I told you there was just WAY too much content for this to be only one post! If you missed the first one you can find it HERE.
There is just TOO much information out there about what is “good” and what is “bad” when it comes to healthy eating and exercise. As a nutrition coach, a lot of my time is spent helping people “dig through the weeds” so to speak and find what actually works. We are such complicated beings that there is no ONE diet or exercise regime that is going to work for everyone. Just because a high carb diet and CrossFit was the best fit for your brother/aunt/cousin/coworker doesn’t mean it is what is going to help YOU feel the best!
Myth #1: Working out in the morning “fasted” is good for fat burning.
Um… first of all, if you ate dinner at 9pm and you’re working out at 7 am… you aren’t “fasted”- your body is still working on processing your last meal. And as far as fat burning- whatever works best for YOU is what you should be doing before a workout. If you feel like your breakfast is going to come out of your nose when you do burpees, maybe skip the morning oatmeal. But if you feel tired and dizzy during your workouts when you don’t eat something beforehand, you aren’t going to be burning more of anything if you don’t eat something. In the end, if you are sacrificing workout intensity by not eating pre-workout, it is NOT worth it to train on an empty stomach. In this situation- it is “what works best for you”- some people feel better when they don’t eat before their workouts, and some people don’t. Don’t force yourself one way or another because of this myth!
Myth #2: Drinking fruit or veggie juice is the same as eating fruit or vegetables.
Unfortunately, not true. Juicing veggies and fruit removes the fiber, which makes it less filling and you are left with the fruit sugars and a lot less vitamins and minerals! The fiber of the fruit is no longer present to slow down the absorption of sugar in your body, so drinking juice can raise blood sugar levels in a way that isn’t so different to having a sugary soda. On the other hand, think about how many pieces of fruit go into making one glass of juice- you can easily consume 3 oranges in one sitting with a glass of juice, and it doesn’t even fill you up! Fruit is good for you, but too much of anything isn’t a good idea. Juice could be a great source of easy simple carbohydrates for someone looking to GAIN weight, but for the majority of us, stick to the whole fruit- more nutritious AND satiating!
Myth #3: If you overeat one day, you should under eat the next day “to make up for it.”
Sorry.. This is just a recipe for disaster. Overeating happens- it is a part of life, and if it is an uncommon occurrence, its not that big of a deal. When we start restricting based on “what we ate yesterday”, it can actually cause larger problems- both physically and mentally. Physically, if we restrict ourselves the next day, we can feel really hungry and low on energy. Mentally, feeling like you need to “punish” yourself causes us to demonize foods and can create a negative cycle. Instead of restricting the next day’s food because you overate at dinner last night, try thinking ahead. If you know you might indulge in dessert at your favorite restaurant tonight, maybe your meals throughout the day will have a higher focus on fiber-rich vegetables and fruit, and you might eat a bit less carbs or fat. THIS SHOULD NOT BECOME A PATTERN. If it is, maybe nutrition coaching would be a good fit for you- send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Myth #4: You can “spot-fix” fat loss on certain areas of your body.
Nope, sorry. You don’t get to choose where you lose fat from first- that depends on your body! Every individual’s body will gain and lose fat differently- but what you CAN choose is how you train and where you focus on building muscle. Building muscle (which is what people actually mean when they say they want to tone) in certain areas of your body can definitely have an effect on what you look like and how your clothing fits. For example, if you want your arms to look more ‘toned’ you can work on building strong shoulders and delts, or if you are looking for a ‘smaller waistline’, building a stronger back can cause the waistline to look smaller in comparison. That said- I recommend working on building muscle regardless as the more muscle mass your body has, the more energy you will use throughout the day- which for fat loss is ideal!
Myth #5: Go vegetarian or vegan to be healthier.
First off- if you are vegetarian or vegan for ethical reasons or because you just don’t like meat, no judgments- that is YOUR choice, and I support that. But going strict vegetarian or vegan for health reasons is not an automatic health ticket. Humans have evolved over the years to be omnivorous- which means that they thrive when eating a variety of plant and animal based foods. Strict vegetarians and vegans are often lacking in certain nutrients and vitamins that are necessary for your immune function, muscle building and metabolism, such as B vitamins and essential amino acids. Yes, you CAN consume enough protein and nutrients on a veggie/vegan diet- but the fact of the matter is that MOST people are not aware enough of their consumption, and thus miss out on many essential components of a healthy diet. Others use ‘vegan’ as a free pass to eat anything they want, conveniently forgetting that junk food can easily be vegan (french fries or a vegan cookie, anyone?).
What do you think? Did I hit on any myths that you believed in? Interested in learning more about your body and how you can make better choices about nutrition and fitness? Thats what I’m here for!