Nutrition myths are rampant in our society, and the overload of information can make things very confusing for the average person trying to lose weight. Here are 7 myths I see all the time that you need to know.
Meal Frequency Matters
How many meals do you think you should be eating to lose weight? That’s a trick question because it really doesn’t matter. People have succeeded at their weight loss goals eating anywhere from 1-8 or more meals per day. Study after study has shown that there is no significant difference in weight loss whether you eat more frequently or not   . The most important thing is that you pick a meal frequency that best fits into your lifestyle so that you can remain consistent with your eating patterns.
Peri-Workout Carbohydrates are Extremely Important
Peri-workout nutrition is what you eat around your workouts. It includes both pre and post workout meals. Hard-lined proponents of post-workout nutrition believe you should have a high-glycemic carb/protein meal to spike insulin levels as soon as possible after your workout for maximum glycogen replenishment and protein synthesis.
Now, there is a caveat to this myth. For the typical person who strength trains and just wants to be fit and healthy, eating your regularly scheduled meals containing carbs will easily replenish glycogen levels and get you recovered in time for your next workout. Remember, strength training uses mostly the creatine phosphate system, so glycogen doesn’t get depleted to any real degree. Now, if you are big into sprinting, HIIT, or are a big cardio junkie, more attention can be paid to peri-workout nutrition.
Saturated Fat is Bad For You
Saturated fat has been demonized quite a bit and many claim that it causes cardiovascular disease. However, studies show there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease or stroke . On the contrary, moderate saturated fat intake provides many benefits such as an improved immune system, better cell integrity, and it aids in the assimilation of fat-soluble vitamins.
Organic Automatically Equals Healthy
It seems organic products are popping up everywhere. The problem? Food marketers have found a way to make processed foods seem healthy. What needs to be understood is that processed food is processed food, and is unhealthy regardless of whether it’s made with organic ingredients. Eat whole foods, and if you can afford it, reach for organic whole foods. Organic pastries made with organic sugar and organic flour is still processed.
Calories are THE Deciding Factor in Weight Loss
I really dislike when people say weight loss is all about calories. I am well aware of how important calories are, but it’s not calories that matter so much as energy balance. The difference? Well, if you put two different people on a diet with the same amount of calories, but one eats more of their calories from protein, they are going to get different results in body composition. Their metabolisms will change over time and one person might need to continue dropping calories while the other can keep their intake as-is.
Different macronutrients have different effects on the body. They have different thermogenic effects, they have have different satiating effects, and they affect your metabolism in vastly different ways. Why then would you think a calorie is a calorie, not in the scientific sense, but in the real world sense?
“No Trans Fat” Means There’s No Trans Fat
Not always the case.
I hate the way food marketers try to mislead us. I don’t just blame them though, I blame the FDA for allowing it to happen. Did you know that the FDA allows marketers to label their products as 0 grams of fat as long as it has less than .5 grams per servings? That might not seem like that much, but if there are 30 servings in a box, you could potentially be eating 15 grams of trans fat – yuck! You can read the FDA’s rounding rules right here from their own website.
Eating Healthy Is More Expensive
No it isn’t.
Too many people think eating healthy is more expensive than a processed food diet. I can understand why they think that, but they are taking a very near-sided view of cost. As the saying goes, you can pay the grocer now or you can pay the doctor later.
In most cases the cheap stuff isn’t even really food, it’s a food product. It’s produced to mimic the real stuff. I understand not everyone can afford the real stuff at this very moment in their lives, and I feel for them, but it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Make as many healthy food purchases as you can and then use the rest of your budget on the other stuff. Do the best you can with what you have, but just understand the long-term costs associated with your choices.