The nutrition and training world is something I am greatly passionate about – so much so that I will invest a large part of my entire life in to it. However due to social media, business marketing, and many individuals and companies seeking to make a profit there is also a large amount MISINFORMATION out there.
This articles main mission is to dispel some of that, and also the myths and fallacies around certain topics. Here are some myths and truths:
- There is a “special secret” to losing weight and body fat
People think there is a secret method that only certain people or trainers know that can make them lose weight. When it comes to nutrition and fat loss there are PRINCIPLES and METHODS. The principles are what under pin everything and most likely wont ever change, and the methods are (or should be based off the principles) ways of incorporating these fundamentals in a certain system.
Principles: Being in a calorie deficit (or controlling calories based in your goal) , eating enough protein and avoiding being in a nutrient deficit are principles. These underpin everything when it comes to fat loss and nutrition and any method needs to be based of these to work.
Methods: Doing slimming world or paleo is a method. Neither will work if you don’t control your calories and both tend to work better if your diet contains sufficient protein, vitamins and minerals.
ANYTHING could work once it follows the principles. If to doesn’t work, then doesn’t follow the principles. It becomes more about individuality to the person after this.
2. Carbs, Fat, Sugar, Fruit Or Any Particular Food Makes You Fat
Most people have heard or said the following:
- Bread makes me fat or has made me fat
- The sugar in fruit is bad for you
- I need to cut out gluten or dairy it made me gain weight
- Certain veg like carrots and peas are high in carbs so I cant eat that
Or similarly there is fear of eating anything not deemed “good” such as a bar, a donut or cereal as it will “make you fat”.
Nothing in isolation makes you fat. A donut doesn’t, alcohol doesn’t, fruit doesn’t – CALORIES DO and you eating too many over time made you gain weight.
This is how fat gain works in its simplest form:
- You have a certain level of calories that will maintain your weight. If eat over that figure you gain weight, if you eat under it you loose weight.
- Calories are made up of macro nutrients – protein, carb and fat. Protein is 4 calories per gram, fat is 9 calories per gram and carbs are 4 calories per gram. MACROS make up calories.
- CALORIES cause weight gain not the macros. So the only way you can gain weight/fat is if you constantly eat too many calories.
- Over eating calories from avocado, pasta and oats will make you gain fat just like eating chocolate would regardless if you deem them “healthy”.
- 200 calories worth of ice cream, and 200 calories from almonds are BOTH 200 calories.
Finally – the only thing that will make get fat is if you consume too many calories. The fruit didn’t do it, the ice cream didn’t do it, not even the alcohol did it – over consuming calories from all the above and any other form constantly over time made you gain weight or will make you gain weight.
3. Snacking Is Great When On The Go And Snacks Are A Good Idea
Snacking is most often peoples downfall and it’s the reason they cant lose weight. Snacking doesn’t speed up your metabolism and it doesn’t matter if its “healthy” or not. Peoples main obstacle when getting in shape is being able to control their calories. So if you eat 7-8 times a day because of all the snacking you do between meals, or you eat 3-4 times a day with structured meals – are you more likely to over eat when eating 8 times or 4 times? 8 times for certain. IT PRESENTS MORE OPPORTUNITIES TO CONSUME CALORIES.
Also from a psychological standpoint when we look at human behaviour and the mechanisms our bodies have in place when it comes to hormones, signalling and their impact on appetite, hunger and feeling full. We are designed to eat until we feel full or satisfied, and to do so we need to eat FULL meals and eat slowly. Every time we snack we increase calories consumed, but we are not full and this leads to having a heightened desired to go eat again. Think about any time you have raided the cupboards numerous times grazing at food thinking about what to eat, when you could have just actually eaten a proper meal? Or when you pick it one crisp, and you keep going back for more?
EAT MEALS and stop being a grazer.
4. Eating Little And Often Boosts Your Metabolic Rate
Eating 1600 calories from 2 meals and eating 1600 calories from 6 meals is still the same calorie load. The amount of calories matter more the how many times you eat. The number of meals should be based around your preferences, lifestyle and possibly toward the amount of protein feedings you have each day. Point 3 will also link in here.
5. There Is “Must Do” Exercises In The Gym
Its common belief that you have to squat, bench or deadlift to grow. When you really don’t. Those three movements can be great when done right. However you need to have the skill, muscular control and ability to do them correctly. This could take years of practice. When choosing exercises you need to understand your mechanics, what muscles you want to work (be specific here – is it quads, hams or glutes rather then just saying legs), you need to be able to apply full concentric and eccentric tension on that muscle and it has to be done safely. Once you know what muscles are being challenged, and you find a movement that provides a good stimulus to that muscle, and you can do it safely then the gym is your playground after that. Anything done right and with intensity can work. If you are a powerlifter however- then yes they are a must do because it is your sport to bench, squat and deadlift.
There are unfortunately many more false statements and false theories in the industry – and they will most likely always be around but hopefully this will help start clearing up some of your confusion.