Top 7 Fitness and Nutrition Myths

7.png



With all of the trendy diets out there including, but not limited to,: gluten free, paleo, keto, low carb, high carb, high protein etc.. there is a lot of misinformation out there. Below are the top 7 trendy diet and fitness misconceptions that I have heard lately.

diet-food-macro-111130

#1 If you eat low enough carb, calories don’t matter

The newest thing that I hear all too frequently is that if I eat low enough amounts of carbs and high enough fat, you don’t gain weight. "Eating fat burns fat." Well, that’s kind of true. If you are in a state of true ketosis, which takes a few weeks to a few months to truly achieve, then yes, you can burn some of the fat that you eat. The problem that I see with this is that people are saying that you can eat unlimited amounts of fat and still lose weight. This is untrue.

When switching up your diet drastically, like going into ketosis  after eating a standard american diet, you typically end up eating fewer calories that you previously were. In addition, you end up losing mostly water weight at the beginning.

The reason: carbs love to hold onto water. But a lot of the time, people end up over eating fat on these diets and gaining weight and wondering why. It is because you are still eating more calories than you are burning. Period. There is no way around this. In order to lose weight, you need to eat less than you are burning.


eggs-3183410_1920

#2 Eating eggs leads to high cholesterol

Next up, is eggs. With low carb diets coming back again, yes again, as they were highly popular in the 80’s when Atkins came out (the original keto), eggs are working their way back from being demonized. Eggs are high in cholesterol and this has given them a bad rep. However, multiple studies have consistently shown that dietary cholesterol does not correlate well with blood cholesterol levels. Meaning that eating cholesterol does not necessarily increase your risk for cardiac arrest or lead to high blood cholesterol.

Your liver naturally produces cholesterol whether you like it or not. If you don’t eat a lot of cholesterol, it will produce more. If you eat a lot of cholesterol, your body doesn’t have to produce as much. Cholesterol is used to make hormones, vitamin D, and digestive fluids. Cholesterol also helps your organs function properly. There is only a small percentage of the population that doesn’t self-regulate their own cholesterol levels and in those individuals, cholesterol will be high regardless of dietary intake.

The best ways to reduce blood cholesterol is improving your diet overall and increasing physical activity.
wheat-995055_1280

#2 Gluten is the devil

Gluten free diets are making a come back again with everything being advertised as low carb and paleo.  Glutenin and gliadin, the two main proteins found within gluten, are typically the cause of discomfort that some people experience. These people make up approximately 1% of the population and another 0.4% of people have an allergy to wheat. This is less than 2 in 100 people that have a diagnosed problem with gluten or wheat. I also realize that some of the top people in the Gluten Free hemisphere state that there is a thing called gluten sensitivity. This sensitivity can be true of almost everything...

Now I know what you’re going to tell me, “I feel better after I haven’t eaten gluten/wheat in while and I feel horrible when I eat it again”. Okay, let’s think about this statement, you have removed an ingredient in 90% or more of the least nutritious foods (aka processed foods). You are also eating less sugar, unhealthy fats, and additives. Of course you feel better. Your body isn’t dealing with the onslaught of all of these ingredients at once.   You don’t need to remove gluten unless you and your doctor have agreed this is the correct plan of action for you.


milk-3231772_1280

#4 Dairy is the devil’s right hand man

Dairy goes along the same lines as gluten and wheat. And yes, I have heard all of the theories, about how humans were never meant to consume other mammals milk. This may be true, but humans have evolved and adapted. Due to the difficulty in diagnosis of lactose intolerance, there are no definitive numbers in the research for how many American’s have this condition. It has been found that those of Northern European decent are more likely to be able to tolerate lactase. Lactase is the protein in lactose that causes problems for most people with lactose intolerance. In my research for this post, I found a lot of scary numbers, like 75% of the world population and 30 to 50 million Americans are lactose intolerant but I was not able to find a single resource to back these statements up.

Removing dairy from your diet may be a way to reduce calories without having to count, which is common when whole food groups are removed. But unless you have a diagnosed problem with dairy, you shouldn't have to remove it from your diet.

abstract-1238657_1920

#5 To build muscle I need to eat ALL the protein

For generations “Broscience” has reigned when it came to lifting weights and building muscle. The idea has always been the more protein that you eat, the more muscle that you will have. And this is true to some extent. Yes, if you are not eating enough protein (less than 1.6g/kg), you may see muscle growth increase after an increase in protein intake, but increasing your protein higher than 1.6g/kg does not guarantee more muscle growth. What is can help with is maintaining the muscle that you already have and improving body composition.

Also ladies, keep in mind that just because you increased your protein intake and lift weights, this does not mean you will get bulky. You will gain lean mass, which is what you "tone" against.

sport-2264825_1920

#6 Working out for 30 minutes 3x a week is all I need

For many years the guideline was to get some form of exercise for 30 minutes 3x per week and your health and body composition would improve. According to most research, this is inaccurate and will only provide minimal improvements to health and body composition for the majority of the population. According to market research by OnePoll, a study of 2,000 adults found that 42% of time spent awake is looking at a screen. That’s 6 hours and 43 minutes a day staring at a screen! According to the new government guidelines:
  • For substantial health benefits:
    • At least 150-300 minutes a week of moderate intensity exercise; or
    • At least 75- 150 minutes a week of high intensity exercise
  • Additional health benefits
    • Go beyond the 300 minutes a week
  • In addition, full body strength training should be completed 2x per week
fitness-957115_1920

#7 Do only cardio for fat loss

Cardio is also known as aerobic activity which is defined as any type of cardiovascular activity that increases your breathing and heart rate. Cardio does burn a higher percentage of fat per minute while you are performing the exercise, this is a fact. But cardio has diminishing returns, which means that you will need to continually increase your duration or intensity to continue to see results. And once your reach your desired goal, assuming it’s weight loss, you need to maintain that amount of cardio to maintain the weight loss.  Strength training will increase your muscle mass (no you don't have to be bulky) which will burn more calories at rest over time. The optimal exercise for fat loss is a combination of strength training, high intensity interval training and some aerobic exercise. And as always, abs are made in the kitchen..

References

Americans spend nearly half of their waking hours (42 percent) looking at a screen. https://coopervision.com/our-company/news-center/press-release/americans-spend-nearly-half-their-waking-hours-42-percent
Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans https://www.hhs.gov/fitness/be-active/physical-activity-guidelines-for-americans/index.html
Mitchell M. Kanter, Penny M. Kris-Etherton, Maria Luz Fernandez, Kasey C. Vickers, David L. Katz; Exploring the Factors That Affect Blood Cholesterol and Heart Disease Risk: Is Dietary Cholesterol as Bad for You as History Leads Us to Believe?, Advances in Nutrition, Volume 3, Issue 5, 1 September 2012, Pages 711–717, https://doi.org/10.3945/an.111.001321
Choung RS et al. Less hidden celiac disease but increased gluten avoidance without a diagnosis in the United States: Findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys from 2009 to 2014. Mayo Clin Proc 2017 Jan; 92:30. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mayocp.2016.10.012)
Leonard, Maureen M and Brintha Vasagar. “US perspective on gluten-related diseases” Clinical and experimental gastroenterology vol. 7 25-37. 24 Jan. 2014, doi:10.2147/CEG.S54567

Morton RWMurphy KTMcKellar SR, et al A systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression of the effect of protein supplementation on resistance training-induced gains in muscle mass and strength in healthy adults

@fitobsessions