You have most likely heard all these myths and you may even know they are myths.....but you're still following them. So, here are 10 myths that I'm sick of hearing about honestly.
1. Carbohydrates make you fat. Too many empty calorie carbohydrates can make you fat, like cakes, white bread, white pasta but healthy carbs are a must. You should be eating whole grains like quinoa, beans/legumes, fruits and vegetables- which are all in the carbohydrate family. Carbohydrates give you energy and nutrients; just watch your portions.
2. Low calorie intake equals weight loss. Yes, you can't eat a bunch of calories and expect to lose weight but you don't want to eat less than 1200 calories a day. Eating actually helps with weight loss; your metabolism wants to work and break down food. Eating smart calories can help with weight loss and maintenance; balancing out your nutrients will give you long term results.
3. Exercising for 60 minutes or more will help with weight loss. The longer you workout, the more calories you burn but it's not the most efficient way to exercise. HIIT (high intensity interval training) is shown to not only burn a lot of calories, but it's also a better method for injury prevention, training for a sport, gets you out of your comfort zone which increases metabolism, and has been shown to burn off more fat than a slow and steady exercise.
4. Everyone should take vitamins. More and more studies are showing that vitamins may not be as effective as we once thought and our bodies want vitamins from food first. There is a need for vitamins in certain situations like if someone has a deficiency, a major diet restriction, or if your doctor has recommended it but look at your diet first. Try for super foods, eat with color and variety, and don't cut out major food groups.
5. Detox to lose weight. It depends on what the detox method is but usually it's not a healthy long term lifestyle change which is what you need to lose weight and keep it off. If you are starving yourself for more than 3 days, you may be doing more harm than good. The best detox is to follow a healthy and clean diet...forever!
6. Eat more protein! This goes with the low carb mentality because there are only 2 other macronutrients to eat if you are eating low carb- protein and fat. Yes, protein is essential for hair, nails, muscle building, tissue repair, etc but we are eating way too much as a society. And the sources of protein is all coming from meat....try to have your protein from beans, dairy, whole grains, vegetables. Your total dietary intake of protein per day is 15-20% (while carbohydrates is 40-50%) so start portioning out your meat serving and eat more veggies and whole grains.
7. Gluten free please. Gluten free diet is the new fad which basically plays off of the low carb idea. If you want to eat gluten free, that can work for a healthier diet and can help you lose weight...BUT that doesn't mean eat a bunch of gluten free processed foods and desserts. Many natural foods are already gluten free like beans, quinoa, salmon, veggies, fruit, sweet potatoes so if you are eating as many fresh foods as you can, you may already be "gluten free." If you don't have celiac disease or an intolerance to gluten, you don't need to jump on the gluten free bandwagon. Aren't you relieved now?
8. Do as much cardio exercise as you can to lose weight. This myth has been busted for awhile yet we still think if we run on the treadmill for 90 minutes or do the elliptical everyday for 45 minutes, that we are going to melt that fat away. There are actually studies showing that too much cardio exercise can actually prevent weight loss and even cause weight gain....what?! If you are not incorporating resistance/weight training into your workout routine yet, you need to at least 2 days a week. Resistance training builds muscle(not big muscles ladies, so don't worry) which burns lots of calories, builds strong bones, prevents injuries and pains(while using proper form of course), and increases aerobic capacity(you can work harder on the elliptical and do it for a shorter time).
9. Don't eat sugar ever! Yes, sugar can be as addictive as crack but is it realistic to never eat it again? We are such an extreme society- no carbs, no sugar, exercise everyday, do 300 squats, make sure you can't walk the next day after meeting with your personal trainer...why do we do this to ourselves?! Food is too delicious to not splurge sometimes; I suggest maybe 2 or 3 splurge foods a week. So, don't eat a whole pizza at one time as your splurge; have 1 piece of pizza with your salad or have a small dessert after a healthy dinner. Don't exercise every day for 2 months and then take 2 months off; exercise 3-4 days a week consistently as part of your lifestyle. Back to sugar, eat in moderation and cut out any foods with added sugar like yogurts, cereals- add your own sugar so you can control how much you are eating.
10. Soy is bad for you. Soy is not going to give you breasts, men and some studies have shown a link to breast cancer but only if you have a lot of it. Soy has been shown to prevent heart disease and cancer and it's a low calorie, low fat, high nutrient food. Like everything else, it should be eaten in moderation- 1-3 servings per day. Go for the natural soy products like tofu, edamame, unprocessed soy milk; try to avoid the processed soy products, fake meats, etc- look at the nutrition label and ingredients.
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