Nutrition misinformation is everywhere… magazines, the internet and even New York Times best-selling books. It’s time to set things straight, so let’s debunk five of the most common nutrition myths!
Myth #1: Fad diets don’t work.
In fact, most research shows that fad diets do work, and some of them work quite well. The problem is that they are short-term solutions and often don’t teach long-term health practices. They also tend to associate weight loss success with some gimmick.
Bottom Line: Decreased calorie intake is usually the “real” reason for shedding the pounds.
Myth #2: Drink 8 – 8oz. glasses of water a day.
You’ve probably heard this before, right? But shouldn’t fluid intake be individualized like everything else? It doesn’t make sense to have a 150-pound person drink as much as a 250-pound person. Your best bet is to base your needs on body weight and drink approximately half your weight (pounds) in ounces, and then multiply that value by .80.[(your weight) ÷ (2)] x [.80] = daily water intake in ounces
Example: (150 pounds ÷ 2) x .80 = 60 ounces
Bottom Line: Most people drink 80% of their fluids and consume 20% through food intake.
Myth #3: Diet foods lead to weight loss.
They can certainly have that effect, but the 1980s and 90s revealed a different trend. When low-fat diets were all the rage, people consumed fat-free cookies and low-fat muffins by the dozen, and the nation’s waistline continued to bulge. Fat intake dropped while carbohydrate intake skyrocketed and calorie intake increased for many individuals.
Bottom line: Diet foods can make weight loss difficult if you eat too much.
Myth #4: Don’t diet to lose weight, just exercise.
If you’ve ever looked at food labels and compared them to the calorie counters on your exercise equipment, you’ll likely realize how hard you need to workout to burn calories. It’s much easier to decrease your calorie intake by 300-500 calories per day than it is to expend many more calories each day through exercise.
Bottom Line: Research has shown that what you eat is the more important variable when it comes to weight loss. Exercise is clearly beneficial too, and actually plays a much more prominent role in maintaining your new weight.
Myth #5 Don’t eat before a morning workout.
This actually depends on what you’re looking to get out of your training session. If you’re going for a leisurely walk, you don’t necessarily need to eat. However, you’ll want to fuel prior to a run with a small snack-sized breakfast that will provide adequate energy for peak performance.
Bottom Line: Consider the duration and intensity of your workout when deciding what to eat before your exercise.
Which myth were you most surprised by and why?
Let us know in the comments!