There are a lot of diet myths around us. While for some we can just take it as a joke. Some might be a danger for beginners. Most of us get lost in these stories and treat them as truth, even ending up unraveling into different disordered eating behavior. Once you know the truth of these diet myths, you’ll be easier to identify them, and less likely to stumble into the trap as most beginners do.
Hey, tough souls. I’m Alyssa.
If you ask, what’s the thing I wish I know earlier before starting my fitness journey, I would say ‘those misleading nutrition fact’.
These are the 6 nutrition facts I hope I know earlier in my fitness journey.
1st Myth: There are ‘Magic Food’ That Helps You Lose Fat
Ever found this conversation familiar when someone told you their secret to weight loss?
“I eat bananas every day and lose 5 pounds in 2 weeks.”
“High fibre food helps you lose weight.”
“Eat more protein and you can boost your metabolism.”
However, when we tried to do the same, we ended up gaining a few pounds.
How is it possible? The fact is that there is no food that will help you lose fat. Instead, what actually happen behind these ‘magic food’ is, after you had eaten them, you probably feel fuller and stop consuming extra food.
For those that start believe in these magic food, this is a tricky move. Since they ended up thinking these foods will help them lose weight. Most of the time they ate even more on top of their regular diet and eventually, gained weight.
Excess of calories leads to weight gain no matter what you eat.
Of course, it is always a better option to choose healthier food. But we should not fantasize about them too much.
2nd Myth: Carbohydrates Make You Fat.
When it comes to dieting, we always see fo few type of people.
Those that fantasized about certain food too much like the last point. And we also have those who avoid certain food groups. The most common one I saw throughout my life is those that avoid carbohydrates.
It’s over consumption of calories makes your fat, not carbs.
Most of the functions of our organs need to work under the suppliment of glucose. And glucose could only be obtain from carbohydrates. It’s true that when you cut off carbs, you do see fast results by losing a few pounds in just a week. However, in a long term, it would eventually lead to nutrition deficiencies. Not to mention the others negative impact on your overall health.
In fact, our body does need each three macronutrition (carbohydrates, protein, and fat) to function well. It is like a team that needs members that are specialised in different aspects to build a successful profile.
Every macronutrition is important to our body. Avoiding certain food groups is counterproductive to your fitness journey, as you’ll most likely to ended up craving them. The key is to consume everything in moderation.
3rd Myth: ‘Zero Calories’ Drink Is Healthy
If you found you often purchased diet soda as a substitute for your daily basis, you need to be aware.
There are things that are naturally low in calories such as vegetables or certain types of fruits. However, definitely not those processed drinks that claimed they are ‘zero’ calories.
Don’t you suspect where the sweetness came from when there is no actual sugar added? There are mostly artificial sweeteners. And it spikes your insulin too. If consumed in long term, it does no benefits to your body.
Remember, the only thing that is truly ‘no calories’ is water. For those that have taste, it is probably artificial sweeteners. If you really want some tasty ‘low calories’ options, go for fruits with the right amount.
Of course if you find yourself carving out something to drink, it is a better idea to swap your high calories drink to these once in a while. But don’t take advantage of its zero calories and consume them on a daily basis.
4th Myth: Eating After Certain Time make You Gain Weight
Weight loss has nothing to do with when you eat. Therefore by placing your meals on certain ‘magic hour’ won’t make you lose more weight. So as those that said eating after 8 pm will cause you to accumulate more fat, this is also another myth.
Therefore a word of thought for those that are too busy to eat during the day due to their busy schedules. It is definitely no issues for you to have a bigger meal in the night. As long as your overall consumption remained the same. No matter what time you eat, the amount of energy your body absorbed will be the same.
The real reason why we don’t recommend eating in late night is that it will affect your sleeping quality (this might varies people from people, someone found themself sleepy after a meal). Another reason is that since you are less active during sleeping, if you consumed too much carbohydrates, the efficiency to burn of carbohydrates will be slightly slower than you are awake.
If you wonder why sometimes intermittent fasting works, this is the reason. Since you are limiting the time of eating, you’ll less likely to reach out for extra meals. Also, in psychological aspects, people tend to be the hungriest in the evening. Therefore avoiding eating after these time often results in overall less calorie consumed throughout the day.
5th Myth: You Only Allowed To Eat ‘Healthy Food’ To Stay In Shape
This is what everyone think eating healthy should look like: stay away from fast food, fill your plate with whole food, avoiding sweets and most of it — you can’t enjoy your favourite food anymore.
Eating only ‘healthy food’ day by day is boring.
Well, I have a good news for you. You don’t have to follow the typical clean eating diet. You can still eat clean in mostly of your meal, and something you enjoy in moderation. And you can still reap the healthy benefits from your diet.
In fact, there is no ‘good food’ or ‘bad food’.
Every food do provides certain nutrition value as long as you consume in the right amount. Even for the most ‘unhealthy’ food that you think, it is totally okay for you to indulge once in a while. It’s the overconsumption that bring the problem.
I personally not a big fans of totally clean eating. Because clean eating itself is less flexible and it’s hard to follow throughout your life. If done in extreme, it will leading to some disordered eating behaviour overtime. You can refer the 80/20 diet method to fulfill your carving while still have a healthy diet.
When next time you are craving something, go get it!
6th Myth: Holiday Meals Ruined Your Progress
Everyone has this ‘cheat days’ dilemma. After you just come back from a few days of big meals and gathering, you would eventually find yourself gaining a few pounds. Or even be more specific, you found your waist increased for a few inches.
That makes you think, I’ve gained fat!
Nope. The weight your gain after holidays meals says nothing about your fat gain. The extra inches that result on your waist, it’s just the combination of both water and a small amount of fat. Yes, you might gain some amount of fat (just a small amount), but I doupt that will be permanent.
If you are concerned, take this calculation. It takes about an extra of 3500kcal to gain 1 pound of fat. And there are still some other requirements to produce fat itself. To get a lot of fat in a short time is impossible in just a few days, even in a week.
Stay back and just return to your normal routine, do not skip meals to ‘recover’ the gains. Your body weight and the fat percentage would eventually back to normal as you are returning to your normal lifestyle.
Let us grow together,