Fitness is a hot topic, discussed in most magazines, social media pages, and television shows. And, as with most popular topics, there are myths around diet and exercise (the key to fitness) that keep people from reaching their goals. Here are a few such myths, busted.
1. Low-Fat Diets Are Key To Weight Loss
A low-fat diet isn’t necessarily the best way to lose weight. In fact, several successful diets are high in fat. For instance, the Ketogenic diet is prescribed to most obese individuals. This form of diet requires you to reduce your consumption of carbs and increase your consumption of protein.
The Ketogenic diet conditions the body to use fat from protein as a source of energy. Research indicates that most people have successful and permanent weight loss when on this diet.1
In fact, when it comes to weight loss, low-carb diets seem to be more effective than low-fat diets. Having stated that, low-fat diets are associated with lowered levels of bad cholesterol. Hence, it’s important to meet a professional to determine the best diet for you.2
2. Cheat Days Ruin A Good Fitness Regime
We know that a good fitness regime hinges on a well-planned diet and regular exercise. But, research indicates that the occasional cheat day is just as vital for fitness goals.
Diets attempt to break dietary patterns that have been formed over many years, in a short span of time. Not allowing yourself to occasionally indulge in the things you enjoy can induce guilt when you do cheat. Often, this guilt causes a lot of people to give up on their diets, hence leading to long-term problems.3
This is why it’s important to give your diet a break every now and then. However, be sure to plan your cheat days out and limit yourself to a set of calories when you do. This will help keep you from hating your diet and abandoning it halfway.4
3. Skipping Dinner Leads To Weight Loss
The reason this myth is so prevalent is that it seems to make sense. Considering the fact that your body will be resting at night, it might seem like you don’t need all that extra energy from dinner.
However, our body continues to perform essential functions during rest. To add to this, our organs continue to operate as well. For these internal processes, a certain amount of energy is required.
When you skip dinner, your body senses the need for energy. Hence, it goes into starvation mode and decides to start accumulating more fat as a safety measure.5
Additionally, skipping meals is associated with extreme hunger and uncontrolled eating, which results in the intake of more fat and calories than a regular meal. So, be sure to eat dinner.6
Try and eat your dinner a few hours before bedtime. Doing this gives your body time to digest the food and prevents indigestion.
4. Crash Diets Work Best For Weight Loss
Crash diets and extreme calorie reduction can help you lose weight on a short-term basis. That part of the myth is accurate.
However, it’s impractical to believe that you can keep crash dieting for life or as and when you need it. At some point, you will need to go back to regular eating.7
The minute you do this, not only will you put on all the lost weight, but also some more. This is because, when you feed the body after a period of extreme starvation, it decides to stockpile resources for the next starvation period, thus making you gain weight. Additionally, this form of dieting slows down your metabolism.8
5. A Longer Workout Gives Better Results
Do you believe that the longer you spend in the gym, the better your results will be? This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Your muscles are living tissues. Driving them to the point of fatigue might lead to lactic acid accumulation and make you unfit to work out well the following day. Cramping, muscle injuries, and extreme tiredness are all consequences of working out too much. So, be sure to set certain limits when you’re working out.9
6. Workouts Offset Bad Eating Habits
Extra time on the treadmill after a bout of overeating can help you burn excess calories. But, choosing to depend solely on exercise, might not result in weight loss.
This is because lack of adequate nutrition can make you feel lethargic, hence affecting your workout. Additionally, a nutritionally-deficient diet might result in a host of other health problems.10
So, be sure to make healthier eating choices. You could start slow with opting for dates and fruits over desserts and opting for whole grains over refined grains. Soon, you’ll be on the road to healthy eating without resenting it.
What other myths about diet and exercise have you come across?
|↑1||Paoli, Antonio. “Ketogenic diet for obesity: friend or foe?.” International journal of environmental research and public health 11, no. 2 (2014): 2092-2107.|
|↑2||Bazzano, Lydia A., Tian Hu, Kristi Reynolds, Lu Yao, Calynn Bunol, Yanxi Liu, Chung-Shiuan Chen, Michael J. Klag, Paul K. Whelton, and Jiang He. “Effects of Low-Carbohydrate and Low-Fat DietsA Randomized TrialEffects of Low-Carbohydrate and Low-Fat Diets.” Annals of internal medicine 161, no. 5 (2014): 309-318.|
|↑3, ↑5||Cerniglia, Jason. “Calorie Budgeting 101.” BookBaby, 2016.|
|↑4||do Vale, Rita Coelho, Rik Pieters, and Marcel Zeelenberg. “The benefits of behaving badly on occasion: Successful regulation by planned hedonic deviations.” Journal of Consumer Psychology 26, no. 1 (2016): 17-28.|
|↑6||Pendergast, Felicity J., Katherine M. Livingstone, Anthony Worsley, and Sarah A. McNaughton. “Correlates of meal skipping in young adults: a systematic review.” International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 13, no. 1 (2016): 125.|
|↑7||Diets. US National Library Of Medicine.|
|↑8||Weight loss – a healthy approach. Victoria State Government.|
|↑9||Hausenblas, Heather A., and Danielle Symons Downs. “How much is too much? The development and validation of the exercise dependence scale.” Psychology and health 17, no. 4 (2002): 387-404.|
|↑10||Interested in Losing Weight? United States Department Of Agriculture.|