Listen. I get it! Changing the way you approach your health and nutrition is NOT easy. Especially with all the fad diets, pills, silly exercises etc. that are floating around out here on the internet!
I thought you might find it helpful if I helped you bust through a few of the worst diet myths you need to stop believing ASAP:
“Endurance Cardio Is The Best For Fat Loss”
I have nothing against running. However, there is no denying the fact that endurance cardio is muscle wasting and causes stress on the body.
If you are trying to lose weight, the last thing you want to do is any activity that will make you lose muscle. This is because muscle is your metabolically active tissue, meaning the more muscle you have the more calories you are going to burn with activity and at rest. Endurance running also makes you hungrier which is why a lot of marathoners can actually gain weight when training!
Instead, go for high intensity interval training and strength training which are muscle preserving and increase your metabolic rate.
“Eat Less to Burn Fat
Never take advice from someone who tells you that if you eat less you will burn fat. Unfortunately, our body does not work that simplistically.
If you give your body less calories and less nutrients than what it needs, this is going to cause your body to slow down and preserve energy. When your body needs more calories it will also go after your metabolically active tissue, which is your muscle mass.
If we changed this sentence to “eat less processed foods and empty carbohydrates” then the above would be a more correct statement, but just telling you to eat less of what you are already eating is not doing you any good. To preserve muscle and promote fat loss, eat fiber, protein, and fat at each meal. Focus on whole foods vs processed goods, and make sure you’re eating AT LEAST 3 servings of vegetables per day.
This is why when dieters eat very low calories, most of the weight comes from muscle and not from fat. When you lose muscle you will burn less calories, and your metabolism slows even further.
“Eat Carbohydrates at Breakfast to Lose Weight”
This is another very bad recommendation we’ve been told and it needs to stop. Cereal, bagels, toast, pastries, instant oatmeal, all of these foods have been marketed as healthy meals to fuel up on for breakfast.
Unfortunately, all of these high carbohydrate foods promote fat storage, not fat loss. This is because carbohydrates increase blood sugar, and high blood sugar triggers the release of the fat storage hormone insulin. Insulin’s job is to remove the sugar and store it for later use.
Where does insulin preferentially like to store the calories from sugar? Your fat cells, hence the nickname the “fat storage hormone.” This rapid decrease in blood sugar (due to the effect of insulin) makes you feel hungry again, and makes you crave sugar because your blood sugar is now lower than what you started with before you even ate the carbohydrate meal. You eat more carbs, and the above cycle starts all over again.
Instead go for a high fat and/or high protein breakfast which will have little to no effect on insulin. If you enjoy carbohydrates in the morning, stick with whole food carbs, like a sweet potato OR sprouted whole grain bread ALONGSIDE your fat/protein.
“Eating Fat will make you Fat”
Eating fat does not make you fat. Fat keeps you full because it does not affect your blood sugar and takes a long time to digest. Fat is the building block of your skin and all hormones, and is an essential macronutrient meaning you cannot survive if you are not consuming some fat.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you can go and eat blocks and blocks of cheese past the point of fullness, it means that adding fat to each meal will keep you more satisfied and full which will prevent you from overeating.
Eat fat at each meal to feel more full, satisfied, and to give your body the essential nutrients it needs for optimal functioning.
“Exercise More and Eat Less”
This is a recipe for disaster for a couple of reasons. First of all, just telling you to exercise more and eat less of the same foods simply does not work. This is why diets always fail because they all try and make this simplification.
Unfortunately, when you exercise more this can make you hungrier, which makes it hard to eat less and instead you may actually eat more without even realizing it. It also depends which type of exercise you do.
As you learned above, endurance training is the least effective while intervals and strength training are way more effective and take less of your time.
There’s second scenario: Say you are able to exercise more and eat less (even though you are starving everyday) and you find that you aren’t seeing much change on the scale or in your clothes. This is because your body will slow down its metabolic rate to conserve calories since it thinks you are starving.
Then when you try to go back to eating regularly (which you eventually will because you are starving) not only are you going to gain the weight back, but you will likely gain back even more weight than you started with! This is all because your metabolic rate has slowed and you lost your metabolically active tissue (aka muscle).
Exercise smarter by doing more interval training and strength training. Eat smarter by eating fiber, fat, and protein at each meal and eat until you are full.
Don’t starve yourself and instead eat more vegetables, protein, and fat, while cutting back on sugar and carbohydrates. Make your exercise count by including strength training or resistance training and interval training.
As promised, here are some FREE RECIPES made just for my Fit Tribe (aka YOU!)