean protein, complex carbs, and some healthy fats.
- Be sure you are eating something healthy, nutritious, balanced, and not processed. Most people eat junk food late at night, which is why this myth came out of the woodwork in the first place!
- If you did a late night work out, and haven’t had a chance to eat your last meal of of the day, and need to after your workout, then eating late at night is great and highly encouraged! After a late night workout your body is in recovery mode and needs nutrients from food to facilitate the recovery process.
Not eating after 6pm is very impractical for most of us in this day and age, and offers very little flexibility.
Remember, it comes down to how many meals/calories you had that day already, and whether or not you have worked out later in the evening. This will determine whether eating late at night is beneficial or not.
Myth # 3
Low calorie= healthy.
Just because something is low calorie does not mean it is healthy, or will help you lose weight.
“Low calorie” marketing is something the big foods companies have capitalized on with consumers in the last 5 years, which has misled us into making less than healthy choices.
In this context, it’s never about how many calories in a food, and always about the QUALITY of the calories.
Olive oil and avocado are very high in calories, yet are very nutritious.
However many of those 100-calorie snacks on your local grocery store shelves are loaded with sugar, salt, preservations, and artificial colours and flavours.
If a food item has more than 5 ingredients it usually far too processed and doesn’t belong in your body, regardless of how low the calories may be.
Stick to unprocessed, minimal ingredient foods, and low calorie food marketing won’t fool you!
Myth # 4
If I want to lose weight, I can never have my favorite foods again
This is an unfortunate myth that prevents many of us from really attempting to change our eating habits, and going after our weight loss goals in the first place.
Many of us believe that if we wish to lose and maintain our weight, we need to give up all of our favorite foods.
Well I am here to tell you that is baloney and totally unrealistic!
While you may have to limit the intake of your favorite foods and beverages, or cut them back a bit, you definitely do not need to take them out of your plan forever.
Food is a big part of everyday life, and is always centered on celebrations like birthdays, thanksgiving, Easter, Christmas, and vacations.
Food is meant to be enjoyed, and should never be a source of stress and anxiety.
When we deprive ourselves of our favorite foods this is what we create.
The key is ALWAYS balance and moderation, and figuring our what your definition of that looks like.
There is no right or wrong answer. This is a personal thing. You get to decide what balance and moderation looks like for you!
The key is finding that sweet spot in the middle, where you can enjoy your favorite foods, and still maintain and achieve your goals!
Enjoying our favorite foods and treats, believe it or not, is part of a healthy lifestyle!
Always here to inspire and motivate you,
David Macdonald and the Vitality Fitness Team